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The Vital Voices Global Fellowship brings together women leaders from across sectors to build skills and capacity, foster a collaborative network, and exchange ideas. In addition to learning successful leadership practices both from experts and each other, in our inaugural year, we are offering programming across two pillars – social entrepreneurship and political leadership. Fellows will engage in focused learning on sector-specific skills and knowledge and with changemakers relevant to their industries. Through the fellowship, Vital Voices also aims to create opportunities for cross-issue collaboration and harness the collective creative potential of women leaders working on critical challenges disproportionately affecting women and girls.

Through participating in the Vital Voices Global Fellowship, Fellows will: 

  • Gain access to a cohort of diverse women leaders within their own pillar and across sectors, similarly, committed to making a positive impact in their communities
  • Build leadership and confidence through the Vital Voices Leadership Journey (VVLJ), which includes building personal narrative and storytelling skills
  • Receive an invitation to attend an in-person convening in Washington, DC
  • Develop new skills and tools to increase their capacity
  • Receive a certificate of achievement upon completing the fellowship
  • Join the Vital Voices global network of more than 20,000 women leaders from around the world

Fellowship Criteria
To be considered for the Vital Voices Global Fellowship, fellows must meet the following criteria:

  • This fellowship is open to women, including all those who identify as women
  • English proficiency
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Demonstrated commitment to the Vital Voices core principles of leadership: innovative, collaborative, driven by a clear sense of mission, has strong roots in her community, and is committed to connecting across lines that divide
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Be willing to commit to participating in the fellowship and engaging with diverse women leaders from around the world
  • Meet all the criteria for the pillar to which they are applying (see pillar web pages)

Program Expectations  
What are the program expectations and what do fellows commit to as part of their participation?

  • Attend all virtual trainings beginning June 2024 to March 2025, complete all assignments and any additional phone calls/engagement with other fellows, trainers, or program staff
  • The average monthly commitment is 8 hours per month
  • Online sessions are typically 1-2 hours and held between 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. US There will be 2-3 online sessions per month
  • Attend the entire in-person gathering in Fall 2024 (exact dates TBD)
  • Submit surveys up to three years after the end of the program

Learn more about the program’s Social Entrepreneurship and Political Leadership pillars.

How to apply – Apply here by April 22, 2024

What happens after I apply?
Applicants may be asked to participate in a follow-up call to answer any clarifying questions. All applicants will be notified about final decisions by May 31. Early applications are strongly encouraged.

The social entrepreneurship pillar of the Vital Voices Global Fellowship would not be possible without support from FedEx and Bumble.

Martyna Zastawna

2024 Fellow, Founder, Woshwosh

Martyna Zastawna is a pioneer and promoter of circularity in Europe. She is one of the most influential women in Poland according to Forbes and a sustainable development leader by Forbes. She is the founder of Woshwosh, the world’s first shoe renewal company and These Girls, Poland’s first socially responsible marketing agency. Martyna is a university lecturer and a mentor focusing on the issue of sustainability. She is also a climate expert at the European Investment Bank and author of many social campaigns awarded in Poland and abroad.

Martyna has implemented circular services to some of the largest companies in Poland, and her company has managed to give a second life to more than half a million pairs of shoes, saving 4 trillion liters of water and 7 million CO2 in the process. She is the author of Collections of Shoes and Clothes for People in Crisis of Homelessness, Refugees or People in Need. Her collections have collected more than 200,000 pairs of shoes and donated to more than 50 charitable organizations and foundations in Poland, Ukraine and Africa.

Martyna (1)
Poland

Keiko Koda

2024 Fellow, Founder and CEO, AsMama

Ms. Keiko Koda is the Founder and CEO of AsMama. She oversees the creation of local community-building opportunities and provides a sharing app that facilitates child-rearing and daily life support among nearby individuals. This app, customized for municipalities and businesses, is available across Japan, with plans for international expansion.

AsMama’s mission is to enhance local connections through real-life interactions, providing a platform where individuals can support each other with minimal economic burden. The company’s services align with several UN Sustainable Development Goals, including Gender Equality, Good Health and Well-being, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Reduced Inequality, and Decent Work and Economic Growth. With 80% of its 100,000 users being women, AsMama enables women to balance work and family life, boasting a 99% user satisfaction rate. The company has trained over 2,000 local leaders, facilitated more than 2,000 community-building events annually, and currently supports 130,000 households.

Ms. Keiko Koda and AsMama have received numerous awards and media coverage for their achievements and social impact. Keiko founded AsMama in 2009 and is a founding director of the Sharing Economy Association. Before AsMama, she was the head of PR and IR at a venture investment firm. Keiko graduated from Kansai Gaidai University and studied at Florida Atlantic University. She was born in Osaka. Driven by the desire to create a society where everyone can achieve their goals, Keiko’s mission is to build a support system that allows individuals to thrive in both work and personal life.

keiko (1)
Japan

Jennifer Borrero

2024 Fellow, Founder, Youth Housing Coalition

Jennifer Borrero (JB) is a Global Ambassador for the United Nations Foundation representing SDG 11 and the Founder of Youth Housing Coalition, an equity-centered Housing Development firm. Youth Housing Coalition has two arms; one being Advocacy and Community Organizing that trains and empowers the next generation of Housing Leaders at the Policy level. Magnolia Group is the Development focused arm of YHC.

Magnolia Group was founded with the purpose of innovating the real estate industry by creating pathways for wealth creation and financial stability for communities; being a leader in diverse workforce participation and through sustainable building innovation. As a community-driven developer, Magnolia Group is committed to a vision of development innovation, educational advancement and environmental stewardship, both in building construction and equitable outcomes.

From Nicaragua to the Middle East and domestically, JB has run programs in the private and public sectors that focus on creating social change. In 2023 she received the Hispanic Executive 30 under 30 award for Social Impact and has given TED talks on the future of housing. In 2023 she was awarded a NextGen Leader award by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. She holds a Masters degree from Georgia State University.

Her work sits at the intersection of Political Theory, Sustainability and Social Justice. Jennifer’s ultimate goal is to highlight innovative solutions to global problems while building community across cultures.

jennifer
United States

Durga Das

2024 Fellow, Founder and CEO, Aeronero

Durga’s background in building technology in the Silicon Valley for 25 years led her to believe that water would be a world issue and decided to invest her time and develop the technologies to patent solutions and launched AERONERO. The technology bio mimics desert plants and creatures to collect water at an affordable cost. She also fostered a relationship with IIT Chennai to develop a low-cost, maintenance-free solution that can deliver 5 liters per panel of water to a village home with no electricity.

Durga has recently been appointed to the WICCI National Advisory Board Member (Industry) and Durga is an advisor to the World Talent Economic Forum which is a team of International Experts for Research Enrichment and Knowledge Exchange. Ms. Das has more than thirty years of experience in the critical early stages of start-ups – with skilled emphasis on creation, management & business development. She recently completed the Goldman Sachs 10K Woman program at IIMB. A continuous initiator of revenue-generating concepts, she possesses an innate understanding of the market pulse at the ground level. All her previous companies have been successfully acquired.

Durga has captained the Cricket team of the USA and the joint Americas for over 5 years and has played tours in South Africa, England, Argentina, Bangladesh, and Canada, and played at the national level in India. Durga, a Rotarian, is also an amateur competitive golfer and an avid Sailor. She rides a Harley on weekends to clear her mind. Durga ultimately believes “SPORT builds character.”

Durga (1)
India

Ana Lucia Cepeda

2024 Fellow,

Ana Lucia (Anilu) is the Co-founder of Beyond Work/Bolsa Rosa, an HRTECH LATAM company that provides talent and flextime solutions. They link women in flextime jobs inside companies and help build human-centered organizations with workforce innovation practices. They improve the conditions and quality of life of working moms and reduce the gender gap, by providing an online job board oriented towards female talent and flextime jobs so women can pursue their career and achieve work-life balance. They also drive flextime working cultures through workforce innovation consulting projects inside companies.

During this years, over 7,000 women have obtained a job through us, reaching the total quantity of more than $92 Million USD in new income for Mexican families and women. More than 350 companies have benefited from consulting projects & workshops impacting directly and indirectly more than 300,000 collaborators and their families with a better workplace, quality of life, and be purpose driven and improve talent and economic results in the company. Their work contributes and impacts the SDG goals number 5 & 8.

Anilu has been recognized by Forbes in Mexico as one of the 100 most influential women, and has been awarded by Cartier Women’s Initiative Award, MIT University, and Women Economic Forum, among others. She is currently an icon in gender equality and the future of work. She has a bachelors degree in Organizational Psychology and Masters Degree in Business Innovation.

Ana (1)
Mexico

Melina Taprantzi

2024 Fellow, Founder, Wise Greece

Melina Taprantzi is a distinguished social entrepreneur and the Founder of Wise Greece, a multi-awarded social enterprise that aims to promote sustainable development and social impact through the power of entrepreneurship. Melina’s notable achievements include receiving the prestigious “SDGs and Her” award from the United Nations and the World Bank in 2020, recognizing her as one of the seven women globally with exceptional contributions to sustainable development. She has also been honored with the World of Difference Award by the International Alliance for Women in Washington DC for her efforts in economically empowering women.

Melina sits on the Board of multinational Organizations and she is a keynote speaker at international seminars on social entrepreneurship, women empowerment, Diversity and Inclusion, Sustainability, ESG and the SDGs. She is a TEDX Speaker, a BMW Foundation Responsible Leader, an IVLP Alumna in the program of Social Responsibility and Innovation funded by the US Department of State, a Young Emerging Leader 2018 by the European-Australian Forum and a Young Innovative Leader 2019 (YTILI Fellow) by the German Marshall Fund. In addition to her entrepreneurial endeavors, Melina is a faculty member at several esteemed educational institutions, where she teaches courses on leadership, sustainability, entrepreneurship, and social impact.

Driven by a passion for creating a more equitable and sustainable world, Melina’s work is guided by the principles of social responsibility and innovation. Her mission is to empower individuals and organizations to make a positive social and environmental impact through sustainable practices and inclusive growth.

Melina
Greece

Zaitun Namuwonge

2024 Fellow, Managing Director and Co-founder, Afro Lube Limited

Zaitun Namuwonge is a passionate social entrepreneur. She is the Managing Director and Co-founder of Afro Lube Limited, a Ugandan enterprise that mitigates the environmental challenges and impact posed by improper disposal of used engine oil with a mission to provide a sustainable solution to managing used engine oil through recycling it to produce high-quality engine oil called Afro Oil with products like Petrol oil, 2-T oil, Diesel oil and Automatic transmission fluid.

Afro Lube Limited has so far recycled over 906,000 liters of used engine oil reducing contamination and contributing to a cleaner environment by diverting used engine oil away from water sources, animals and damaging soil properties, and this aligns with several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 14: life below water and SDG 15: Life on Land The business not only prevents environmental pollution but also promotes responsible waste management and reduces Uganda’s reliance on oil imports, contributing to a sustainable future.

Zaitun’s leadership extends beyond Afro Lube. Her degree in community psychology fuels her dedication to foster positive social change. This passion is evident in her founding of the Jalia Kagingo Diabetes Foundation, named after her mother, which offers essential medical care and support to those living with diabetes. A leader who values integrity and collaboration, Zaitun fosters a positive work environment at Afro Lube while striving to create a cleaner, healthier future for both the environment and the community.

Zaitun
Uganda

Poonam Shukla

2024 Fellow, Director, Satya Herbal and Spice Products

Poonam Shukla is the Director of Satya Herbal and Spice Products, a company dedicated to bringing authentic Nepalese botanicals to the global market while empowering collector and farmer communities, especially women. Under her leadership, Satya has sustainably introduced over 500 varieties of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) based products to the world, creating economic opportunities for more than 2,500 collectors and farmers in rural Nepal.

Satya also addresses the significant issue of out-migration in Nepal by investing in the upskilling of local youth and women, thereby creating employment opportunities and encouraging them to contribute to their homeland’s development.

Poonam is a strong advocate of community and environmental stewardship. She actively mobilizes organizations and communities to build collaborative projects focused on agroforestry, financial literacy, and climate-smart agriculture. To date, she has conducted over 20 workshops on these topics in partnership with various organizations. Additionally, she has facilitated the plantation of over 8,000 saplings of medicinal trees, contributing to environmental sustainability and biodiversity.

Poonam holds a BTech in Biotechnology and was a Teach For India fellow. She has also worked extensively in the systemic education transformation sector in India for over a decade, striving to build an ecosystem for change.

Poonam
Nepal

Yu Shinagawa

2024 Fellow, Founder, An-Nahal Inc.

Yu is an entrepreneur passionate about diversity and inclusion to create a collaborative and innovative society through embracing individuals differences. She founded An-Nahal Inc. in 2019 and provides consulting and human resource development within companies with the themes of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, as well as entrepreneurship education for foreign nationals through partnerships with industry, government, and academia.

Yu has been involved in global talent development, education projects with the World Bank and other international organizations, as well as NPO as a job assistant for asylum seekers. She is also a fellow of Japanese Women’s Leadership Initiative in 2019 by Fish Family Foundation in Boston.

Yu
Japan

Ynes Hafi

2024 Fellow, Co-founder, Arsela

Ynes Hafi is a 30-year-old Tunisian tech entrepreneur. With a master’s degree in Marketing Studies and Development and a foundational background in business administration, Ynes has consistently demonstrated a commitment to impactful entrepreneurship.

In 2019, Ynes co-founded Arsela, a pioneering no-code service automation provider. Arsela’s mission is to democratize application development by eliminating the traditional need for coding, thereby making technological innovation accessible to a broader audience. This initiative is not just about technological advancement but also about fostering inclusivity and empowerment within and beyond the communities they serve.

Leading a talented and diverse team of 25 professionals distributed across offices in Tunisia and the UAE, Ynes has honed her skills in cross-cultural communication, leadership, and strategic planning. Her role has deepened her understanding of the challenges and opportunities that come with driving technological innovation in varied environments. Ynes is driven by a passion to integrate and amplify her efforts in using technology for social good with a global community of like-minded leaders.

The fellowship’s dual focus on social entrepreneurship and political leadership aligns with her professional journey and personal mission to foster economic growth and productivity through innovative technological solutions. Engaging with the Vital Voices network offers Ynes an exciting opportunity to connect with diverse women leaders who bring a wealth of knowledge and perspectives. She believes this community is not just about growth; it’s about collaborative influence.

Ynes
Tunisia

Vo Quoc Thao Nguyen

2024 Fellow,

Vo the Founder and CEO of GreenJoy, where she leads the company’s strategic direction, product development, and stakeholder partnerships in sectors such as HoReCa, F&B, governments, NGOs, and sustainability associations. Her focus is on innovating grass-based technology and ensuring the operations are sustainable and impactful.

Green Joy is a pioneering enterprise using grass-based technology to create eco-friendly products like straws, utensils, handicrafts, and pellets. The mission is to offer sustainable alternatives to single-use plastics, reducing waste and pollution, uplifting disadvantaged communities, and promoting environmental conservation.

Green Joy’s work supports several UN SDGs 12, 13, 8 and 5. They have eliminated 50 million plastic straws, reducing 250 tons of plastic waste and avoiding 100 tons of CO2 emissions. They also preserve 100 hectares of natural grass, crucial for sarus cranes. Socially, they have improved the lives of over 100 farmers and local women in the Mekong Delta by providing stable jobs and tripling their income.

Creating GreenJoy and leading it to the forefront of sustainable products is a significant achievement for Vo. She has received the International Innovator Award and several grants for social impact projects, underscoring her commitment to sustainability and innovation.

She is ultimately driven by a passion for sustainability and a commitment to making the world better, inspiring others to adopt eco-friendly lifestyles. Vo holds an MBA and a Master in Management from the EU, with a strong foundation in banking and experience in sustainability projects.

Vo
Vietnam

Shapol Majid

2024 Fellow, Founder and CEO, Mamosa

Shapol Majid is the visionary Founder/ CEO of Mamosa, a social enterprise dedicated to empowering individuals through education and community support. Mamosa’s mission is to provide accessible technical and vocational education, fostering self-reliance and economic independence, particularly in the MENA.

Shapol’s journey began in 1996 when she and her father arrived in the Netherlands as refugees. At 16, she faced the daunting challenge of building a new life in a foreign country. Despite these hurdles, Shapol embraced the opportunities provided by the Dutch social safety net, pursued her education, and developed valuable professional skills. This transformative experience ignited her passion for helping others overcome similar challenges.

Mamosa addresses several UN Sustainable Development Goals, including Quality Education (Goal 4), Decent Work and Economic Growth (Goal 8), and Reduced Inequalities (Goal 10). The organization is committed to making information and skills accessible to all, fostering inclusivity, and empowering individuals to become catalysts for positive change in their communities. Among Shapol’s notable achievements is the creation of a platform that delivers unique, high-quality educational content in a user-friendly format. Mamosa’s innovative approach includes accessible payment options and a dedicated Bazaar to facilitate entrepreneurial ventures.

Driven by a profound belief in the transformative power of education and community, Shapol is dedicated to building a fairer and more prosperous society. She holds a degree in Business Administration, further underpinning her expertise and commitment to Mamosa’s mission. Shapol Majid leverages her experiences to empower others, providing tools and opportunities for thriving and meaningful societal contributions.

Shapol
Iraq

Pauline Achieng Otila

2024 Fellow, Managing Director, Apiculture Venture

After 13 years of experience as an employee in audit and agribusiness, Pauline dared to use the skills and experience she had gained to venture into this male-dominated industry, adopting the moniker, ‘Queen Bee’, holding a BCom-Degree and MBA-Strategic Management. In five years Pauline has managed to position Apiculture Venture Limited among the top 5 key players in the Kenyan beekeeping industry. She has been recognized among the “top 50 African Business Heroes 2023 Finalists” from Jack Ma Foundation and the “Top 5 incredible entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa advancing SDGs through their businesses” from the 2023 WE Empower UN SDG Challenge.

Established in 2018, Apiculture Venture is a social enterprise dedicated to empowering communities, tackling the challenge of food insecurity in Kenya, particularly Arid and Semi-Arid Lands. Apiculture Venture achieved this by fostering a robust beekeeping and honey value chain. The multifaceted approach directly benefits households by: Reducing food insecurity which equipped communities with the tools and knowledge to build sustainable livelihoods through beekeeping and supporting honey production as a business which provides access to markets and facilitates value addition through processing initiatives, ensuring a reliable source of income. The multifaceted approach also empowers women/youth through strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations where we champion projects that specifically engage these groups, creating a ripple of positive change.

Ultimately, Apiculture Venture champions sustainable beekeeping practices, ensuring environmental responsibility. It has established a thriving network of over 10,500 local beekeepers who form core supply base and they receive input financing from Apiculture.

Pauline
Kenya

Jael Omumani Omunyangoli

2024 Fellow, Honorable Member of Kakamega County/Assembly and Kakamega Voices of Change and Development CBO

Jael Omumani Omunyangoli is a young female politician in Kenya. She is a Member of the County Assembly of Kakamega representing the gender interests. Her roles are Legislative, Representation, and Oversight of Government functions. She is the Chairperson of the female members at the Assembly and a member of the Finance, Agriculture, and the Monitoring and Implementation Committees. Hon Jael, is a member of the ODM Party and has worked at the Women League desk as a Programs Coordinator on a voluntary basis. She currently acts as the chairperson for the Kakamega County Women League and serves at the National ODM Women League Council. Her major role is to build women leaders and develop the capacity of young girls into leadership positions in her community.

Hon Jael is a fierce defender of the rights of women in her community. She Founded and runs the Kakamega Voices of Change and Development, a community based organization working with over 30 grassroots women groups on local led initiatives for economic empowerment and better livelihood in the remote areas. Jael continues to mobilize these groups to work on issues of food security, climate change, clean energy and gender equality through development of women leaders. Members of the group actively take up advocacy and sensitization on human rights, women land rights and land ownership for Agriculture. As these members became more economically empowered, Hon Jael led them in forming a savings and credit organization to enable them have quick access to their finances for businesses.

Hon Jael is trained in Public Policy and Administration from Kenyatta University and continues to build her capacity through training opportunities locally and internationally. She is an Alumni of the ALN Women Empowerment program training in Cape Town where she performed exemplary and was awarded a scholarship to study Project Design and Implementation at the FNF Academy in Germany. She underwent training on Gender Responsive budgeting for Women leaders at the Entrepreneurship Institute of India, a course that addresses the requirements for gender mainstreaming and inclusivity in budget making processes.

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Kenya

Juliet Matos

2024 Fellow, Parliamentary Advisor - Chamber of Deputies

Juliet Matos is a Brazilian born in the Amazon Rainforest who serves as the General Secretary of the Forum of Women’s Bodies in Political Parties and the National Secretary of Women for the Cidadania Party. She is responsible for developing projects and advocating for increased female participation in politics within the country. Juliet also works as a parliamentary advisor for the party in the National Congress, focusing on environmental issues.

She is a student of Political Science and Environmental Management, conducting research on these topics at the Observatory of Women in Politics and the International University Center (Uninter). Fighting for gender equality and an environmentally sustainable world is what drives her involvement in politics.

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Brazil

Karissa Fetalvero-Paronia

2024 Fellow, Municipal Mayor - Local Government Unit of Sison

Karissa R. Fetalvero-Paronia, RN, MAN is the first lady mayor of Sison, a fifth-class municipality, after 57 years of male dominance. She is a visionary leader that embodies the spirit of proactive and transformative leadership, currently serving her third and last term.

Her journey is marked by remarkable achievements such as being the first municipality to declare as ZOD (Zero Open Defecation), under Health & Sanitation Best Practices, in spite of having 3 IP communities which made it more challenging; being a recipient of the SEAL OF GOOD LOCAL GOVERNANCE for four times, which is the highest and prestigious award a local government can receive.

Karissa exemplifies courage, bravery and resiliency in her quest to fight insurgency and the injustices brought by the terrorists in their place, which made her successful in bringing an impactful change, resulting in peace, safety and security that everyone wishes to sustain.

She worked as the Local Area Coordinator of the Philippine Commission on Women for the Magna Carta of Women Project, in partnership with AECID. She served as a Sangguniang Bayan Member, passing several ordinances for gender equality and women empowerment. She is an advocate for lifelong learning as manifested by several of her leadership trainings, receiving recognitions and awards from different NGAs and civic organizations. She is a true and natural leader and a driven and relentless worker that always envisions success for the welfare of the people she’s serving.

She is a graduate of two courses: BS Accountancy and BS Nursing, with a Masters in Nursing. A licensed nurse in the Philippines.

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Philippines

Mandukhai Nanzad

2024 Fellow, Board Member - Social Democratic Women

Mandukhai Nanzad is currently the managing Director at Excelsior Energy Mongolia and serves as the Board Member of the Social Democratic Women, Mongolian People’s Party. Her work experience spans the private sector, specializing in renewable energy through her business and has been actively engaged in multiple levels of Mongolia’s biggest political party. Her activities within the party have addressed and organized projects to advance welfare and living conditions of less reachable districts as well as women and girls in need of help in their daily livelihood, encompassing policies, projects adaptable for transitional economy, and bringing in renewable energy solutions to decrease carbon emission. Mandukhai strongly believes in the power of political participation, as it is a driving force for providing civic engagement to educate and inform women about their political rights, choices and activities of participation.

Mandukhai holds a BA Degree in Business Administration and has a diverse background of education from the UK, Switzerland and Mongolia.

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Mongolia

Manuela Thourte

2024 Fellow, Legislator - City of Buenos Aires Legislature

Manuela Thourte is the chief of a parliamentary party caucus in the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires, the federal district in Argentina. She is in charge of leading a 12-member caucus integrated by three minor political parties. As part of her work she is leading communal-level delegates to generate synergies, exchange information, and bringing support to enriching the legislative work from the territory.

Manuela is working with young women from the party trying to represent them and lead them to feel empowered within a party that is 100 years old and very conservative in internal issues, forms of election, women participation in decisions-making, etc. Her main fields of work are children rights, education, gender equity and sustainability. As a legislator, Manuela passed some remarkable laws that are: Plain Language in Official Documents (to make accessible to all citizens the governmental communications and regulations); Strategic Scholarships in Pre- University level (in order to align market requirements and elections of careers for young people); Working conditions of teachers (to bring monetary and career’s incentives to teachers for sustained training) and Alternative family care for children (to guarantee the right of living in family for small children).

Manuela holds a Master Degree in Public Policy and Administration and a degree in Political Science. Before being in politics, she worked for 15 years in United Nations. She is also a mother of a 7 years old girl.

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Argentina

Veronica Rosca

2024 Fellow, The Republic of Moldova Member of Parliament, Chair of Parliament's Legal Commission

Veronica Roșca is a Member in the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova for a second term and the vice-president of the faction of the Action and Solidarity Party. In June 2020, she was elected as PAS vice-president, having been a member of the party since 2016. Since January till now, she serves as the chair of Parliament’s Legal Commission. She is also the Head of the delegation of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova to the OSCE PA.

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Moldova

Nora Jeanne Joseph

2024 Fellow, Founder, RADIKAL

Nora Jeanne Joseph is a Haitian-American activist and social entrepreneur who is passionate about sustainable development and women’s empowerment. She is the founder of RADIKAL, a Haiti-based social franchise that helps disenfranchised women create sustainable livelihoods. Nora strengthens food security in Haiti by catalyzing women street vendors as micro-entrepreneurs. By professionalizing street food vendors and linking them to local producers through an integrated supply chain, they become a critical node in tackling hunger in low-income communities while simultaneously improving their livelihoods.

RADIKAL’s impact is fourfold: improving the livelihoods of women in the informal economy and small farmers, reducing the environmental impact of street food, stimulating local agriculture and increasing access to healthy and sustainable food in a context of severe food insecurity. Its mission is to create self-sufficient value chains that take local products from farm to fork, thus reducing dependence on imports and benefiting the thousands of people who rely on street vendors for their meals every day.

RADIKAL aims to harness the power of technology to manufacture and distribute our products through an efficient grassroots distribution channel, while also respecting and restoring the environment. Nora was inspired to start the social venture after becoming aware of the massive need for women in Haiti to have access to revenue-creating opportunities, and in 2015 she moved back to Haiti to lay the groundwork for the social business.

Nora studied International Relations at the University of Connecticut, and has obtained multiple certifications in Fundraising, Volunteer Management, Cultural Diplomacy and Sustainable Development.

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Haiti

Anupama Bhardwaj

2024 Fellow, Founder & CEO, SHEQONOMI

Ms. Anu Bhardwaj is the Founder & CEO of SHEQONOMI which is the world’s first and only multi-platform, multi-device podcast listening app built by women for women on Android, iOS, KaiOS, and JiOS. If you have a podcast, enjoy listening to podcasts, or are interested in making your own podcast while empowering women and girls to use their voices and skills, we are here to help. SHEQONOMI is now listed on the APP Store on Apple Phones, Google Play Store, KaiStore, and on the JioStore with over 5,000 women led podcasts, in 50 languages, across 175 countries. The app features content on women’s health, women’s entrepreneurship, investing, leadership, sports, balance and content addressing all 17 UN SDG goals. We have been laser focused on creating affordable and accessible deep tech that can reach the bottom billion who are currently living on less than $5 US/day. Our podcast listening apps were built with almost $1M US in non-dilutive capital with grants from the Islamic Development Bank COVID Innovation Competition, the Algorand Foundation, and SDG Impact Accelerator to name a few who are equally passionate about giving women and girls access to transformational digital technology.

Ms. Bhardwaj is a Fulbright Scholar from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai and a graduate of Georgetown University (BA/MA). She completed her MBA at the Stockholm School of Economics and has spent the past 25 years focusing on global women’s issues focusing on bridging the digital divide.

Anupa
India

Amira Saber Qandil

2024 Fellow, Member of Parliament - Egyptian House of Representatives

Amira Saber Qandil is an Egyptian Member of Parliament serving as the Secretary General of the Foreign Relations Committee. Saber is the VP of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, responsible for planning and development, and a member of Egypt’s Coordination’s Committee of Parties’ Youth Leaders and Politicians. Concurrently, she served as an appointed member of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Culture. Inside the Parliament, Amira has submitted tens of legislative and oversight tools pushing for a human-centered development and progressive agenda with special focus on the issues of climate change, women rights, artificial intelligence, youth empowerment, democracy, and good governance. She also introduced three draft bills on combating food waste, adapting with climate change, and AI governance.

Amira is the co-presiding officer of the Global young MP initiative and representing the Region of Middle East and North Africa in the Young Parliamentarians steering Committee of the World Bank. She is also a member of Munich Security Conference Women Parliamentarians Program.

Amira is currently pursuing her DBA from Swiss School of Management and a professional Development Certificate of Parliamentary Governance at McGill University. She holds an MA in Development Studies from the University of Sussex where she was awarded the Chevening scholarship, an MBA from ESLSCA Business School, and a BSC in Biochemistry from Egypt. Besides her work in the Parliament, Amira is a founding member of Kayan NGO For community Development given her extensive experience working in the civil society both at the grassroot level with beneficiaries, especially women and children, running several international programmes with different national and international partners.

Amira was appointed to the board of the steering committee to oversee a national dialogue between the government and the opposition. The appointment to this board is a real testament to Amira’s broad appeal and political standing.

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Egypt

Agita Pasaribu

2024 Fellow, Founder and Executive Director - Bullyid App - NMA Foundation

Agita Pasaribu is the Founder and Executive Director of Bullyid App (NMA Foundation), a pioneering tech-charity that provides accessible mental health support and access to justice to victims of OGBV with a survivors-centered approach. To date, over 220,000+ people have received support. Agita’s notable career achievements include her instrumental role in transforming the Sexual Violence Bill into law in Indonesia and leading advocacy efforts that have garnered international recognition, under her leadership Bullyid App works collaboratively with Ministry of Women Empowerment and Children Protection and National Cybercrime Agency in Indonesia.

Based on her work at Bullyid App she was invited by UNESCO to join the UNESCO Youth AI (Artificial Intelligence) Ethics Steering Committee. Previously, she was elected as Deputy Coordinator for Youth IGF Global Movement as part of the UN Internet Governance Forum. During that event, she led 35 youth representatives from around the world to develop sustainable digital literacy programs in their communities to strengthen children and youth capacity to keep themselves safe online. Agita is also an ITU Children Protection Online Expert Member, utilizing her expertise in Southeast Asia to solve and advocate for the lack of digital sexual education in the area and assist the relevant Indonesian government with online child sexual exploitation.

Driven by a passion for social justice and a commitment to leveraging technology for positive change, Agita’s mission is to create inclusive and equitable digital spaces. She holds an LL.B in Criminal Law from Universitas Indonesia and an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Malaya. Additionally, she has earned various certifications in data protection, AI ethics, and digital governance, underpinning her expertise and dedication to her field.

Agita   VVGF
Indonesia

Nathalie Ann Llorente-Lim

2024 Fellow, Founder and CEO, LIKHA

Banker-turned-social-entrepreneur, Nathalie Llorente-Lim is the founder and CEO of LIKHA, a lifestyle brand that creates joyful connectedness, offering a diverse line of thoughtfully handcrafted home decor and fashion accessories. LIKHA’s mission is to empower Filipino artisan communities to overcome poverty by reimagining time-honored local craft for the global market.

By providing market access, generating economic opportunities, and ultimately getting artisans out of poverty, LIKHA works towards three main SDG goals: 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth, 1 No Poverty, and 10 Reduced Inequality. LIKHA also contributes to Goals 12 Responsible Consumption and Production and 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, using sustainable materials in production and preserving local culture and tradition.

To date, LIKHA has worked with 400+ artisans across 20 communities in the Philippines, touching the lives of 2000 individuals. 63% of these artisans are women from rural areas. On average, their artisans earn 41% higher than comparable livelihoods in the region. 82% of LIKHA’s raw materials are natural, while 91% are locally sourced. LIKHA currently works with 700+ retailers across the US including Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Home Goods, and has been featured on media such as Martha Stewart, The Today Show, and Oprah Magazine. LIKHA is Nest certified and Fair Trade and People + Planet First verified.

Born and raised in the Philippines, Nathalie holds an M.Sc. in International Development from the University of Birmingham in the UK. She is a Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship and a MassChallenge alumna, a SOCAP entrepreneur, and a Tory Burch Fellow.

Nathalie
Philippines

Anathi Majeke

2024 Fellow, Chief Whip of the Official Opposition - Local Government Councilor - Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality

Anathi Majeke, Chief Whip of the Official Opposition, in Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, began her political journey as an activist for the Democratic Alliance in 2013. She is currently serving her second term as a Councilor, where she previously served as Deputy Whip for the Official Opposition. She also serves on the Municipal Public Accounts Committee; Rules Committee; Multi-Party Whips Committee, and the Women’s Caucus. She has extensive legislative administrative experience having served as a Personal Assistant and Researcher to Bobby Stevenson, former Leader of the Official Opposition in the Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature.

Anathi has proven to be a seasoned and principled leader with servitude at her core. She is the Former DA Youth Provincial Chairperson. She believes that the youth have a vital role in policy formulation and decision-making within political parties and legislatures and seeks to uplift them in her endeavors. Anathi has also served in the Provincial Executive Committee of the Democratic Alliance Women’s Network, in the Eastern Cape, in this role she advocated for women and the plethora of challenges women face in the workforce, including, but not limited to their high unemployment levels, the shortage of leadership opportunities and gender-based violence.

She is an alumnus of the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Programme from the United States Department, which focused on Women in Politics and Civil Society in 2023. Anathi has co-founded a non-governmental organization titled Project Vote SA in 2024, which focuses on civic and voter education and how to hold government accountable in all spheres of South African government. She has proven herself to be a vibrant and dynamic leader who is grounded in her activism and community building. Anathi holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Unisa majoring in Politics and Philosophy and is currently studying towards her Post Graduate Diploma in Public Law.

Anathi
South Africa

Anoka Abeyrathne

2024 Fellow, Regional Coordinator for Asia - Royal Commonwealth Society

Anoka Abeyrathne is the Regional Coordinator for Asia at the Royal Commonwealth Society, where she leads regional sustainability and policy efforts, focusing on sustainable community building. She is also a Climate Democracy Consultant for People Powered, bridging policy gaps for communities across Africa and Asia. The Royal Commonwealth Society supports and assists Commonwealth nations in achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Anoka also served as a Senior Regional Coordinator at Change.org, supporting country teams across Asia, Africa, and Latin America campaigning for policy changes at national and global scale. At the British Council, she was a Master Facilitator developing youth-led sustainable community development programs globally for over 3500 youth and women. As a member of the official government delegation of Sri Lanka to UNFCCC COP, she played a pivotal role in the debt swap for nature policy negotiations and the loss and damages fund for vulnerable Global South states. Her prior experiences include the United Nations, Asia Foundation, 350.org, and the Global Green Growth Institute. Anoka’s accolades include the Commonwealth Youth Award, United States Department of State – International Visitor Leadership award and ForbesWomen. She is the country’s first female World Economic Forum New Champion.

She is driven and inspired by the long-term impacts of how action now can create greater impact in the near future. Anoka holds a master’s degree from the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School, a LLB from the University of London, and a forestry certification from Yale University.

Anoka (1)
Sri Lanka

Arielle Kayabaga

2024 Fellow, Member of Parliament - House of Commons Canada

Arielle Kayabaga is a passionate community leader and the first Black woman ever elected as Member of Parliament in London and to London City Council, where she received both the Municipal World Award and the Pillar Community Leadership Award for her work in building a more equitable London. Recently, Arielle was selected as a 2023 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and honoured as Politician of the Year by One Young World.

Arielle and her family left Burundi amid civil war, and she experienced first-hand the challenges newcomers face in dealing with insecure housing and precarious employment in an unfamiliar place. Arielle is passionate about helping new Canadians get settled in this country and have access to the necessary resources to ease the transition. Arielle earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Carleton University. After completing her degree, she gained experience in government while working for the Liberal Research Bureau on Parliament Hill. In Ottawa, Arielle passed a Private Members’ Motion that amended the federal framework on housing to improve access to affordable housing for individuals with non-visible disabilities. Arielle is also the current Co-Chair of the Global Cooperation Caucus, and the Chair of Liberal Black Caucus.

Arielle’s experiences inspired her to become a vocal champion for the people in her community. She is particularly focused on homelessness prevention, civic engagement, and inclusive communities. In her work, Arielle has successfully advocated on global food security, women’s health, global economic and social development, and providing humanitarian assistance to nations and people in need. She has engaged in bilateral meetings with various countries, ensuring that Canada continues to have strong relationships with key allies.

As a single mother, Member of Parliament, and community activist, Arielle embodies the qualities of a new type of political leader: progressive, resilient, and optimistic. She is working hard to continue bringing positive change to London West and is committed to representing marginalized voices in her community.

Arielle
Canada

Cara Hunter

2024 Fellow, Member of the Northern Irish Legislative Assembly - Social Democratic & Labour Party

Cara Hunter is a 28-year-old politician based in the North of Ireland. With a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, in 2020, she became the youngest female Member of the Northern Irish Legislative Assembly in the history of the Social Democratic & Labour Party.

In her time as an elected representative, she’s prioritized policies on mental health, combating violence against women, and addressing addiction. She’s lobbied and secured £1 million funding for Northern Ireland’s rape counseling service, had successful motions on banning LGBTQ+ conversion therapy, and a successful motion demanding a strategy to end violence against women and girls in Northern Ireland. Serving on committees for Environment and Health, she has advocated for sustainable practices and constituent well-being. She also contributed to various boards supporting mental health, LGBT rights, and refugee needs. Currently, she is a member of the Education Committee and hold roles in various All-Party Groups, showcasing her commitment to fostering positive change and addressing societal issues in Northern Ireland where inequalities still exist.

She is dedicated to advancing democracy, peacemaking, and reconciliation efforts, aiming to promote inclusivity and progress in Northern Ireland’s political landscape. She uses every opportunity to foster a sense of unity and understanding among her diverse communities and identities and strives to put an end to the high levels of poverty in the post-conflict society.

In previous roles, Cara was a Councilor and Deputy Mayor at the age of twenty-three for the historic city and district of Derry City and Strabane Council. She did significant work around safeguarding women in politics and promoting youth voices and activism. Her purpose in politics is to create a reconciled Northern Ireland focusing on ending division, celebrating difference and diversity, ending high levels of poverty, high suicide rates and creating a more accessible mental health support service.

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Ireland

Canela Bodenhofer González

2024 Fellow, Cabinet Advisor - Ministry of Education

Canela Bodenhofer González is currently employed at the Ministry of Education. Initially, in 2022, she worked in the cabinet of the Undersecretary of Education, where she coordinated gender mainstreaming efforts to ensure the integration of a gender perspective in every educational policy and to promote gender equality within the institution. Since 2023, she has served in the cabinet of the Ministry of Education, where she advises on the implementation of various educational policies.

Driven by her commitment to social justice, Canela pursued a degree in Sociology at the University of Chile and actively engaged in various student organizations. Subsequently, from 2017 to 2019, she completed an internship and continued her work at the National Institute for Human Rights, where she focused on monitoring prison conditions.

In 2019, she joined SUMMA as an Education Policy Researcher, collaborating with Ministries of Education and civil society organizations across Latin America and the Caribbean. She contributed to the 2020 Global Education Monitoring Report for Latin America and the Caribbean with UNESCO (SDG 4), addressing education challenges, including gender and socio-economic disparities.

Canela holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Chile. She also obtained a Graduate Diploma in Childhood and Human Rights from the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO in Spanish) and is currently pursuing a Diploma in Planning and Management of Educational Policies from IIEP-UNESCO.

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Chile

Miracle Nduka

2024 Fellow, Co-founder, Kitovu Technology Company

Nduka Miracle is a highly experienced professional with over 10 years in the fields of customer success management, business operations, and social media management. She is a graduate of Abia State University Uturu, where she studied History and International Relations, providing her with a well-rounded perspective.

Her passion for utilizing her skills to grow businesses and combat youth unemployment on the continent drives her to consistently go above and beyond in her work. Nduka’s expertise and dedication make her a valuable asset to any organization looking to drive success and make a positive impact on the global community.

She co-founded Kitovu Technology Company, a startup that builds climate-smart farming and post-harvest infrastructure to support agriculture in Africa, enabling smallholder farmers to optimize their productivity and transform their livelihoods.

Miracle
Nigeria

Cherrish Pryor

2024 Fellow, Representative - Indiana General Assembly

Cherrish Pryor has served as a legislator in the Indiana House of Representatives since November 4, 2008. She is currently the Indiana House Democratic Caucus Floor Leader and is a member of the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus. As a state legislator, Cherrish works on legislation that affects the lives of 6.7 million Hoosiers. As Democratic Floor Leader, she is one of three elected leaders in the Democratic Caucus. Cherrish served on the City-County Council of Marion County and Indianapolis from January 2007 to November 2008. Prior to joining the City-County Council, she was employed by that body as the legislative and public affairs director.

Cherrish’s previous positions include chief deputy for the Marion County Treasurer’s Office, real estate manager for the Marion County Auditor’s Office, lobbyist for the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, program director for the State Student Assistance Commission, and legislative assistant for the Indiana House of Representatives. She currently serves the community through her service on several boards and committees. She serves as a co-founder, board member and former Chair of Hoosier Women Forward. She is also Treasurer of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, and state director for both the National Foundation of Women Legislators and the Women Legislators’ Lobby. Additionally, Cherrish participates on the board of directors for the Indiana Breast Cancer Awareness Trust Fund. She is also a member of the Top Ladies of Distinction; Tillman H. Harpole American Legion Post 249 Auxiliary; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Indianapolis Chapter; Concerned Clergy; and the Indiana University Alumni Association.

Cherrish is an active member of Progressive Missionary Baptist Church, where she serves on the usher board and is the assistant treasurer for that auxiliary. She has also served as a member of the Progressive Missionary Baptist Church board of directors. Cherrish is a recipient of many awards, including the Faith-Based President’s Award, Dr. Mozel Sanders Drum Major for Justice Award, Breakthrough Woman Award from the Indianapolis Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and the Crystal Gavel Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. In 2023, she was named Legislator of the Year by the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.

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United States of America

Diana Miloslavich Tupac

2024 Fellow, Expert in Political Participation - CMP Flora Tristan

Diana Miloslavich Tupac is a Feminist, Writer, Activist, and Defender. She was also the former Minister of Women and Vulnerable Populations in 2022 and served as the coordinator of the Political Participation Program at the Flora Tristán Center from 2004 to 2021.

Today, she is responsible for the Women’s Voice and Leadership Project and serves as a Campaign Spokesperson, as half of her party wants parity without political harassment. Diana is also a part of the Working Group on the Model Parity Law at the CIM OAS, which promotes regulations, policies and initiatives in relation to women’s political rights, equal democracy, political harassment, the right of women to lives free of violence, female migration and many others.

Diana has several publications, including Maria Elena Moyano in Search of Hope (1992), Women’s Literature, A view from feminism: Feminism and Suffrage 1933-1956 (2012), ONPE Magazine in 2015, Pilgrimages of a pariah in Peru, and Flora Tristan (2019).

Diana studied Literature at UNMSM. Diana has a PhD in Social Sciences, specializing in History, and a master’s degree in Peruvian and Latin American Literature at the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos.

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Peru

Hanna Gehör

2024 Fellow, Counsellor, Diplomatic Advisor - Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

Hanna Gehör is a diplomatic adviser for President Tarja Halonen at the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. In her current position, the focus of the work is on issues of sustainable development, human rights, social justice and democracy. She has served abroad in the Finnish Embassies in Tel Aviv, México and Moscow and worked at the Ministry with issues related to human rights, climate change, forest and desertification policy.

Prior to joining the foreign service, Gehör has worked as an associate expert for gender and climate change at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and as attaché for international affairs in the office of the President of the Republic of Finland. She is a passionate advocate for gender equality and sustainable development.

Gehör holds an M.A. in English Philology and an M.Sc. in political science, both from the University of Helsinki.

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Finland

Emma Inamutila Theofelus

2024 Fellow, Member of Parliament and Minister for Information and Communication Technology - The Republic of Namibia

Emma Inamutila Theofelus is a 28-year-old Member of Parliament and Minister for Information and Communication Technology in the Republic of Namibia. She serves as the Government Spokesperson for the same government. The Ministry is tasked with bridging the digital divide, driving a digital transformation agenda, and improving communications across all sectors of government.

Emma holds an LLB Honors degree and diplomas in African Feminism and Gender, as well as in Business Management. She has been recognized by the United Nations and received the UN Population Award in 2022 in recognition of her efforts in reducing tax on sanitary pads and leading government communications during the COVID pandemic.

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Namibia

Melanie Wolman

2024 Fellow, Co-founder & CEO, The Food Market

Melanie Wolman is co-founder & CEO of The Food Market, an excellent end to end B2C omnichannel experience for healthy and sustainable products – and B2B services, in Argentina. The Food Market has the mission to transform people´s habits into healthy and sustainable ones. The Food Market’s values are based in the UN Sustainable Development Goals: it believes in the right to access to healthy and sustainable products; the right to access to qualified education about wellness and health; in a healthy and sustainable production and consumption. The Food Market is now applying to become a B Corp.

In 2022 The Food Market partnered with Farmacity, the largest pharmacy chain in Argentina, becoming part of their ecosystem: Farmacity, Simplicity, Get The Look. Now, The Food Market has 7 stores in Buenos Aires, their website thefoodmarket.com.ar, and B2B sales to companies.

Since then Melanie´s role is to share the vision and purpose, build The Food Market’s culture, settle the large term strategy and network with the ecosystem. She is an accountant and professional chef, who has been working with The Food Market for the last 9 years (it started in 2015). She believes that working for impact is a reason for living. Melanie is ultimately looking forward to the Fellowship to share experiences with like minded women from around all the world.

Background
Argentina

Mehezaa Adjo Ida Solitoke

2024 Fellow, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Baobaby

Ida Solitoke is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Baobaby, a social startup committed to combating baby malnutrition in Togo. Her journey with Baobaby was inspired by her personal struggles to afford milk-based formulas while lacking sufficient breastmilk to feed her own baby. Since 2020, Baobaby has been impacting local communities in Togo by producing plant-based baby formulas using climate-resilient crops sourced from local female farmers.

Twelve years ago, prior to Baobaby, Ida founded Soligrain, a consulting firm that facilitated the creation of 145 smallholder farmers’ cooperatives, empowering young female farmers, particularly single mothers. Through this initiative, she improved fair market access for 2,500 female farmers. With Baobaby, Ida harnesses the transformative potential of these female farmers through resilient farming and innovative processes that take food from local farms to baby bottles. By saving 30,000 children from stunting, Baobaby contributes to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2 Ending Hunger and 3 Good Health and Wellbeing. By empowering female farmers through climate-resilient farming, Baobaby also contributes to SDG 5 Gender Equality and 13 Climate Action.

With a bachelor’s in business administration, Ida brings over a decade of experience supporting rural development initiatives. She believes that all children should grow up in good conditions and have access to good nutrition regardless of their race and social background. Her accolades include being named Social Agri-Entrepreneur of the Year in Togo in 2022, a 2023 Fellow of the US-based incubator Halcyon, and a winner of the 2024 FINCA Ventures Prize in Washington D.C.

Meheeza
Togo

Martyna Jałoszyńska

2024 Fellow, Councilwoman, the Capital City of Warsaw

Martyna Jałoszyńska is a city councilwoman in Warsaw and the local leader of the Polish left-wing political party Razem. Razem is a young party inspired by the Nordic left; they support principles of social democracy, advocate for labor rights, and oppose the privatization of public services. Their main propositions are: gender equality (including liberalization of Poland’s abortion law), counteracting the housing crisis, progressive taxation, and reducing working hours. Their actions are in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals, such as Reduced Inequality, Climate Action, Gender Equality, No Poverty, or Decent Work and Economic Growth.

Martyna is a leader of party structures in the capital city, especially focused on feminism, gender equality, and reducing inequalities. She successfully led the negotiations that resulted in her party gaining 13 seats in local government structures. As a candidate for the city council, she gathered 6,707 votes, which resulted in her winning a seat and becoming one of the two first councilwomen in Warsaw that Razem has ever had.

Martyna studied Polish philology, Gender Studies, and Advertisement and Promotion. Outside of politics, she works as Project Manager for an NGO; she manages international projects connected to journalism. She’s an ambassador for the European Democracy Youth Network and a former scout leader. She thrives on working with young people, especially young women, and is dedicated to making politics more accessible to young people, especially those living outside of large cities.

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Poland

Mukamana Claudette

2024 Fellow, Vice Mayor, Social Affairs - Ministry of Local Government

Mukamana Claudette worked in Local Government as vice mayor in charge of social affairs during 6 years where she was responsible for the Social Protection Unit, Education Unit and Health Unit. More than that, she had the responsibility to take care of women’s development and being their voice with different stakeholders. Mukamana also had the responsibility to Gender Based Violence and to fight against family conflicts.

Today Mukamana is Chairperson of Rwanda Patriotic Front at the cell level where she is working with women, youth and other stakeholders to be the voice of members in their life. In 2022, she had the opportunity to participate in a workshop in Sweden on empowering women in Leadership and she had a project about encouraging poor women to do the small businesses through training and advocacy among partners so that they can access the capital. This project has already reached over 500 women.

Mukamana has a Masters Degree in Education Leadership and Management from Mount Kenya University and now she is ready to start her PhD in Education Leadership and Management.

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Rwanda

Juliana Villegas

2024 Fellow, Founder and CEO, Somos Martina

Juliana Villegas is the Founder and CEO of Somos Martina, a Colombian brand of absorbent underwear created 5 years ago with a mission to provide products for experiencing menstruation, incontinence, and postpartum. Their organic cotton products are seamless, suitable for all absorption needs, environmentally friendly, and committed to social impact, contributing to menstrual equity through a social project that ensures dignified access to menstruation for girls and women.

Somos Martina addresses menstrual poverty in Latin America through a multifaceted impact project spanning economic, social, environmental, and educational fronts. To date, the brand has positively impacted over 12,000 women, aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goals 1, 3, 5, 10, 11, 12, and 13.

Born and raised in Bogota, Colombia, Juliana Villegas holds a BA in languages and cultural studies with a minor in entrepreneurship and photography from the Universidad de los Andes. She furthered her education with a specialization in business management and a Postgraduate diploma in fashion product management from IED, Barcelona. Inspired by sustainable fashion classes, she ventured into creating her own absorbent underwear brand while initiating a social impact program for women in need in Colombia. Juliana is currently studying the Global fashion management masters at The Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

Juliana’s driving force lies in replacing plastic hygiene products with sustainable alternatives, ensuring dignified menstruation for girls and women worldwide.

Julianna
Colombia

Jovia Kisakye

2024 Fellow, Founder and CEO, Bulamu Bridge AI Technologies

Jovia Kisaakye is a social entrepreneur from Uganda. She’s the Founder and CEO of Bulamu Bridge AI Technologies; a healthcare company dedicated to leveraging digital technologies to increase access to healthcare services and products among women, young people, and adolescents in Uganda. With a mission to bridge healthcare gaps and enhance the quality of life through innovative solutions, Jovia’s leadership and dedication are the driving forces behind Bulamu Bridge AI’s impactful initiatives.

Jovia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Statistics, which has equipped her with the analytical skills and expertise necessary to drive data-driven decision-making within the company. Her commitment to sustainable development and youth empowerment is evident in her active roles as a youth representative at the African Union Youth Reference Committee and a YALI alumna.

Under her leadership, Bulamu Bridge AI has achieved significant milestones, including the successful implementation of the My FemiHub app, AI powered website, and WhatsApp chatbots, which collectively increase access to maternal and reproductive healthcare (SRHR) services and products. Her dedication to innovation and social impact has earned her recognition from numerous reputable organizations worldwide. She has received awards from the Ruforum Network, NSSF Hi-innovator Award, UNFPA ETP Award, African SME Young Entrepreneur’s Award, Tony Elumelu Foundation Award, Unleash India Lab, Clinton Global Initiative, Because International, and Yunus Environmental Hub, among others. She was recognized for her role in circular economy and sustainability at the World Investment Forum in 2023, where she received the Empretec Women in Business Award by UNCTAD.

Jovia
Uganda

Ronelle King

2024 Fellow, Executive Director, Life In Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-based Violence

Ronelle King is the Executive Director of Life In Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-based Violence. She is an Afro-Barbadian, multi-award-winning gender rights activist. In 2016, Ronelle created the hashtag #lifeinleggings and started a viral social media campaign that empowered Caribbean women who were survivors of abuse to share their experiences, find solidarity, and raise awareness about the prevalence of gender-based violence in the region. The hashtag led to the creation of Life in Leggings: Caribbean Alliance Against Gender-Based Violence, a youth-led organization that aims to eradicate rape culture and regional occurrences of violence against women and girls.

As Executive Director, Ronelle has since created and executed several successful initiatives. Notably, the Reclaim Our Streets: Women’s Solidarity March, the region’s first simultaneous and largest civil society-led grassroots march against street harassment and other forms of gender-based violence that make public spaces unsafe for women and girls, as well as the award-winning Pink Parliament mentorship program, which works with young women and girls to increase women’s participation in politics and decision-making spaces.

Most recently, Ronelle graduated from the Obama Foundation Scholars at Columbia University’s 2023–24 cohort. During the fellowship, she developed a program on gender and climate to explore the intersection between the environmental crisis and gender-based violence.

Additionally, Ronelle serves as a UN Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals within the United Nations’ Youth Affairs Office. Through her work, she has been a driving force in highlighting key issues pertaining to gender rights, youth development, and the protection of marginalized communities. She views her work as helping to create an inclusive, sustainable, and equitable region for all.

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Barbados

Sarah Nakintu

2024 Fellow, Chairperson - The Interparty Women Platform/ Vice President of ANT Women League (Political Party)

Sarah Nakintu is the current chairperson of the Inter-party Women Platform (IWOP) that comprise of political parties Women leagues with a Vision, an empowered interparty women leaders’ platform where women influence politics for inclusive and sustainable national development and a mission to build an effective inter-party women leaders’ platform to influence the political culture and politics for a harmonious, just and holistic wellbeing of society. Sarah is also the Vice chairperson of the alliance for National Transportation, a political with value based leaders that have transformed the country in multiple dimension. She is also the Vice president of the Sub-Saharan Jewish Alliance handling the Political desk as well and has influenced many women to join politics in 15 countries as well as assuming positions in 15 member countries.

Through her leadership in IWOP she led the members to writing various position papers and presenting them to stakeholders like the Electoral Commission on Violence Against Women in Politics and the Minister for Justice and Constitution Affair on Constitution Reforms, Police, and Parliament. She has engaged in electoral reforms and contributed to various research papers with Women situation room, and International republican institute Sensitize Uganda among other.

Sarah has engaged various development partners who have effectively built the capacity of women in peacebuilding and advocacy among others. She has advocated for trainings for women leaders both internationally and locally through sharing opportunities and also soliciting for funding for their travel. Sarah greatly loves being part of the change and is motivated by bringing a smile to people’s faces. She greatly believes that there is nothing for us without us.

Sarah holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work and Social Administration from Uganda Christian Unity and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy.

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Uganda

Chelsea Hornby

2024 Fellow, Founder and CEO, Elle International

Chelsea is the founder and CEO of Elle International. Elle advances access to safe, sustainable, and affordable solutions for women’s health, while empowering women through education and socio-economic inclusion. Chelsea’s work at Elle is to establish South Africa as a leader in the women’s health ecosystem globally, creating opportunities for the emergence of industries that arise from the convergence of technology, harnessing the transformative potential for economic and societal benefit. This work is undertaken in accordance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In May 2024, Chelsea announced Elle’s commitments to the Partner2Connnect digital coalition. The first of three commitments are to provision the digital platforms of ElleHealth, ElleStudies, and Womany, to advance patient information, research, education and diagnostics for millions of women and girls to reduce suffering and improve quality of life. The second commitment to drive connectivity and digital transformation in communities through the smart menstrual health dispenser, Moxie. The third commitment is to support the Elle Sub-Saharan Africa Consortium for open sourcing AI models and related artifacts as benchmarks to advance open science in women’s health.

Having survived the horrors of human trafficking, to spear-heading women’s health efforts. Chelsea is driven to give girls and women hope—not in laws or constitutions, but in their own hearts and minds. Chelsea holds a degree in Business Management, Communications, and Public Relations, and has received global recognition for leadership and social impact.

 

Chelsea
South Africa

Saro Imran

2024 Fellow, Focal Person for Skill Development of Transgender People - Social Welfare Department - Government of Pakistan

Saro Imran is a Transgender Community Activist. She belongs to South Punjab, which is a geographically deprived region of Pakistan. Being transgender was not easy to live in South Punjab. In 2008, She was 15 years old when a mob attacked her due to her gender identity. She was badly injured, physically and emotionally. She spent two long years in trauma isolated in a single room, but she committed to herself that she would not suffer as a victim, instead, she would fight for the rights of transgender people.

Saro has been working in the field of transgender rights, SRHR and development since 2013. She has worked with various national and international organizations like ILGA World, Youth Lead, IYAFP, FP2030, Punjab AIDS Control Program, Global Fund for Children, Rutgers, Youth Voice Count, Accountability Lab, SPDO, Goldin Institute. She has done M.Phil. in commerce with a specialization in Entrepreneurship. She is a focal person for Skill Development of transgender people by the Social Welfare Department – Government of Pakistan.

She initiated the Trans youth movement in South Punjab collaborating with different transgender stakeholders from various cities for a collective voice in favor of transgender empowerment. She led the advocacy campaign from South Punjab for the Trans Protection law and policy framework. In 2018, their struggle led to the promulgation of the historic Trans Protection Act 2018.

Saro has received several awards like: the Peace Ambassador Award – Global Peace Chain Turkey 2020, the Social Work Award by Social Welfare Department – Government of Pakistan 2021, the Human Rights Award – NADRA – National Database and Registration Authority, Pakistan 2021, the Higher Education Award by Foreign Minister of Pakistan 2022, and the Higher Education Award by Mrs. Governor Punjab Pakistan 2022. She ultimately envisions a World where transgender people are economically empowered and have equal rights.

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Pakistan

Shabnam Salehi

2024 Fellow, Visiting Researcher - University of Ottawa

Shabnam Salehi is a visiting lecturer and researcher at the University of Ottawa, where she continues her lifelong commitment to human rights and gender equality. In her current role, Shabnam is engaged in research and writing on pressing human rights issues, participating in guest lectures, presentations, and discussions, and contributing to courses related to human rights and immigration.

Affiliated with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and the Human Rights Education Research Centre at the University of Ottawa, Shabnam’s work aligns with the institution’s mission to foster a deeper understanding of global affairs and promote human rights. Her research and advocacy support several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including gender equality (SDG 5), reduced inequalities (SDG 10), and peace, justice, and strong institutions (SDG 16).

Shabnam began her academic career in 2012 as an assistant professor at Kabul University, where she lectured on public policy focusing on human rights and gender equality. Her notable career achievements include leading the women’s rights unit as women’s rights commissioner at the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) from 2019 to 2021. In this role, she implemented critical interventions to protect and promote women’s rights, advocating for reforms in laws related to marriage, divorce, and sexual harassment. Driven by a profound commitment to justice and equality, Shabnam has dedicated her career to advancing the rights of women and marginalized groups. Her values and mission are rooted in the belief that every individual deserves to live with dignity and without fear of discrimination.

Shabnam is a Ph.D. student in International Law at Carleton University and holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) and a Bachelor of Law and Political Science from Kabul University. Her extensive academic background and hands-on experience make her a formidable advocate for human rights and a respected figure in her field.

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Afghanistan

Blandine Umuziranenge

2024 Fellow, Founder and CEO, Kosmotive

Blandine Umuziranenge is the Founder and CEO of Kosmotive since 2014, a social enterprise with a mission to improve reproductive, maternal and child health in Rwanda and eventually across Africa, with better access to health services for mothers and children and access to sustainable feminine hygiene products. Early in her career, she worked at Rwanda Broadcasting Agency and Contact FM radio. Her 13 years of experience combine Information Technology, Publishing, Photojournalism, Social Entrepreneurship and Circular Business Modeling.

She is a multi-award-winner including the Youth Connekt Africa 2019 Girls in Innovation Award, the Invest2Impact Africa 2019 Women’s Empowerment Award, the Top 50 Africa Business Hero 2021, the 2021 & 2022 Waislitz Global Citizen Award finalist, the 2022 WE Empower UN SDG finalist, the 2022 Accenture’s Gender Mainstreaming Awards Fearless Thinker Finalist, the 2023 Accenture’s Gender Mainstreaming Award Winner for Investing in Young Women, the 2023 Meaningful Business 100, and the 2024 Bayer Women Empowerment Award. Blandine’s ambition is paving menstrual freedom for girls and women in Africa.

Pursuing an MBA at The European School of Management and Technology, she holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Social Innovation Management from Amani Institute, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information and Communication Technology from Mount Kenya University and an Advanced Diploma in Information Technology from Integrated Polytechnic Regional College – IPRC Tumba.

Blandine
Rwanda

Anushka Jain

2024 Fellow, Founder and CEO, Share At Door Step

Anushka Jain is the founder and CEO of Share At Door Step, a pioneering sustainability-tech platform that enables users to donate goods effortlessly. SADS fulfills its mission of making it easy for people to declutter their homes responsibly while supporting various charities.

About Share At Door Step, It is a sustainability-tech platform that facilitates the donation of preloved goods, helping people give a new life to the items in reusable condition. With a presence in 11 major cities across India and Singapore, SADS has built a loyal user base of over 1M+ households and supports more than 135 charities and social organizations. The platform collaborates with over 150 brand partners, including Nautica, Amazon, and Duroflex, creating a dual impact on the planet and people.

The social impact of SADS aligns with several UN SDGs, including: SGD12, 13 and 17. Through SADS, Anushka has made significant strides in promoting responsible consumption and reducing waste, contributing to a more sustainable future.

Anushka has over 15 years of experience in entrepreneurship and sustainability. She has been recognized as a LinkedIn Top Corporate Sustainability Voice and has received numerous awards, including the YourStory Tech 50 list, Manthan Award, Women Entrepreneurs Award, and Digital Women Award. As an avid speaker, she has given talks at prominent events such as SAP TechEd, Impact Festival, ITU, and SocGen’s sustainability talks on topics like social entrepreneurship, bootstrapping, the science behind giving, and net-zero blueprints.

Anushka
India

Aline Sara

2024 Fellow, Co-Founder and CEO, NaTakallam

Aline Sara is the co-founder and CEO of NaTakallam, an award-winning social enterprise that hires displaced & conflict-affected persons as online tutors, teachers, and translators. With a background in journalism, conflict resolution and human rights, Aline is leveraging technology to disrupt humanitarian aid and promote sustainable solutions to crises.

Under Sara’s leadership, since 2015, NaTakallam has distributed over $3.2 million in self-earned income to conflict-affected populations, enabling 500+ translators and tutors to impact 16,000+ users in 110+ countries and 300+ organizations, worldwide. NaTakallam not only creates sustainable income and meaningful employment but also promotes inclusive and equitable quality education (SDG 4), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), and reduced inequalities (SDG 10).

Inspired by her parents journey, as Lebanese immigrants who left their homeland in the midst of a fierce civil war and were welcome to America, where they raised her and her brothers, safe and away from the violence, Aline Sara is determined to help those unjustly impacted by conflict and persecution all while helping those who are so far from it to better comprehend it through dialogue, transformative education and cross-cultural understanding.

Aline is a Cartier Women’s Initiative, Summit and Halcyon fellow, and has been a speaker at numerous high-level events, including TechCrunch, Berlin, several OECD, UN, and World Bank conferences. She was named ‘Woman Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the Elle Impact Award sand is a WE Empower Awardee for 2021. NaTakallam is the winner of several MIT, World Bank, Seedstars and other startup and social entrepreneur competitions.

aline
United States

Sowmya Reddy

2024 Fellow, Politician - Indian National Congress

In the heart of Bengaluru, in the vibrant South India, Sowmya Reddy represents a new era of reform and forward-thinking combined with culture and tradition. Sowmya’s journey wasn’t just about gathering knowledge, but about making a real difference. All through her student days, she worked in community service, nurturing nature and all its creatures. From the classrooms of New York while getting her masters degree in environmental technology to the bustling streets of Bangalore, her resolve to empower and uplift grew stronger, a rare combination of intellect and empathy.

Long before Sowmya stepped into the political arena, she tirelessly worked to bridge the gap between education and employment, advocate for women’s empowerment, and champion environmental causes. She collaborated with climate activists in Bengaluru and developed an innovative method for converting wet waste into biogas and organic fertilizer. This sustainable development model helped them win the Better Together Award in Germany and the Adarsh Vidhayak Award (best legislator). She not only understands the pulse of her constituents but also transformed their health care, gender justice, providing jobs & skill development to thousands of youth and women, education and environment sustainably through her dedicated service as an MLA.

From upgrading the government schools to government hospitals to providing essential aid during the Karnataka & Kerala Floods and Covid-19 crises. Her tenure was marked by impactful changes. Sowmya solved with her head and led with her heart, a unique leadership trait. She recently contested the parliamentary elections and continues to work for people, animals and environment of the country at the grassroots level. Sowmya’s vision for a sustainable and inclusive future remains unwavering.

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India

Valeriya Ionan

2024 Fellow, Deputy Minister - Ministry of Digital Transformation

Valeriya Ionan is the Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and a key woman leader in Ukraine’s GovTech evolution. She joined the newly established Ministry in 2019 at age 28; at that time, she was the youngest Deputy Minister in the Ukrainian Government, aligning with the mission of the MDT to transform Ukraine into the most convenient digital country in the world. Since then, Ukraine has undergone a substantial digital transformation, introducing the world’s first fully digital passport, a number of efficient digital reforms, including the development of Diia ecosystem that has achieved global respect. Ukraine has been called “European Digital Transformation Tiger” for its innovative approach and commitment to becoming the world’s most user-friendly digital state, even during a full-scale Russian invasion.

Valeriya has been instrumental in developing the Diia Ecosystem, which includes 6 projects, including 2 under her direct leadership – Diia.Education and Diia.Business, which significantly impact digital literacy and entrepreneurship across Ukraine. In the Ministry of Digital Transformation, she oversees the national program on the development of digital literacy and Diia.Education, supporting the development of SMEs & entrepreneurship with Diia.Business, and coordinating regional digital transformation in Ukraine.

Valeriya leads European integration and international relations efforts within the Ministry, coordinating the digital section of Ukraine’s EU candidate status. Valeriya is also actively engaged in digital diplomacy and is one of the big promoters of the Ukrainian Digital and Innovation brand. In 2023, Valeriya also became responsible for the direction of innovations. She also coordinates the national Future Perfect language program to promote the learning of English among Ukrainian citizens.

Valeriya also oversees the CDTO Campus, preparing future digital leaders for public service and is advancing the Ukrainian Global Innovation Vision and Strategy 2030 (WinWin).

Before joining the Government, Valeriya was an entrepreneur. She holds two bachelor’s degrees in Management and Spanish Translation and several certificates from the Edinburgh Business School Eastern Europe MBA program.

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Ukraine

Vera Brenner

2024 Fellow, Director of Sports and Recreational Parks - Ministry of Culture and Sports

Vera Brenner is the Director of Recreational Parks and Sports in Guatemala. Her goal is to exact societal change through her insight in physical activities and she strives to be a positive influence in people´s lives. She works directly with young and underprivilege individuals and promotes a healthy environment to help them stay away from violence.

She is part of Guatemala´s Ministry of Culture and Sports, which is in charge of ensuring that residents have safe and free spaces to develop their wellbeing. The Ministry aids in reaching the following sustainable development goals: Health and well-being, Gender equality, Reduction of inequalities, and Alliances to achieve objectives.

Being a woman with a physical disability (a lower limp amputation) has never limited her. Personally, and professionally, she strives to open spaces for her and other women in similar conditions, trying to reduce discrimination and enable their development. The inequality for women in Guatemala is abysmal, and if any type of disability is added to that, it becomes almost impossible, however, Vera believes that with joint action and a positive attitude, great changes can be achieved.

She has a background working as an Industrial Engineer with a Masters in Quality Management.

“You inspire people, be careful with your actions… because that changes the world”

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Guatemala

Maria Ines Castillo

2024 Fellow, Minister of Social Development of Panama

María Inés Castillo de Sanmartín served as the Minister of Social Development of Panama and the Technical Coordinator of the Social Cabinet from June 2020 to June 2024. During her term, she led the Ministry of Social Development (MIDES) in implementing comprehensive social policies aimed at benefiting the national population, with a particular focus on vulnerable groups. María Inés chaired National Councils for the Care of Adolescent Mothers, for Gender Parity, and for Children and Adolescents, among others. She was also a member of the Steering Committee of the SDG Synthesis Coalition and served as the Chair of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) of the Organization of American States.

As Coordinator of the Social Cabinet, María articulated the Plan Colmena, Panama’s country strategy addressing poverty and inequality. This plan successfully reduced multidimensional poverty from 19.1% in 2017 to 14.8% in 2022 (SDG 1) and lowered hunger rates to 5.3% in 2023 (SDG 2). She promoted economic empowerment and reproductive health rights for women and advanced the National Care System (SDG 5).

María holds a degree in Law and Political Science from the University of Panama, a Master’s in Business Law from Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, a Master’s in Public Policy Management from ADEN, and a Master’s in Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of Barcelona OBS. She was a member of the Board of Vital Voices Panama. María belongs to ADP and FONAMUP, driven by a profound commitment to social and gender equity and the empowerment of vulnerable populations.

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Panama