Ashely Carr – The Relentlessly Positive Strides Of The Female Social Entrepreneur

Ashely Carr – The Relentlessly Positive Strides Of The Female Social Entrepreneur

There is a revolution happening. “Gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls” – one of the UN’s Sustainable Goals for 2030. “There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women” – Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Prize recipient. In this article, Grow readers, I’m going to tell you about the world-changing wave of female social entrepreneurship, via the story of Shiza Shahid.

Malala Yousafzai’s heroic story of resilience is an inspiration to us all. Another, perhaps lesser-known story of effecting change can be found in Pakistani – Shiza Shahid. Shiza showed an interest in activism from an early age, working in a women’s prison looking after the children that were born there. Shiza became an adult during a time of what she describes as immense fear, under an oppressive regime, where an official order prevented girls from attending school. Shiza, fortunately, managed to obtain a scholarship from Stanford University and found herself in the safer surroundings of Northern California. Upon completing her degree, Shiza heard about the story of a young girl called Malala and her familiar story of a girl in Pakistan struggling to get an education. Shahid reached out to Malala and soon set up a summer camp where she and 26 other girls learnt how to be successful activists.

A few years later, Malala would be shot, while sitting on a school bus. Shahid flew to Birmingham where Malala was hospitalised to offer any help that she could. Once Malala had recovered, she pushed forward with even more determination to achieve her goal of access to education for girls everywhere. The pair decided a fund was the best way to reach this aim, and in October 2013, the Malala Fund was launched. Angelina Jolie was the first person to donate to the Fund, and since then it has gone from strength to strength, raising millions of dollars every year to help the next generation of women to become learners and leaders.

For most of human history, societies have seen the role of the female to be subservient. This is changing. Yes, some countries are quicker than others to value the contribution of their women but imagine a world where a full 100% of its population are able to learn and lead. What a world it will be.

Written by Ashley Carr
Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

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