*Women’s Month special, South Africa
A group of young female leaders transforming their communities joined Procter and Gamble (P&G) at the Women Deliver 2023 in Kigali, Rwanda late July, where they were given the space and support to connect and create the impact that they know is possible.
As a part of P&G’s commitment to advancing gender equality, the young changemakers (as seen below) are not only creating positive impact in their immediate communities, but are leading the way on many global issues, notably in advancing gender equality.
▪️Bontle Modiselle (South Africa)
Modiselle is Guinness World Record holding entertainer, dancer, choreographer and girls advocate. Since partnering with Always #KeepingGirlsInSchools initiative in South Africa, Modiselle uses dance to tackle stigma around periods and inspire a movement of sisterhood. Most recently, the much-loved South African television personality led a nationally-recognised dance at a Soweto local high school to the Blood Sisters soundtrack with Always Keeping Girls in School beneficiaries for Menstrual Hygiene.
▪️Nora Salem (Egypt)
With a dream to open her own detergent factory, Salem is an entrepreneur who defied all stereotypes of women in her rural village. Besides being one of the few divorced women in her village, she decided she wanted to be the first woman to drive a motor tricycle in her village. She was able to do that thanks to the confidence and skills she gained through the UN (United Nations) Women Stimulating Equal Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs.
The programme not only helped her provide for her children and put them through college, as well as heal emotionally and psychologically, but make a difference in the lives of other disadvantaged women and girls in her community.
Salem drives around her neighbouring villages in Beni-Suef, Egypt selling her products (sanitary pads, diapers, soaps, detergents as well as dairy, juice, and chocolates), earning thousands of rands a month.
▪️Sarah Kapesa (Madagascar)
A Girl Up Teen Advisor who continues to demonstrates to other young girls the power of raising their voices to create impact in their communities, Kapesa works with Girl Up by supporting decision-making and advising on strategy to advance global gender justice. Her passion for gender and racial equality haw inspired her to participate in a project to find sponsors for the education of 32 inspiring young girls in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
▪️Zuriel Oduwole (US)
An American education advocate and film maker best known for her development work across the globe and advocating for girls education, especially in Africa, Oduwole is the founder of Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up and an Advisory Board Member of CARE, who has inspired more than 50,000 young girls across 21 countries to believe in the power of their dreams.
Oduwole was a youth activist in 2015 when she first partnered with Always to help make its iconic #LikeAGirl campaign, which helped educate girls about puberty. She wrote, narrated and produced the video Unstoppable Like A Girl and continues to be just that; unstoppable!
▪️Katherine Batzin (Guatemala), María Teresa Torrez (Panama) and Valery Quintero (Panama), are all alumni of the Vital Voices Voces Que Inspiran Program (Voices That Inspire),
Providing creative solutions to today’s biggest problems, Vital Voices project aims to provide comprehensive and sustainable support to girls and adolescents between the ages of 14 and 18 who are in public and private orphanages in across the world. Since graduating from the program, each of them has launched an organisation with important impact in their communities.
Women Deliver 2023: Together We All Lead
Together with civil society and women’s rights activists, the Women Deliver 2023 brought together 6,000 advocates onsite in Kigal, Rwanda (July 17 to 20), and over 200,000 advocates online from diverse fields.
The conference featured top leadership keynote speakers instrumental in building and driving the momentum of Generation Equality. Among them was President-and-CEO-of-Women-Deliver, Dr Maliha Khan; former executive director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka; President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame; Mozambican former first lady, Dr Graça Machel, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai.
P&G hosted a session entitled, ‘Together We All Lead’ to showcase the power of collaboration and partnership, and spotlight the work done by long-standing partners, including Girl Up, Save the Children, UN Women and Vital Voices.
Cassie Jaganyi, Communications Leader for P&G Sub-Sahara Africa, expressed her enthusiasm for the remarkable impact being made. “At P&G, we firmly believe that progress is best achieved through strong partnerships and collective effort. The Women Deliver Conference has been an incredible opportunity for us to come together with many of our partners, working together to create a world where we all see equal,” Jaganyi said, adding: “Together, we can make more progress to enable women and girls to reach their full potential.”
Speakers on the panel included South African Always Keeping Girls in School program ambassador, Bontle Modiselle who inspired multitudes with her message on the power of solidarity in sparking change in the menstrual hygiene space. Also participating was Zuriel Oduwole, education advocate, film maker, and founder of Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up who has inspired 50,000+ young girls across 21 countries to believe in the power of their dreams.
Read more about these new generation of young female leaders women changemakers transforming their communities that we incredibly admire and continue to learn from at NOWinSA as we commemorate Women’s Month by clicking this link: https://us.pg.com/blogs/women-deliver-conference-2023/