From child marriage to girls’ education to female entrepreneurship, WE celebrates four inspiring stories of women fighting for equal rights around the world.

By Zoe Demarco

 

For International Women’s Day, meet fierce females that WE works with around the globe.

Read what happens when a group of girls in Ethiopia takes on the establishment to stop their friends’ forced marriage. Watch a beauty pageant contestant in Ecuador disrupt the status quo and find confidence with coffee beans. And see how a rural farmer in Kenya became a CEO and helped other women follow their entrepreneurial dreams.

Closer to home, discover how four social entrepreneurs in downtown Toronto are ensuring that other young women have access to the female mentorship that they missed out on.

WE was founded in 1995 by Craig Kielburger and Marc Kielburger with the goal of freeing children trapped in slave labour. The brothers soon realized that in order to eradicate child labour they first had to address the root causes of poverty, lack of girls’ education.

More than 20 years later, WE now works to end the cycle of poverty and transform communities around the world by empowering women, educating girls and sowing the seeds of gender equality.


Meet the girls fighting child marriage in Ethiopia

Quote. We told them education is more valuable than marriage. Unquote. Kemila.

In Ethiopia, a group of young women—members of their school’s Girls’ Club—continuously puts up a fight when their classmates are forced into marriage and out of school. Find out what happens when one of the top students in their class disappears.

Upping the numbers

By grade 12, most of her female classmates had internalized the message that STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is the realm of men and boys.

By the time she reached grade 12, most of Sal Sabila’s female classmates had dropped their male-dominated STEM courses. Now the University of Toronto student and three friends are urging other young women to follow their scientific dreams. Learn how WE’s Incubation Hub helped them do it.

Meet the coffee queen of Ecuador

Quote. I told Noris, just you watch: one day this coffee is going to put clothes on your back. Unquote. Carmen Chavez.

Watch how ME to WE Coffee farmer Carmen Chavez is teaching her daughter to be courageous and strong, in her own unconventional way.

Meet the CEO of the Maasai Mara

Quote. Today I am in a position where I can help others. So I want to clear the way for the women behind me. Unquote. Mama Jane.

With the financial literacy training she got from WE, Mama Jane has become a full-fledged entrepreneur. Follow her journey to success.

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