Aware Girls Founder participated with First Lady Michelle Obama in Roundtable on Community Based Efforts to Educate Girls Worldwide in Doha-Qatar

Press Release

4th Nov, 2015

Aware Girls Founder participated with First Lady Michelle Obama in Roundtable on Community Based Efforts to Educate Girls Worldwide in Doha-Qatar


Gulalai Ismail, Aware Girls founder and young women human rights activist was invited to patricipate in a private rountable with First Lady Michelle Obama and Her Highness Sheikha Moza Binte Nasar (First Lady of Qatar) on Community based efforts to educate Girls worldwide. The roundtable was also attended by a small number of high profile activists including Nobel Peace Prize Winner Leymah Gbowee from Libera and WISE 2015 Prize Winner Sakeena Yaccubi from Afghanistan.


Gulalai Ismail, is the founder and Chairperson of Aware Girls; a young women led organisation working towards gender equality and peace which she established at the age of 16.

In 2009, she established a Youth Peace Network in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province and Afghanistan to counter violent extremism through promoting peace activism among young people, preventing young people from joining extremism groups, promoting non-violence and pluralism and engaging young women in peacebuilding process. Her work is characterized by promoting peace and pluralism; challenging religious extremism and militancy; promoting good governance in areas stricken by militancy, providing civic education to young people; strengthening democracy; and political mainstreaming of young women.


She has received 2009 YouthActionNet Fellowship, 2012 International Democracy Award, 2014 Humanist of the Year Award, 2015 CommonWealth Youth Award for her extraordinary efforts in building peace, gender equality, and development. She has been recognized among 100 Leading Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy, 2013 and among “30 Under 30” youth activists by National Endowment for Democracy, USA.


The private roundtable was organised during the World Innovation Summit for Education, WISE 2015. More than 2,000 delegates were participating in the Summit. Michelle Obama opened the conference through her speech about the importance of girls education. She said 62 million girls are out of school, the world need dramatic new investments in girls education. Talking about education she said we cannot separate the issue of how we educate girls from the issue of how we treat women more broadly in our societies. She mentioned that her initiative of “Let Girls Learn” is helping adolescent girls worldwide to go to schools. Girls who are educated also earn higher salaries;15-20% of each additional year of secondary school. To inspire girls she also shared her own story, she said her education opened up opportunities that she never could have dreamed of as a young black girl from a working class family. She said her university degree transported her to places she never could have imagined such as to boardrooms, to courtrooms and to White House.




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