Gulalai Ismail

Pakistani Human Rights Activist and Founder of Aware Girls and the Seeds of Peace Network

Since she was 16, Gulalai Ismail has been fighting for the empowerment of women and girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. She founded Aware Girls, which offers young women and girls programs in leadership, entrepreneurship, and HIV prevention. By educating young women in their human rights, she is changing the culture of violence and oppression against women. She also founded Seeds of Peace Network, which trains young women to combat extremism in their local communities. In 2010-2012, she was part of the Women’s Global Network on Reproductive Rights and a member of the International Humanist and Ethical Youth Organization. She was named one of the “100 Leading Global Thinkers” by Foreign Policy magazine in 2013. Other awards include the 2009 YouthActionNet Fellowship, the 2013 Democracy Award from the National Endowment for Democracy and the 2014 International Humanist of the Year award by the International Humanist and Ethical Union at the World Humanist Congress.