Young Women Leading Change

Introducing this year’s Young Women’s Rights Activists: Conversations in Canada speaking tour participants! This year’s tour features three inspiring young women from Myanmar, Guatemala and Liberia who are passionate about women’s rights and working to create lasting social change for the women in their communities. Pictured above from left to right are Josephine Gekpelee, Gabriela Rivera and Su Thet San.

Su Thet San

Myanmar | Field Coordinator of the post-literacy activities in monastic education, EduNet Organization

At 26 years old, Su Thet San has a B.A. in English and a B.A. in Religious and Social Studies. After the devastation of Cyclone Nargis, she volunteered with a relief program and at the Banyan Tree Reading center. Currently, she works on the literacy and library promotions team that serves the poorest areas of Yangon at EduNet for girls’ skills development. Su Thet San works closely with community leaders and delivers workshops to children to help develop their literacy and critical thinking skills. She has also conducted participatory action research for children out of school in rural areas.

Gabriela Rivera

Guatemala | Lawyer, Organizacion de Mujeres Alas de Mariposas

Gabriela is 28 years old and works for Alas de Mariposas, a non-profit association that promotes women’s rights and their full participation in decision-making processes. Before graduating from law school, she worked as an advocate for women living in prison and their children. Today, Gabriela provides direct legal advice to survivors of rape and gender-based violence. She witnesses first hand how women leave behind years of abuse and suffering to start to rebuild their lives, on their own terms.

Josephine Gekpelee

Liberia | African Girls Leader Initiative Scholar and Peer Advocate, Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa & Announcer, reporter and producer, Gbarnga Radio Station

At 21 years old, Josephine is a scholar of the African Girls Leadership Program with the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa and will graduate with a B.A. in Public Administration. She works for Radio Gbarnga in Bong County as a radio announcer, reporter, producer and sales agent. Her program “The Missing Voice” amplifies voices of those left behind and spotlights the struggles faced by people living with disabilities and those marginalized by HIV/AIDS and leprosy. She also produces “Woman and the Home” a community program for women to share their stories and address issues that matter most to them and their families.


Biographies courtesy of Nobel Women’s Initiative, partner in the Young Women’s Rights Activists: Conversations in Canada speaking tour and founder of the Sister-to-Sister Mentorship Program that brings these young women to Canada.