Shakila Zareen is an outspoken advocate for women and girls’ rights. She is a global speaker and has spoken at many international conferences to advocate for gender equality in Afghanistan and worldwide. When she arrived in Canada in 2018, our honourable Prime Minister Justine Trudeau welcomed her personally in Ottawa.

At age of 16, Shakila was forced into marriage. In these forced marriages, she did not have any rights to speak up, to an education, or to equal rights in the household. Not having basic human and women’s rights was unacceptable to her so she chose to speak up, to which her husband picked up a shotgun and shot her in the face in Afghanistan.  Although the shotgun pellets destroyed half of Shakila’s face, she was alive, and determined more than ever to fight for women and girls’ right. Hear more of her story HERE.

Since then, Shakila has undergone over 25 plus reconstruction surgeries in India and in Canada. This attack didn’t make her weak, but it made her a stronger woman.

Most of her reconstruction surgeries have been completed at the HGV hospital in Vancouver, and Shakila generously participated in a fundraiser for the VGH Hospital foundation.  See the full story and donate to the cause HERE.