Aditi Sivakumar – Women Deliver
2020

Aditi Sivakumar

  • Age: 26
  •    |   She/her/hers

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“Nothing for us without us” should serve as a guiding principle for all gender equality initiatives, as youth are often the most affected by gender inequalities such as child marriages. Active youth engagement requires providing youth with a seat at the decision-making table and ensuring that their perspectives and ideas are actively taken into consideration.

- Aditi Sivakumar

Bio

Aditi Sivakumar was born and raised in Canada. She received her Bachelor of Science in Life Sciences from Queen’s University in 2017. As a Pediatric Rheumatology Research Assistant at Children’s Hospital of East Ontario, Aditi is responsible for collaborating with healthcare providers to create a decision aid for youth with juvenile arthritis to help them better understand their pain-management options and conducting interviews with youth with arthritis and their parents. As Founder of My Empowerment Packs, she provides necessities such as hygiene kits, first aid kits, and blankets to over 100 youth facing homelessness and women facing violence.

Aditi is collaborating with over a dozen diverse youth and survivors of violence to create and distribute a comprehensive resource book, providing a description and contact information to a variety of services that all youth and women can access regardless of their socio-demographic factors.

What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?

As a peer supporter providing emotional and social support to women facing violence, I had the opportunity to learn from my peers about how gender inequalities affected their emotional, mental, and physical well-being. It was at that point in time that I vowed that I would do everything in my power to end gender-based violence. I began volunteering at a local domestic violence shelter and creating various programs for the women to begin advocating for the rights of girls and women.

Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.

I am currently working on creating the “My Empowerment (ME) Platform,” a web application for girls and women experiencing violence during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. The web application will provide information regarding gender-based violence, community resources available to girls and women facing violence, information on how to safely exit an abusive relationship, sexual and reproductive health resources, and resources to engage youth to take action towards reaching gender equality. To create the online web application, I have partnered with various youth-led organizations across Canada and the globe. The goal is for this web application to provide support to thousands of girls and women facing violence across my community and the world.

Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy being outdoors and trying new activities like kayaking. I also enjoy watching horror movies or reality TV shows with family or friends, traveling to different countries, and meeting new people.

Languages Spoken:

  • English (Advanced/Native)
  • French (Elementary)
  • Tamil (Elementary)

Speaks On:

  • youth inclusion to ending GBV
  • improving access to reproductive healthcare for under-served communities,
  • maternal and infant mortality in rural and remote regions

Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:

  • Princess Diana Legacy Award (2019)
  • Plan International Canada Youth Ambassador
  • Passion to Purpose Bootcamp
  • Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award Program
  • Legacy Award Development Programme
  • Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre Peer Support Program
  • Governor General Sovereign Medal for Volunteers
  • She Decides 25x25 Young Leader
  • Recipient of $750 Passion to Purpose Grant
  • Recipient of $1,000 Rosemary Speirs Leadership Grant
  • Recipient of $10,000 Duke of Edinburgh Award Grant
  • Recipient of $1,500 Taking It Global Grant
  • United Nations Association in Canada Youth Delegate for the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women
  • Inter-Council Network Youth Delegate for the 64th Commission on the Status of Women

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