- Age: 30
- | She/her/hers
Country of Origin:
Country of Residence:
In the fight for gender equality, let no one be left behind, especially all persons with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities who are often excluded from solutions, narratives, and rights that affect us. We must truly ensure that there is nothing about us without us.
- Hauwa Ojeifo
Hauwa Ojeifo was born and raised in Nigeria. She received a Master’s in Investment Banking and Islamic Finance from Henley Business School, University of Reading in 2019. As an Executive Director at the mental health initiative She Writes Woman, Hauwa leads the team in creating space, mobilizing, and amplifying the voices of persons with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities, empowering them to co-create their solutions, tell their own stories, and advocate for their own rights. As Lead Facilitator and CEO at International Advocacy Academy Africa, she creates learning resources and facilitates teachings to equip African advocates to make social change. Additionally, Hauwa sits on the advisory boardat Viacom Generation Change Global Youth, Witness Change, and Made of Millions.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
My pursuit for gender equality came as a result of experiencing a mental health breakdown. Following my double diagnosis of bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorder, I experienced firsthand the stigma associated with women's mental health. It was this, coupled with local realities of inaccessible and insufficient mental healthcare, that gave me a mission to give mental health a voice in Nigeria, Africa, and globally.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
On 17 February 2020, I became the first woman and person to testify before the Nigerian parliament on the rights of persons with mental health conditions and psychosocial disabilities in the country's bid to pass its first mental health law. I lead the voices and representation in my community in these proceedings.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy listening to podcasts, reading books, watching movies, and surfing the internet.
- English (Advanced/Native)
- Arabic (Elementary)
- French (Elementary)
- legislation and policy in mental healthcare
- mental health conditions as disabilities
- "nothing about us without us" in mental health advocacy
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- Leading Change by the Queen's Young Leader Cambridge University
- Life Coaching & Neuro-linguistic Programming Certification from Olusola Lanre Coaching Academy (OLCA)
- Emotional Intelligence from OLCA
- Emotional Freedom Techniques from OLCA
- Mandela Washington Fellowship
- One Young World Ambassador
- MTV Generation Change Award
- Queen's Young Leaders
- Top 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians