Onyinye Edeh

MPH 2013, Global Health

Creating an equitable world for women and girls

Onyinye has touched the lives of thousands of women and girls in Nigeria, Kenya and other parts of Africa. Through her nonprofit, the Strong Enough Girls’ Empowerment Initiative (SEGEI), marginalized women and girls in low-resource settings have received mentorship, sexual and reproductive health education, and school support — from school tuition and supplies to sanitary pads.

A staunch advocate for girls’ education and empowerment, Onyinye helped to create a trans-cultural letter exchange between girls in Abuja, Nigeria, and in Seattle, Washington, that has led to additional support for girls’ education in Nigeria, including contributions to repair a classroom roof. Additionally, she started a pan-African mentorship program that connects young women to global female mentors, and has received various grants to scale up her work.

A Nigerian-American public health researcher, Onyinye has examined the urgent issues affecting girls’ health, education, empowerment and early marriage as a fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs. She also works with global partnerships to increase access to life-saving contraceptives.

Affiliations: Interim Manager, Anglophone Africa, Family Planning 2020 Secretariat, United Nations Foundation; Founder and Executive Director, Strong Enough Girls’ Empowerment Initiative

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