Anj Handa

Founder of Inspiring Women Changemakers, a dynamic movement of changemakers who speak up for women’s rights

Anj Handa is the Founder of Inspiring Women Changemakers, a dynamic movement of changemakers who speak up for women’s rights.

Named as one of Grant Thornton’s 100 Faces of a Vibrant Economy in 2018, described by i-news as ‘a bloody brilliant woman’ and winner of the AFSA 2017 Positive Action Award, Anj has 20 years’ experience in the field of Social Impact and Inclusion. She was recently recognised in Forbes as one of the 10 Diversity & Inclusion Trailblazers You Need to Get Familiar With.

It was in 2014 that Anj’s life changed when she was introduced to asylum-seeker Afusat Saliu and her two daughters. Anj led a high-profile campaign on their claim for asylum based on the risk of Female Genital Mutilation to the little girls in Nigeria, pulling together a top legal team and launching a petition which gathered 126,500 signatures.

The campaign attracted attention from the global media, MPs and business leaders such as Sir Richard Branson. Unfortunately, the family was deported, so she the mobilised her supporters through the campaign platform to fundraise, securing accommodation and schooling for the girls for a full year.

Anj learned that by gathering professional, motivated people together, it’s possible to make an impact on the lives of others on a massive scale which led her to create Inspiring Women Changemakers. She now teaches organisations as well as campaigners how to use social media effectively to target and mobilise large audiences.

Her global change-making work has been featured in Generation Share by Benita Matofska and Sophie Sheinwald, a visual storybook featuring 200 global changemakers, the largest ever collection of changemaker stories. Her work on Female Genital Mutilation and asylum also been included in Eradicating FGM in the UK by Guardian writer Hillary Burrage, and Refugee Tales by Comma Press.

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