A Conversation with the Ultimate Girl Bosses

By: Erica Andriamaherimanana 

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This year, the United Nations launched a global search for the next leaders in sustainable development. The candidates would be someone who is passionate about sustainable development and is doing work to advance a particular goal. After months of searching and reviewing applications, only 17 young people were chosen out of the thousands in the applicant pool. From the new class of UN young leaders in Sustainable Development Goal (with a represented female majority!), I spoke with Nikki Fraser (Indigenous Rights Activist), and Trisha Shetty (founder, CEO SheSays), two young women leading the initiative in equal rights issues (SDG 5- Gender Equality & 10- Reduced Inequalities).  

For Fraser, guaranteeing indigenous rights is her mission. She not only wants the Canadian government to acknowledge indigenous rights but also wants those within her community to be aware and respect the rights of indigenous women. We briefly talked about her meeting with Prime Minister (PM) Justin Trudeau and how she views the administration’s actions towards the indigenous Canadian community.

For Shetty, gender equality is her vision for the future. As the founder and CEO of SheSays, she has created a service (similar to Yelp) that allows victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse to seek help in a way that limits the possibility of re-victimization (which can often happen when victims come forward with their experiences).

Which SDG are you most passionate about?

Nikki Fraser: Goal 5 and 10

Trisha Shetty: Goal 5

Do you think PM Trudeau is doing enough?

Nikki Fraser: For now yes. At least we’re talking about these issues. We’re talking about indigenous people. Before, we didn’t have that. This is a step in the right direction.

Would you say that India has made progress in handling these situations?

Trisha Shetty: India is a very big country. I think there is a lot of work left to do, but I also think that the progress made has been notable. More women are coming forward now, women are protesting in large numbers.

Describe your vision for 2030 in a few words.

Nikki Fraser: Peace.

Trisha Shetty: Equal. I hope my organization doesn’t exist then. There should be no need for it. 

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