Saara Bhanji is a passionate leader and tireless advocate for change in the lives of girls and young women. In 2006, Ms. Bhanji started the Association of Women’s Action, Research and Empowerment (AWARE), a feminist organization in Vancouver that works with young women to overcome barriers based on race, class, poverty, ethnic background, sexual orientation and gender inequality. She is also a dedicated crisis line volunteer with Battered Women’s Support Services and the youngest serving board member of Justice for Girls International and the North Shore Coordinating Committee to End Violence Against Women in Relationships. Ms. Bhanji recently served as Program Coordinator for the North Shore Women’s Centre. This extraordinary young activist holds a Master of Science in Gender Studies from the prestigious London School of Economics. Ms. Bhanji has a wealth of front-line and grassroots community service experience as well as formal training in areas as diverse as suicide prevention, intimate partner violence, trauma counselling and doula birth instruction. A frequent conference speaker and the recipient of numerous awards, including the YWCA Young Woman of Distinction Award, Ms. Bhanji recently began studying for her Bachelor of Laws at University College London. She currently lives in London, England, but still calls Vancouver home.
Earlier in 2010: Young Woman of Distinction – Saara Bhanji – Board Member and Researcher, Justice for Girls International