“Every individual, regardless of their abilities, has inherent value and should have the opportunity to fully participate in society. Inclusion is not just a matter of accommodation but a recognition of the richness that diversity brings to our communities.”

Ashura Michael is a Deaf human rights, gender, inclusion, and public policy advocate dedicated to empowering girls and creating a more equal society for people with disabilities. She founded the Free a Girl’s World Network (FGW-N), which works to dismantle deeply ingrained societal structures and attitudes that perpetuate inequality for individuals with disabilities and hinder the full integration of young people with diverse abilities into all aspects of life. 

In her work with FGW-N, Ashura has spearheaded initiatives to ensure accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities, worked on youth empowerment and mentorship projects, and championed gender equality as a force for positive social change. She served as speaker of the East African Youth Legislative Assembly, co-chaired the Youth Council of UNICEF’s Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities, and chaired the Kenya chapter of the African Charter on Democracy, Election, and Governance. She is currently a member of the advisory board for Kenya’s National Youth Council.

Ashura’s commitment to empowering people with disabilities, young people, and women is based on the belief that authenticity, courage, empathy, and ethical decision-making are at the core of lasting systemic change. By focusing on the key role young people play in ending injustice, it is possible to create a world where every person, regardless of ability, age, or gender, has equal opportunities to thrive and succeed.