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Samra Zafar

Human Rights Activist | Social Entrepreneur | Bestselling Author

Samra Zafar
Speaker Reel
I Was an Abused Child-Bride: A Journey of Survival and Self-Discovery
Samra
Samra Zafar
Speaker Reel
I Was an Abused Child-Bride: A Journey of Survival and Self-Discovery

After escaping a decade of abuse living as a child bride in Canada, Samra Zafar has became a beacon of hope for many people facing exclusion, abuse, and gender-based violence. Now an award-winning internationally renowned speaker, bestselling author, and educator with extensive corporate leadership experience, she shares powerful messages and actionable takeaways on topics that include DEI, mental health, social justice, authentic leadership, and resilience.

A four-time TEDx speaker, Zafar’s 2017 talk on gender-based violence was named an “all-time top 12” talk. Since then, she has delivered keynotes for several major organizations, including UNICEF, United Way, Yale University, Amnesty International, Art of Leadership, Quickbooks Canada, and many non-profits, corporations, and universities around the world. She also been recognized twice among the “Top 100 Most Powerful Women” in Canada and named among the “Top 25 Most Inspirational Women” in Canada and the “Top 25 Canadian Immigrants”.

Zafar is the bestselling author of A Good Wife: Escaping the Life I Never Chose, which shares her journey of escaping an abusive child marriage to pursue her education and shed light on gender-based oppression. Published in 2019, it became an instant bestseller and was named one of CBC’s best books of 2019 for Canadian non-fiction and a top 2019 read by The Washington Post. She is currently writing her second book, titled Unconditional, which combines storytelling and science to offer pathways to unlearn limiting beliefs and live a fuller, unconditional life.

Previously an executive in financial services, Zafar is currently pursuing a medical degree at McMaster’s DeGroote School of Medicine with the purpose of becoming a psychiatrist She is also the founder and executive director of Brave Beginnings, a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring abuse survivors in their journey to build a life of freedom. Her work has been extensively featured in several national and international media outlets, including The Huffington Post, Global Citizen, CTV, CBC, Global News, The Globe and Mail, the Canadian Press, and the Toronto Star.

Zafar is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in economics. She earned the highest distinction and was the recipient of the prestigious John H Moss Award, a scholarship awarded to the single most outstanding student across the University’s three campuses. In 2021, Zafar was the recipient of the Desmond Parker Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the University of Toronto in recognition of her work to advance human rights.

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Presentations listed below include in-person and virtual keynotes, as well as workshops, fireside chats, and other presentation formats.

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