Human Rights Activist | Social Entrepreneur | Author
After escaping a decade of abuse living as a child bride in a forced marriage in Canada, and sharing her story, Samra Zafar became a beacon of hope for many people facing exclusion, abuse, and gender-based violence. Now an award-winning international speaker, author, scholar, and social entrepreneur, she engages audiences around the world, speaking about collective resilience, authentic leadership, inclusive workplaces, youth, human rights, mental health and more.
In 2017, Zafar wrote an article about her personal experience with abuse for Toronto Life, which became the most-read article in Canada that year. In the same year, she delivered a TEDx talk on the topic, which was named an all-time top 10 talk on gender-based violence. Zafar’s work has since been featured on CTV, CBC, Global News, Yahoo, Canadian Immigrant Magazine, and more, and she’s delivered talks for Yale University, Amnesty International, ME to WE, Women’s Business Network, and others. She recently published her first book, A Good Wife, which was named a top read by The Washington Post.
Zafar is also the founder of Brave Beginnings, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting abuse survivors in their journey to build a life of freedom. Her passion is to motivate and empower all people to believe in themselves — no matter their circumstances.
Zafar graduated from the University of Toronto with a master’s degree in economics, earning herself the highest distinction and over a dozen awards and scholarships. Today, she is one of the youngest alumni serving as a Governor for the University of Toronto.