Ejiro Sharon Okotie works to promote Gender Mainstreaming and Social Inclusion, and is a 2015 Mandela Washington Fellow of the Young Africa Leaders Initiative Programme (YALI). She has a passion to empower women and youth particularly those with Disabilities, for productive living and equal participation in society. Through the Hope Inspired Foundation for Women and Youth, Ejiro has helped to economically empower about a hundred women with Disabilities in Delta state through the Entrepreneurship and Business Startup project to ensure income generation for improvement in their standard of living, in 2016, she also began an advocacy for the employment of youths with Disabilities utilizing tools of this digital age by producing a Documentary (Changing the Dialogue) to achieve this goal and most recently in 2017, she is involved in the He for She campaign promoting Gender Equality and the attainment of the goal 5, of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a Reproductive and Sexual Health advocacies to increase access of Sanitary Towels and Menstrual education to enable young girls stay in school especially those with Disabilities. Ejiro has also actively involved herself in mentoring young girls in schools through the Inspire Life project and her participation in other programmes like the Africa for Her; Mara Mentor and the goal achievers girls group, helping them develop life skills to make informed decisions and maximize their potentials.

She has attended global conferences and presented papers in promoting her passion. Ejiro represented the Arizona State University (ASU) present an ignite talk on Equality at the presidential Summit of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Programme in Washington DC, at the 6TH Africa Forum Conference in Kampala, Uganda, she presented three papers on Holistic Approaches to the Inclusion of Blind and Partially Sighted persons in HIV/AIDS Interventions in Africa, Promoting the active Participation of Youths with Disabilities in the delivery of the Sustainable Development agenda and a call for a Reawakening for Women with Disabilities in her pursuit for excellence. She also represented Nigeria, in the just concluded 23rd Rehabilitation World Congress which took place in Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Ejiro is passionate about women’s empowerment and inclusive development for all.

Ejiro holds a Master’s Degree in Public and International Affairs from the University of Lagos,and Master Trainer on Gender and Social Inclusion under the USAID/SACE GESI programme. As a skilled trainer and lifelong learner, she welcomes the opportunity to connect with people through education and professional development experiences. Ejiro lives and works in Lagos Nigeria.

Why do I want to attend:


Participating in the youth forum, will afford me the opportunity to share experiences with youths from other countries and through knowledge exchanges learn from each others successes as well as challenges and encourage active collaborations and partnership through networks established with other participants going forward in tackling the issues confronting us in achieving Gender Equality and inclusive and sustainable developmental goals in Nigeria and other countries across the globe.

As a youth and woman with a Disability, I will like for the voices of youth with Disabilities be heard and contributions made in achieving this global goal 5

I believe the youth are the future of our nations, and with unity of purpose we can achieve the future we want particularly for Persons with Disabilities.