Human rights campaigner and social activist Ilwad Elman has been named among the 100 most influential women in Africa for 2019.
The West African based public relations firm Avance Media this week unveiled its annual list naming Elman among the most influential women in the continent.
Elman who is the director of programmes at Elman Peace which champions for the cause of child soldiers, vulnerable women and defectors from extremist groups in Somalia joins the league of women who have made impact in various sectors of society in Africa.
According to information on its website, Avance Media says the rating aims at changing the narrative about Africans and ‘showcasing the individual and collective works of women who are earnestly inspiring the next generation of leaders in Africa’.
In the ten categories of the rating featuring 100 African women, Elman was named under the Civil Society and Philanthropy alongside former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former South Africa and Mozambican First Lady Graça Machel.
Reacting to the news of her naming, Elman said it was an honor to be on the list ‘among so many of my sheroes (sic), mentors and distinguished colleagues’.
Elman moved to Somalia from Canada in 2010 to join her mother in continuing the legacy of her father in champion for peace in Somalia through support of vulnerable groups affected by the over two decades period of civil war in Somalia. The non-profit organisation has been able to support young men and women through vocational skills training, integration and support of defectors from extremist groups and helping victims of sexual abuse and rape in Somalia.
Elman has previously served in various international organisation such as the Kofi Anan Foundation, One Young World Ambassador among others. She was also instrumental in co-authoring the Youth Action Agenda on Countering Violent Extremism which was cited in the historic UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security.