Shadia Elishiwy

Planned Parenthood International,
Assistant Regional Director

Get to know Shadia

Shadia is a physician and public health expert focusing on sexual and reproductive health and preventing gender-based violence in the Middle East and North Africa. She was drawn to this work after witnessing the female genital mutilation of a young girl in rural Egypt. “The look in her eyes fueled me with anger and insistence to know that I needed to change it – no girl should be forced to be mutilated like this girl was. I felt that I had to make a change, I could not stay silent.”

Through her leadership role as assistant regional director for the International Planned Parenthood Federation in the Arab World, she works to create a conducive environment and change the social norms to make sexual and reproductive health not just a priority, but a right, for women across the Arab Region. “I have always envisioned living in a world where -as a woman- I can enjoy high quality of life where what I do with my body happens by choice and not chance, and I want to play a role in changing the reality of women in the Arab region.”