Monalisa Padhee India flag

Monalisa Padhee

Program Head, Women Wellness Initiative

India · Class of 2019

Monalisa is a medical researcher who focuses on women’s health in rural India. She earned her PhD in Australia, studying the impact of prenatal and pre-pregnancy nutrition. Her strong inclination to understand the relevancy of her research for women in rural India has compelled her to return to her home country. She found that “sexual and reproductive health rights is far from reality for many Indian girls and women, particularly in rural India” and is the main reason behind their poor health status. She works with a grassroots organization Barefoot College that has developed curriculum to teach illiterate girls and women about menstruation and their bodies and they train local women in remote villages who can then serve as learned leaders to share their knowledge with their communities.