Joannie Marlene Bewa
Founder and Executive Director Young Beninese Leaders Association (YBLA)

Dr Joannie Marlene BEWA is a physician, global health advocate and researcher. For the past 10 years, she tirelessly worked to provide care, advocate for policy change and advance adolescents and youth meaningful engagement in maternal and reproductive health in Africa and globally. She is the founder of the Young Beninese Leaders Association (YBLA), an organization which among other achievements empowered and trained more than 10 000 youth, girls and women through capacities building, mentoring on sexuality education, reproductive health, leadership and entrepreneurship, with the support of the First lady Michelle Obama Young African Women Leaders Grant. She is a founding member of the Adolescent and Youth Constituency of the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, Children’s Health (PMNCH) hosted by the World Health Organization. She is a Board Member for Merck for Mothers, a 10-year, $500 million initiative focused on improving maternal health, a founding member of the UNFPA Youth Panel Benin, Women Deliver Alumni and was featured in 2016 by Melinda Gates’ on her list of six influential women on the topic of global access to contraception in 2016. Recognized as a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeeper. She supported global advocacy alongside Canada Prime Minister Trudeau at the 2017 International Women’s Day for a commitment of 650 million CAD for women’s health globally and more recently sat on a panel during which the Prime Minister pledged an investment of 1.4 billion CAD per year for reproductive health.
Dr Bewa was recently selected for the ONE Campaign Woman of the Year Award 2018 by ONE Campaign and as a United Nations Leader for the SDGs by the UN Secretary General Envoy on Youth to support the sustainable development goals (SDGs) implementation globally with a focus on Health and gender related SDGs50 000 signatures in March 2019 as part of the ONE Campaign Open Letter for Women’s right, calling G7 leaders, global fund and government to move beyond promises. Dr Bewa holds a doctorate degree in medicine, a master’s in public health and is pursuing a PhD degree in Public Health.

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