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Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity
Esther Mwema AFSEE

Esther Mwema

Artist & Digital Inequalities Expert

Esther is an artist and expert in internet governance, digital inequalities, and innovation. The themes of her work lay at the intersection of gender, youth, and technology. She has a decade of experience working at both the high level, such as at the UN, and at the grassroots level with the two organisations that she has founded: Digital Grassroots and Safety First for Girls.

Esther addresses gender inequality through Safety First for Girls by giving girls the tools to regain and retain power and autonomy to solve their safety concerns in dignity, thereby making systemic patriarchal and ineffective middlemen obsolete. Her focus on digital inequalities through Digital Grassroots fosters community engagement in internet governance through a global youth network, thereby encouraging internet innovation, reducing digital inequalities between genders and rural-urban disparities, and giving youth, the digital natives, control of the future we want—our digital future and that of future generations.

Esther is a 2020 Open Internet Leader who prioritises African feminist and decolonial practice. In 2022 she was awarded the Mozilla Creative Media award for her work 'AfroGrids' which uses afro-futuristic storytelling to examine the relationship between ownership of internet infrastructure and digital colonialism. She is also a co-leader in the Action Coalition for Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality. She is an author of the book 'Bow to Enter Heaven' published under her pen name Hadassah Louis.

Esther earned a BA in Multimedia Journalism from Ramkamhaeng University in Thailand. She also holds an MSc in Inequalities and Social Sciences from the London School of Economics and Political Science.  

It is only through imagination we can achieve freedom. Inequality, in its essence, stifles spirituality, art, and the ability to discover the breadth and depth of our unique human potential. In order to solve inequality, we must first be free. And to be free, our imaginations must truly be our own.

Esther Mwema


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