As a women’s health rights and gender equity advocate, Ishita Aggarwal is primarily interested in improving women’s mental health and alleviating maternal poverty and child morbidity. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology, Neuroscience and Psychology from the University of Toronto and will complete her Master of Public Health at Western University in 2019.
Currently, Ishita is a Clinical Research Analyst in the Neurogenetics Section of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, Canada. Additionally, in April 2016, she founded MOM’S THE WORD (MTW), a non-profit organization that hosts free prenatal workshops for homeless and low-income pregnant women. MTW has raised $100,000+ and hosted 60+ workshops, advising 750+ impoverished women on how to have a healthy pregnancy.
In December 2016, MTW launched Pro-Bono Healers (PBH), a program that connects sexual assault and rape victims with gynecologists and psychologists. PBH has helped 215+ girls and women receive HIV and STD testing, abortion services, birth control counseling, and CBT or DBT.
Ishita has been named a Queen’s Young Leader by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, a Top 25 Canadian Immigrant by Canadian Immigrant Magazine, and a Young Woman of Distinction by YWCA Toronto.
“My goal is to help all mothers give birth to and raise healthy and happy children despite past hardships and financial, medical, or social barriers. MOM’S THE WORD (MTW) runs prenatal workshops, which we are currently working to digitize. We also plan to launch two new programs – one will allow trained mothers to serve as MTW Ambassadors while the other will focus on the distribution of prenatal kits to pregnant women in remote areas around the world. We hope to eliminate the effects of maternal poverty, one mother at a time!”