A Good Wife
Escaping the Life I Never Chose
At fifteen, Samra Zafar had big dreams for herself. She was going to go to university, and forge her own path. Then with almost no warning, those dreams were pulled away from her when she was suddenly married to a stranger at seventeen and had to leave behind her family in Pakistan to move to Canada. Her new husband and his family promised that the marriage and the move would be a fulfilment of her dream, not a betrayal of it. But as the walls of their home slowly became a prison, Samra realized the promises were empty ones.
In the years that followed she suffered her husband's emotional and physical abuse that left her feeling isolated, humiliated and assaulted. Desperate to get out, and refusing to give up, she hatched an escape plan for herself and her two daughters. Somehow she found the strength to not only build a new future, but to walk away from her past, ignoring the pleas of her family and risking cultural isolation by divorcing her husband.
But that end was only the beginning for Samra. Through her academic and career achievements, she has gone on to become a mentor and public speaker, connecting with people around the world from isolated women in situations similar to her own, to young schoolgirls in Kenya who never allowed themselves to dream to men making the decisions to save for their daughters' educations instead of their dowries. A Good Wife tells her harrowing and inspiring story, following her from a young girl with big dreams, through finding strength in the face of oppression and then finally battling through to empowerment.
Samra Zafar is an award-winning international speaker, bestselling author, and social entrepreneur who advocates for equity, inclusion, and human rights.
After escaping a decade of abuse living as a child bride in Canada, she pursued her education as a single mother working multiple jobs. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Toronto with the highest distinction, winning over a dozen awards and scholarships. She then began a successful corporate career in finance.
While graduating from University of Toronto, Samra began to share her personal story in order to raise awareness about intimate partner abuse and in the hopes of empowering women to pursue their dreams and independence. Her work has since been featured in hundreds of interviews and articles in both the Canadian and the international media. Her speaking portfolio includes three TED Talks, and speeches to UNICEF, Yale University, Art of Leadership, and many leading non-profits, corporations and universities across the world. She is one of the youngest alumni to serve as a governor for the University of Toronto, and is a Celebrated Ambassador for Plan International campaign to end child marriage. She has been named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women (2019), and has also received a 2019 Top Twenty-five Canadian Immigrants Award.
Samra lives in Toronto with her two daughters and is an avid traveller.