Men and Women for Gender Equality

UN Women/Emad Karim

Programme Brief

The challenges and rights violations facing women and girls in the Arab region are many, including low political and economic participation, violence and discrimination grounded in deep-rooted inequalities and established systems of patriarchy.

This 4-year programme (2015-2018) aims to respond to new challenges and opportunities raised by the Arab uprisings regarding Gender Equality and Women Empowerment (GEWE). It seeks to understand the root causes of gender inequalities and to address them through an innovative bottom-up approach.This regional programme has specific focus on Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Palestine. It is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

How we do it

With the overall goal to enhance gender equality in the region, the programme intends more   specifically to contribute to the following:

Understand the root causes of gender inequality to develop tools and conduct evidence-based advocacy for policy change

  • Building on the International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES), perception surveys and research with men and women on masculinities and gender equality carried out in the four countries. This innovative and groundbreaking research, poses questions that are not frequently asked, including on the role of men as both protectors of the patriarchal system and as equality advocates. The launches will take place through international, regional and country-level events.
  • The programme will also conduct a mapping and analysis of women’s rights in Muslim family laws in addition to an in-depth research on spousal economical roles and parental care.
  • It also includes regional and in-country seminars to promote dialogue between women’s rights groups and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from different ideological, generational and socio-economic backgrounds, seeking to bridge divides and foster peer learning.
  • Partner organizations; Promundo US; local research partners; Musawah and Search for Common Ground.

Strengthen the capacities and networks of GEWE civil society organizations, with a focus on the sustainability of new and emerging movements, such as youth groups

  • Simultaneously to conducting the research, UN Women will identify new and emerging civil society movements (including youth organizations) who have a potential to become strong gender equality advocates. A capacity building and mentoring component of the programme will be carried out through established INGOs/NGOs in the four countries.
  • Collaboration was initiated with UNDP on a regional Youth Leadership Programme (2016-2017). Selected youth from 11 countries in the region will become agents of change and community leaders by developing and implementing innovative projects on SDGs under the pillar of Gender Equality.
  • An advocacy and communications toolkit will be developed for youth-led organizations with a focus on engaging men and boys for GEWE.

Develop community-based solutions to promote gender equality based on innovative approaches and South-South exchange

These will be complimented and linked up with national advocacy programs funded by this program. South-South exchanges will aim at duplicating and contextualizing successful solutions. The conclusions driven from the programme will serve to develop a knowledge product on lessons learned and best practices.




Understanding Masculinities: IMAGES MENA Regional Film

Facts and Figures:

The International Men and Gender Equality Survey (IMAGES) is the largest multi-country study of its kind in the Middle East and North Africa, taking a never-before-seen look at what it means to be a man in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Palestine today.