Gender Innovation Agora (GIA)

The UN Women Regional Office for Arab States established the Youth Gender Innovation Agora (GIA) as a consultative forum and a platform for regular dialogue with youth in 2018. The GIA is constituted from among eminent civil society professionals, young activists, and advocacy and social media influencers to support the youth representatives to develop innovative gender equality solutions and engage with a broader range of stakeholders. The GIA members are appointed with the task to provide expertise on youth and gender issues, encourage the mobilization of young people and facilitate the dissemination of information to networks and organizations around the region.

Role of the Youth GIA:

The GIA has an advisory and advocacy role and is working to:

  • Provide strategic perspectives on advocacy issues and UN Women’s thematic priorities;
  • Assist in strengthening UN Women’s engagement with civil society, including formal and informal youth groups and initiatives at all levels;
  • Develop new ideas for advocacy campaigns and recommendations for innovative methodologies to promote gender equality in the region with special focus on:
    • Women, Peace and Security, Humanitarian Action and preventing violent extremism,
    • Women’s economic and political empowerment;
    • Engagement of men and boys in promoting gender equality,
    • Ending violence against women and girls;
    • The SDGs, Innovation, and ICTs for gender equality.
  • Promote the priorities and voices of young people in advocacy messages, and strengthen the youth agenda in regional frameworks such as UN Women’s Africa Strategy;
  • Mobilize young people and governments to make pledges in support of gender equality and hold them accountable for their commitments;

Membership of GIA:

The GIA members (young women and men) are committed to the core values of the United Nations and to the mission of UN Women. The members are young leaders with a proven track record in their respective fields, with strong credentials as gender, development, and or human rights advocates. The membership is largely comprise of individuals representing constituents (e.g. networks, organizations), who have been nominated by their constituents or through nominations from UN Women country offices and wider UN regional initiatives. The members are drawn from non-governmental organizations, women’s organizations, networks/coalitions, faith-based organizations, refugee communities, rural and indigenous groups, grassroots/community-based organizations, academia, youth organizations, and others working on gender equality, women's rights and women’s empowerment.

Benefits of GIA:

Members of the GIA will benefit from:

  • Mentorship sessions by UN Women staff to build their advocacy capacity,
  • Participation in the development of regional programmes and initiatives,
  • Official nomination to attend high-level meetings with decision-makers,
  • Participation in an extraordinary group of young leaders from all over the Arab region to exchange knowledge and best practices and collaborate in the development of large-scale initiatives.
  • Priority in attending UN Women regional office and country offices activities and opportunities to first test new tools and practices.

Cost coverage of travel and accommodation to attend GIA related activities when possible. 

Selection process for GIA representatives:

The GIA is composed of 30 non-remunerated individuals between the ages of 18-30 with demonstrated expertise and experience of working on and advocating for young people, including youth-led organizations, the private sector, youth movements, media and academia. Such individuals should have demonstrated leadership and activism and should be able to consult with and reach out to a larger constituency. The candidates must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be a national of an Arab State.
  • Age between 18 and 30.
  • Candidates should be leaders or members of youth-led or youth-servicing organizations or youth initiative and have access to youth networks within their regions.
  • A record of accomplishment in areas related to gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • Access to, and reasonable proficiency in communication technologies.

How to join GIA:

Applications for the GIA 2019 cohort will be open in December 2018.