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In the words of Nadia Jaber: “I can accomplish change in my town and within my family”

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

48-year-old Nadia Jaber is a mother of four young women, the eldest of whom is 29 and the youngest 20 years old. Joining the NESWA enterprise through a project supported by Lebanon Family Planning Association for Development & Family Empowerment (LFPADE), a local NGO and UN Women’s Fund for Gender Equality grantee, in her southern village of Yanouh, enabled her to transit from being a small-scale producer to an entrepreneur.

In the words of Fatena Mahli: “Together we are stronger”

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Fatena Mahli (40) fled the war in Aleppo to Gaziantep, Turkey, eight years ago. She now works as a professional Turkish-Arabic interpreter at community centers in Gaziantep, where refugee children and their families are provided with psycho-social counselling and other protection services. She also participates in activities organized by the SADA Women’s Empowerment and Solidarity Center which aim to empower Turkish and refugee women and support social cohesion between their communities.

In the words of Beyza Nur Azizoğlu: “I feel very lucky to work with refugee women despite all the challenges”

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Beyza Nur Azizoğlu, a young lawyer, works at the SADA Women Empowerment and Solidarity Centre in Gaziantep (SADA) in Turkey near the border with Syria. Supported by UN Women and funded by the European Union Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (the EU “Madad” Fund) and the Government of Japan, SADA supports the empowerment of refugee and host community women, and their engagement in social activities as well as integration into the labour force. It is managed by the Association for Solidarity with Asylum Seekers and Migrants (SGDD-ASAM). At SADA, Beyza helps refugee women and girls by combatting cases of gender-based violence and child, early and forced marriages.

In the words of Nidal Abdul Ghani: “It had been a long time since I felt such joy. I will finally have a job!”

Monday, July 8, 2019

Nidal Abdul Ghani is one of the 196 women in Iraq who have benefitted from UN Women’s cash-for-work programme. Photo: Courtesy of Tajdid. Nidal Abdul Ghani is a beneficiary of the cash-for-work programme implemented by Tajdid Iraq Foundation for Economic Development (Tajdid). Tajdid is working in partnership with UN Women on the Regional Programme “ Strengthening the Resilience of Syrian Women and Girls and Host Communities in Iraq, Jordan and Turkey ”, funded by the EU...

In the words of Joyce Azzam: “I want to inspire women and girls to follow their dreams and discover their potential”

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Joyce Azzam holds the Lebanese flag on top of Mount Everest. Photo: Elia Saikaly. Mountaineer Joyce Azzam has realized an unprecedented feat by becoming the first Lebanese woman to scale the highest mountains of each of the seven continents, also known as The Seven Summits Challenge. By successfully reaching the peak of the icy Mount Everest which stands at 8,848 m, she has set an example in courage and endurance to women and girls in her native Lebanon and also abroad. She has been...

In the words of Rawan Riziq: “Laws addressing violence against women and girls need effective implementation on the ground”

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Rawan Riziq, youth activist from Jordan. Photo: UN Women/ Emad Karim Rawan Riziq , 28, is a PhD student in Educational Psychology from Jordan. She works at the Jordanian-Emirati Camp for Syrian refugees. Rawan attended the Regional Youth Workshop on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls in the Arab States generously supported by the Government of Japan. I think that the laws addressing violence against women and girls need effective implementation on the ground. This need to be...

In the words of Marwa Azelmat: “When it comes to ending violence against women, youth can be game-changers"

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Moroccan activist, Marwa Azelmat. Photo: UN Women / Emad Karim Marwa Azelmat, 23, is an IT engineer from Morocco. She has worked in the development of programmes and policies addressing violent extremism and gender through implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. A post-graduate law student at Queen’s University in Belfast, Marwa is currently conducting research on the rise of digital authoritarianism with a special focus on gender-based online violence. Marwa attended...

In the words of Safiye Mustafa: “UN Women’s SADA resilience centre transformed my dreams into real plans”

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Originally published on UN Women Europe and Central Asia’s website. Safiye Mustafa fled the war in Syria with her four children. She receives training at the SADA Centre in Gaziantep, Turkey. Photo: UN Women/Pınar Alkan Yarıkkaya We left everything we had. I had a shoe atelier in Syria, I had a life there. But now, I am starting a new in Turkey. I take shoe-making courses at the SADA Centre and I even plan to open a shoe atelier. Let me say one big thing, which I am very much...

In the words of Aisha Altubuly: “Youth can bring bigger influence if we are more empowered and supported”

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Aisha Altubuly, co-leader coordinator of the organization Together We Build It. Photo: UN Women/ Emad Karim Aisha Altubuly , (22), co-leader and coordinator of the organization Together We Build It (TWBI), based in Tripoli, Libya, has been working on women's issues since she was 15 years old. Through her work, she has developed capacity of youth stakeholders to speak up and address issues in order for women and youth to be empowered to take active roles in decision-making processes within...

In the words of Ayşegül Özdil: “When you build communication among children of different cultures, the day after you see the effect on their mothers.”

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Children playing at the SADA Centre with their teacher Ayşegül Özdil. Photo Credit: ASAM Ayşegül Özdil is a kindergarten teacher at the SADA Women Empowerment and Solidarity Centre. Supported by UN Women and funded by the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (the EU “Madad” Fund) and the Government of Japan, the SADA Women-only Centre supports the empowerment of refugee and host community women and their engagement in social activities as...

In the words of Madina Mousa: “I could not stay idle in the face of hardship, I became a Protection Specialist empowering other Syrian refugee women and girls.”

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Madina Mousa, Syrian refugee and Protection Supervisor at the Women’s Empowerment Organization (WEO) in Iraq. Photo: UN Women/ Said Elmobasher Madina Mousa is a Syrian refugee who fled the war in Syria with her family and now lives in Kawergosk Refugee Camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq since 2013. She started her career as a volunteer to help other refugees and is now a Protection Supervisor at the Women’s Empowerment Organization (WEO). WEO is working in partnership with...

Ask an Advocate: What does it mean to advocate for gender equality in Jordan?

Monday, March 11, 2019

"Are you committed to taking the stand for Gender Equality?" The question passing through the lips of HeForShe advocates and reverberating throughout the entire Kingdom of Jordan. Jordan is taking the lead in the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality in the Arab region, with over 30,000 commitments collected from men and women.  In 2014, UN Women launched the HeForShe campaign; calling all men and boys to commit to the global movement...

In the words of Duha Mahdi: “We work to reduce violence against women and girls by providing support services to survivors”

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Duha Mahdi, Project Manager at the Baghdad Women’s Association. Photo: Courtesy of BWA. Duha Mahmood Mahdi works as a Project Manager at the Baghdad Women’s Association (BWA), an organization working in partnership with UN Women on the regional programme “Strengthening the Resilience of Syrian Women and Girls and Host Communities in Iraq, Jordan and Turkey”, funded by the European Union under the Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis (the EU MADAD...

In the words of Rajaa Altalli: “Women are leading efforts to push forward in Syria”

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Rajaa Altalli was 12 years old when her father was arrested by the Syrian government for being part of a political party. She thought she would never be involved in public life, but as the Syrian revolution erupted, she decided otherwise. Altalli is now a member of the Syrian Women’s Advisory Board (WAB), established by the UN Special Envoy for Syria to ensure that women’s perspectives and leadership is taken into account in the peace process.

In the words of Nur Omar: “I’ve healed the wounds of war and feel more confident about my future”

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Originally published on UN Women Europe and Central Asia’s website.   The SADA Women Empowerment and Solidarity Centre provides livelihood skills and psycho-social support and referral services to refugees like Nur Omar *  and local women in Gaziantep, Turkey. Set-up by UN Women, the Centre helps women like Nur Omar learn new skills and start a brighter future. It is run in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Association for Solidarity with...

In the words of Fathia Mohammed Abdullah Obaid: “Women’s lives can change for the better with education”

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Fathia Mohammed Abdullah Obaid, Chairwoman of the Yemeni Women's Union. Photo: UN Women/Areej Alkhawlani Fathia Mohammed Abdullah Obaid has been the Chairwoman of the Yemeni Women's Union (YWU) since 2013. She holds a BA from Aden University in History and a diploma in Political and Social Sciences from Karl Mozim Academy, East Berlin, Germany. Originally from Aden Governorate, Ms. Abdullah is a member of the Yemeni Women’s Pact for Peace and Security (Tawafuq), a network...

In the words of Hajer Sharief: “Peacebuilding is not only about stopping violence, it is also about the prevention of violence”

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Hajer Sharief is the co-founder of the organization “Together We Build it”, which aims to promote a peaceful democratic transition in Libya, inclusive of women and youth.

In the words of Tanya Gilly Khailany: “When it comes to women’s rights, there’s no room for diplomacy”

Friday, October 19, 2018

Tanya Gilly Khailany, from Iraqi-Kurdistan, is a former member of the Iraqi Parliament (2006 – 2010) and a co-founder of the SEED Foundation, an organization that works with survivors of violence and trafficking in Iraq. An outspoken women’s rights activist, Ms. Gilly Khailany was one of the key parliamentarians who legislated the 25 per cent quota for women in Iraqi provincial councils.

In the words of Balsam Al Ayoub: “Our primary goal is always to educate, using sport as a tool to empower women and girls”

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Balsam Al Ayoub is an international fencing competitor who has represented her home country of Kuwait at numerous international events . Following her retirement from international fencing competition, she co-founded Balsam International to promote girls’ and women’s participation in sport, culture and community inclusion programmes. Ms. Al Ayoub supported the launch of the Women’s Empowerment Principles in Kuwait , held earlier this month, under the auspices of Her Excellency...

A day in the life of Suaad Allami: The plight of Iraqi women refugees

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

An award-winning Iraqi lawyer and activist for women’s rights from Sadr City in Baghdad, Suaad Allami founded the NGO “Women for Progress” in 2007, which manages a legal clinic and “one-stop shop” for legislative advocacy, domestic violence counselling, vocational training and other services. She was invited to speak at this year’s Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security on 28 October, which focuses on displaced women as leaders and survivors. She gives us a glimpse of how thousands of Iraqi women and girls are coping with displacement.

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