Gender Innovation Agora (GIA)

The UN Women Regional Office for Arab States (ROAS) established the Youth Gender Innovation Agora[1] (GIA) in 2018 as a consultative forum and platform for regular dialogue with youth. The GIA is constituted from eminent civil society professionals, young activists, and advocacy and social media influencers to support youth representatives to develop innovative gender equality solutions and engage with a broader range of stakeholders. The GIA members provide expertise on youth and gender issues, design innovative solutions and campaigns, 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 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;
  • Design 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;
    • Agenda 2030 and the SDGs, Innovation, and ICTs for Gender Equality.
  • Promote the participation and priorities and voices of young people in national, regional and global convenings and policy making processes;
  • Launch GIA initiatives, campaigns and activities; and
  • Mobilize young people and governments to make pledges in support of gender equality and hold them accountable for their commitments.

Membership of the Group:

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 recognized young leaders with a proven track record in their respective fields, preferably with strong credentials as gender, development, and / or human rights advocates. The membership is largely comprised of individuals representing constituents (e.g. networks, organizations) who have been nominated by their constituents or through nominations from UN Women COs. The members are also drawn from non-governmental organizations, women’s organization networks/coalitions, faith-based organizations, refugee communities, rural and indigenous youth, and youth movements, grassroots/community based organizations, academia, youth organizations, men and boys, and others working on gender equality, women's rights and women’s empowerment.

Benefits of GIA:

Members of the GIA benefit from the following:

  • Mentorship sessions from UN Women staff and external experts to build their capacity on gender equality issues, awareness of the international gender equality and sustainable development frameworks and in skills such as networking, strategic initiative design and advocacy;
  • The opportunity to engage and be part of an extraordinary group of young leaders from all over the region to exchange knowledge and best practices and collaborate in the development of large-scale initiatives;
  • Official nomination to attend high-level meetings to share youth perspectives;
  • Invitation to attend UN Women regional office and country offices activities and opportunities to test new tools and practices;
  • Advice on career development;
  • Opportunity to share experiences and success stories through UN Women’s communications channels and knowledge platforms.

Selection process for GIA representatives:

The incoming GIA 2020 cohort will be comprised of up to 30 youth volunteers between the ages of 18-35 with demonstrated expertise and experience of working on and advocating for young people, including youth-led organizations, 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 candidate must fulfill the following criteria:

  1. Be a national of a member State within the UN Women ROAS area of responsibility (Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen);
  • Aged between 18 and 35;
  • Candidates should be leaders or members of youth-led or youth-servicing organizations or remarkable informal youth initiatives and have access to wide youth networks;
  • Youth representative with a record of accomplishment in areas related to gender equality and women’s empowerment;
  • Candidates should have access to, and be reasonably proficient in, communication technologies.

Nomination and Application:

Candidates or organizations who wish to nominate individuals must fill out the “Candidate application” Form:

* Nomination does not necessary guarantee selection of nominees. Only accepted nominees will receive a formal invitation to join the Youth GIA. Nominees may be invited to an interview by UN Women ROAS as part of the selection process.

Deadline for receiving nominations and applications: 

12 September 2020

Information Webinar about GIA: 12 August 2020

Recording of the Webinar: 

Password: Ci1g=R5W 

[1] The agora was a central public space in ancient Greek city-states like Alexandria. The literal meaning of the word is "gathering place" or "assembly". The agora was the center of athletic, artistic, spiritual and political life of the city.