I was born to refugee parents in the Middle East. I think growing up with many labels and circumstances that limit your freedom and opportunities automatically pushes you. Either to conform and maintain the status quo, or to firmly believe that change is not only necessary but ultimately the only choice you have. I chose the latter and literally took every opportunity my open-minded parents gave me. Putting myself at the service of those who had not been as fortunate as I was was a no-brainer.
It’s a huge responsibility. The role isn’t just about making sure the Foundation fulfills its mission, important as that is, but it’s also about putting our spirit of inclusion and equality at the heart of our work. It is also about finding the balance between our thoughts and beliefs as individuals and how we can collectively build a future based on equality and inclusion for our communities.
Womanity is a Geneva-based foundation, established in 2005 and ranked 146th in the Top 500 NGOs 2020 global ranking. We invest in bold solutions that accelerate gender equality: This is to create sustainable social change and foster an inclusive world where women and men enjoy equal rights and opportunities. Womanity works on a wide range of issues. It ranges from promoting girls’education in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), to preventing violence against women or scaling up the impact of social enterprises focused on women’s issues and through its media programs in the MENA region that aim to change gender stereotypes, a major obstacle on the road to equality for women.
Today, our programs are primarily active in the Global South. This geographic focus has formed organically over the years. We go where we identify opportunities to do things in innovative ways and where we think we can have the most impact.
Our goal is to increase the impact of our work to create egalitarian and inclusive societies. In the MENA region for example, we want to pave the way for new platforms to emerge so that women’s voices can be represented and heard. Our work through WeMean is focused on creating such platforms to digitally reach the minds and hearts of young people in the region. We measure our success not only by the reach and engagement of the various content we create – such as our most recent YouTube series “Smi’touha Menni” – but also by our ability to inspire and collaborate with others so that more voices call for much needed change.