Role Models for Girls and Young Women in the Arab Region

Background and Rationale

As COVID-19 continues to affect lives and livelihoods around the world, the pandemic and its economic fallout are having a regressive effect on gender equality. The Arab region is no exception to this trend where women will undoubtedly bear disproportionate health risks and burdens in terms of worsening poverty, reduced economic opportunities, access to information and distance learning as well as increased gender-based violence. The pandemic’s effect on gender equality is likely to reverberate through generations to come due to the unprecedented disruption to education among girls and women. In this situation, championing female role models, and empowering the next generation of girls, has never been more important, by showing how they’ve been able to achieve success, and setting great examples for others.

The project aims to transform positively the stereotypes of women’s career choices among young women through the wide dissemination of 15 Arab women’s life stories as their role models in many professional areas and from different social categories to be influential in Arab societies.

12 key areas for the 1995 Beijing Platform for Action, where urgent action was needed to ensure greater equality and opportunities for women and men, girls and boys, primarily served to identify this research to focus on:

  1.  Women and poverty
  2. Education and Training of Women
  3. Women and health
  4. Violence against women
  5. Women and Armed Conflict
  6. Women and the Economy
  7. Women in power and decision-making
  8. Insufficient mechanisms for the advancement of women
  9. Human rights of women
  10. Women and the media
  11. Women and the environment
  12. The girl-child

UNESCO has programs in Education, Natural Science, Human and Social Sciences, Communication & Information, and Culture. Profiles in Sports and Art can be added.




The Asfari Institute has joined hands with FEMENA to organize a series of events about women in Afghanistan so that young Afghan students at the American University of Beirut could have a safe space to discuss their important issues related to:

  1. Life stories of Arab women as role models to be published in Arabic and in English
  2. Virtual launch event
  3. Capacity development of young researchers
  4. Social media campaign



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Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship

American University of Beirut


PO Box 11-0236

Riad El Solh, ​1107 2020
Beirut, Lebanon

Tel: +961-1-350000 EXT. 4469


The Debs Center, 3 Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, 8th floor
New York, NY 10017-2303, USA

Tel: 1-212-583-7600