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Middle East and North Africa

Youth and women are key drivers of positive social change in the MENA region. Despite their desire to engage with their communities, they face tremendous barriers to participate. That is why Equitas and its partners work to engage youth and women through innovative human rights education initiatives. A particular focus is put on youth and women living with disabilities.

” I have now gained credibility with decision-makers who value my opinion and call on me.”
– Hashem, youth leader, Jordan


Our 2017-2020 initiative: Rawabet – Techonological Bridges for Citizen Engagement 

Rawabet means “Connections” in  Arabic. This initiative empowers youth, women and marginalized groups – in particular persons living with disabilities – to thrive in the digital era and use new technologies to promote social and economic rights in Jordan, Tunisia, Egypt and Morocco.


What we do


In close collaboration with our partners, we use human rights education to identify current challenges and create positive social change. We:

  • equip youth with the knowledge and skills to engage with decision-makers, civil society organizations and members of their community on human rights issues, such as gender equality and inclusion, and implement human rights initiatives in the region;
  • leverage technology to address human rights issues, network and participate effectively in community life;
  • build the capacity of human rights organizations to advance the respect for human rights, strengthen citizen engagement while reducing conflict;
  • disseminate new tools amd good practices on a regional and national level through trainings and forums;
  • create an understanding of human rights values among children through our innovative Play it Fair! Education toolkit (in Arabic)

Our Impact

“The project helped change preconceived notions my family had about my capacity to contribute to my community”
Nadaa, Yemen, 2015.


Through our work in MENA, we have:


  • implemented over 25 youth-led community action projects allowing the youth to have open discussions on issues such as the exclusion of vulnerable groups from social and economic life, child-marriage, intertribal conflict and sexual harassment. The projects have reached over 16,000 people between 2012 and 2016.
  • presented the Compendium of lessons learned and best practices Youth Participating in Community Life – Implementing Human Rights Projects in the Middle East and North Africa. Available in ENGLISH, ARABIC and FRENCH.
  • trained over 250 human rights educators (including 173 youth) with knowledge and skills to effectively apply human rights education methodologies and promote gender equality, conflict resolution and citizen engagement in their work.


“Our theatre play presented important issues in a humorous way. The mothers who attended commended us on helping them become more aware of the negative consequences of early marriage on the health of their daughters”
– Maha, Morocco, 2016

“In Ramallah, Palestine, 48 grade 9 students from a girls school in a refugee camp campaigned for a sports and cultural centre accessible to them (the existing ones were for boys only). The girls, some of whom initially had trouble getting permission from their fathers to go to the meetings, have appeared on a nationally televised debate about the project.”

Program Brochure



Our partners

Equitas works in MENA in partnership with New Tactics, and the following local organizations: Arab Network for Civic Education (ANHRE), Horus Foundation for Development and Training, Change Academy for Democratic Studies, Association marocaine pour l’éducation de la jeunesse (AMEJ), Association des Femmes Tunisiennes pour la Recherche et le Développement (AFTuRD) and the Youth Leadership Development Foundation.

Our current project Technological bridges for citizen engagement is undertaken with the support from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada (GAC).



Joussour (2015-2016)

Mosharka (2012-2015)

Promoting Democratic Citizenship and Gender Equality in the Arab World (2010-2012)

Our past projects were undertaken with the support of the European Union, the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) in Jordan and the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF).


Keep updated on the latest news on our work in MENA


Read our stories – such as the story of Nawres Chriti – which demonstrate how Equitas helps youth participate in community life and engage the community on human rights issues that affect them.


Discover tools, tips and resources to take action.


Nadjet Bouda
Program Officer, Equitas
514-954-0659 #274


DONATE. Support our efforts in the Middle East and North Africa.

Human rights education ignites community solutions that lead to change. We can do it together. Donate now.