Recommendations for gender equality work with Arab-speaking youth

The Finnish network, together with Mirsal ry, organized a two-part workshop for Arabic-speaking youth on gender equality. Sandra Imran and Shareef Askar from Mirsal ry, have produced Outcomes and recommendations paper based on the lessons learned in the workshops. Are you organizing youth activities on gender equality? This might be useful for you!

This outcomes and recommendations paper may be an useful resource for future work with Arab-speaking youth and the wider young population in Finland.

Gender discrimination has been made clear to exist in all societies even in Finland which is considered very equal, but in order to strive for greater equality, discussions are still taking place at the local level. The same should apply in Arab societies, because it is the only way to achieve continuous change towards equality.

Education and training sessions on discussion skills are needed in order to respect each other’s opinions and to open up certain topics without concerns, such as talking about sexual rights. It should be noted here that in Arab societies it is difficult for people of another opinion to join a peaceful conversation and that they usually tend to avoid participation, for fear of being implicated as supporters of such events.

One of the main challenges in the workshops is to positively engage men in gender equality. However, we have overcome this problem by making the workshops more personal on an individual level. It was interesting to note, for example, that men change their beliefs and opinions when they are able to identify the invisible privilege they enjoy.