African Youth Representative in the International Youth Conference

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Invited to be the African Youth Representative in the International Youth Conference “Youth in Diaspora, a means to support development” that takes place in the United Nations – Vienna International Center.

The Conference is the first of its kind held in Europe and presents an undeniable opportunity for African leaders and Ambassadors, diplomats, foreign policy & development experts and UN officials to work closely together and coordinate international dialogue amongst important stakeholders for African development, which will produce real benefits for young Africans in terms of entrepreneurship and sustainable development of the region.

International Youth Conference-Youth in Diaspora, a means to support development

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Meet the President of “VAS” Mr. Youssouf:

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The “International Youth Conference: Youth in Diaspora, a means to support development” was organized by VAS Austria from 22-24 October 2014 in Vienna, in collaboration with UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) and the partnership of Austrian Development Cooperation/Agency (ADA).

The Conference was the first of its kind held in Europe and presents an undeniable opportunity for African leaders and Ambassadors, diplomats, foreign policy & development experts and UN officials to work closely together and coordinate international dialogue amongst important stakeholders for African development, which will produce real benefits for young Africans in terms of entrepreneurship and sustainable development of the region.

Participants benefited from different trainings, workshops, and got the chance to be presidents of Africans countries in the Model of African Union, an opportunity that led them to discover about African countries that they didn’t know before, and exercise the same duty as leaders which is the decision making and speaking out in the name of the citizens.

An important session in the event was dedicated to understand the opportunities and the challenges facing Africa in creating decent jobs for its youth.

The experts discussed the definition of decent job, its characteristic and the role the diaspora can play in the development of jobs in Africa and Europe.

Mr. Charles Dan, the International Labor Organization Representative, mentioned that in the last years many young men and women were rated unemployed, this crisis touched Africa in a very critical way. In sub-Saharan countries, finding jobs it is just another challenging story that faces young Africans.

Mr. Charles said: “In Africa we don’t have a decent job; we strive for jobs with quality. Decent jobs are based on quality and respect and promotion of the international standards and guaranteeing insurance security”

What do we need to do to have a better rate of job creation in Africa?

Mr. Charles insists on the necessity to launch developed economic policies and make these policies a priority, invest in the economic strategies is the only way to create jobs in Africa.

In the other hand, Africans in Diaspora most of the time don’t return to their home countries because of the lack of getting decent jobs, the lack of experienced professionals pushes Africa to look for foreign people for work. Investing in providing decent jobs for African Diaspora is a crucial.

Africa is missing a clear and well-organized methodology to address the issue of employment among Africans; Africa needs to start with this to confront this issue.

Africans need to be provided by loans, opportunities of entrepreneurship and companies ownership, Africans need to be trained to be competent which will make Africa rely on itself instead of asking foreign help, also gender equality orientation and protection should be ensured. Communication and connection between Africa and the diaspora is very important for the development of business in the region.

Mr. Djibril Coulibaly, United Nations Industrial Development Organization Representative, believes that the question on how to achieve job creation opportunities is related to the level of commitment and investments that African leaders show towards this issue, he insists on the need for practical actions instead of continuous political speeches, the real work in the reality.

The question of creation of jobs is a problem of all countries, especially the sub Saharan countries, each year Africa ends up with 11 million of young people who join the job market, but the question do we have this job market?

Mr. Djibril Coulibaly invites Africa to think about the necessity of providing satisfied jobs and not only remunerable jobs where Africans can improve their knowledge and creativity.

While Mr. Jesse Ojbor, UNIDO Representative, insists on the importance of Africans in Diaspora in bring out global jobs connections opportunities into Africa, which will boost the international economy of the region.

He highlighted also the definition of youth age that differs from a country to another in Africa which influences the vision of providing jobs for youth. He stressed on the fact that Africans today can play a brain drain and a brain gain role. In fact, he believes that Africans wherever they are, they can help in the economic development of their countries, he gave an illustrative example of an African who sends money to his mom and who uses it in an entrepreneurship project of hers, which in the other side helps in shifting the economic situation of his country.

Mr. Malick Sy, UNIDO Senegal Representative, invites the African governments to provide their youth with quality education, trainings and work experiences, and then Africa won’t need foreign professionals.

Mr. Malick believes that public and private sector need to work together for the development of the region, by that coordinating strategies and efforts.

Mr. Mohamed Yahya Murad, Board Member of Bahrain Voluntary Work Society, shared his experience to empower youth employment in Bahrain through his project “Tamkin”, that provides financial and advisory aid to meet the needs of the Bahraini youth, and lead them to meet the economic vision of the country.

The event was a successful beneficial for the Youth from Africa and Europe, as many of them shared their hunger to make change once they get back home, because they believe that it is time for action.

Sana AFOUAIZ

#MYCM #AYCM-Morocco “Moroccan Women rise up for climate justice”

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Moroccan Women rise up for climate justice

From across Morocco, women ( activists, farmers, Students,….) rise their voice by joining one billion rising and women’s earth and climate action network International Day of action on February 14th to demand climate justice and sustainable solutions for climate crisis !

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“It is our the mission not only as women but as human beings to care for, reserve and promote the resources of environment, we have to be aware of the environmental issues impacting on the world today and we must do something before our resources are gone. It’s a duty to show respect for the environment and living. Everyone is affected and everyone is responsible. It is a matter that cannot be unnoticed and act must be taken to realm something that is exceptional to humankind which is environment.
There is no refuting that global climate change problems are going to endure to get worse if nothing is done to resolve them. Concerns like these will produce disastrous consequences on the economic, political, and social heights in the 21st century if the global climate change situation continues to decline at its current amount. Solving these issues is crucial.
As woman leader, I’m looking to confront the climate crisis and to reach the social justice, this is why I’m interested in the climate change issue and I believe in the leadership abilities that women all over the world have that will lead them to build a better world with a clean climate.

Women ! Go green ! because we can do it !”

Sanaa Afouaiz


Vice-President
Moroccan Youth Climate Movement
Arab Youth Climate Movement – Morocco

Check the campaign from here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.482258328553285.1073741832.275042005941586&type=3

 

Men’s Revolution for Women’s Rights

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#MenRevolt4Women

I have witnessed many sad stories of women being killed, murdered, raped and forced by law to get married to their rapists…

Every time I think about these stories, I ask myself, “What is wrong with this world?”

Women have been demonstrating and protesting across the world about the current tragic cases of rape and murder but now isn’t it a high time for men to stand up beside women in the fight for social justice and equality?

So… ask yourself! do you really believe that women and men are equal as human beings? Do you think both genders should be treated, acknowledged, and respected equally, regardless of privileges, compensations, or benefits for either gender? How would you judge people when you meet them, based on their skills, intelligence, competency, character, and ethics… or based on gender?

Do you  believe in providing equal and basic opportunities for men and women?

How do you feel when a woman is humiliated, raped or killed, because her only crime in this world is being a female? How would you feel if this happened to your mom, sister or daughter? Do you really care about the life of millions of innocent girls and women around the world?

What makes men believe in equal rights? These amazing men have the answer!

They believe That:

“Equality means nothing unless incorporated into institutions”

and that “Women should be treated equally”

We , women have been out blaring for our rights for years, while our fathers, husbands, lovers, sons, and male friends remained disconnected.

We are calling all men worldwide to solicit. It’s high time!!

Sana AFOUAIZ

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You can follow my campaign from here: http://vowinitiative.org/2014/06/24/men-revolt-for-women/

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.420314734775586.1073741830.175679632572432&type=1

12 steps to be a successful woman

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This article was published on “The Voice of Women Initiative”, check from here: http://vowinitiative.org/2014/05/14/12-steps-to-be-a-successful-woman/

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1)      Don’t make your life’s goal ONLY about getting married and having children- it is great to have your own family- but don’t minimize your abilities on being a successful person, making change in your surroundings. Don’t stop dreaming and working just because you are married.

2)      Don’t be afraid to take risks, always be eager to be a risk taker, if you stop taking risks, it  means that you have stopped living, get inspiration from the history, the most powerful and successful persons are the ones who take risk, show them that women can handle risky situations, and show them your strength.

3)      Appreciate your value, don’t you ever let anyone tell you “you are just a woman, you cannot do it”, show them how much you are aware and appreciate your value and your abilities, don’t be afraid to tell the world “I can definitely do it”.

4)      Don’t waste your energy and your time trying to convince others that you can do amazing things like any other man, but show them what you can do through actions.

5)      Be a role model, inspire and get inspired from  other women by sharing your experiences, your lessons, your failures, your hard times…Help others, especially youth, learn that there are women out there that can really manage both their careers and their personal lives  successfully.

6)      Be confident, don’t be shy to talk to people and to share your thoughts, be proud of what you have to say. Confidence is the key of being successful person. Make conversation with others and stay involved in current events and interesting topics to help make wise up-to-date chit chat.

7)      Say goodbye to your past, your past is an experience for your future’s decisions; don’t get stuck in it just because you made some bad decisions. Take a step forward and think to yourself and say “today I will be powerful woman”.

8)      Handle insults with grace, remember that there are 7 billion people out there who will try to piss you off, make you feel unworthy, and underestimate you! Don’t be affected by that, show them how worthy you are and how strong a person you can be.

9)      Be and stay educated, being educated will guarantee you not only having the skills and knowledge you need to pursue your career, but also it will make you  well-respected by those you come across in your life. Your level of education mirrors your intelligence.

10)  Don’t be afraid to talk about politics, global issues, traditions and all the important topics, just because you are woman.

11)  Be independent not only financially, but also physically and emotionally, make a decision to be independent, which is being able to make decisions and then acting upon them. Being Independence is being capable to accurately take a decision even if it turns out to be a wrong decision.

12)  Challenge yourself every morning to show the world that women can be successful, because they have all the abilities needed to make positive changes!

P.S: I judged these 12 steps as ways to be a successful woman based on my own experiences and from the experiences of other powerful women.

Sana AFOUAIZ

The green Voice of Women

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This article was published on “The Voice of Women Initiative”, check from here: http://vowinitiative.org/2014/02/19/the-green-voice-of-women/

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I believe that the promotion of women’s leadership on climate change is necessary since they represent an important percentage of the population and their green voices need to be heard by the decision makers. Actually we need more women representatives in the climate cause; women who will ensure to bring out the green voices of many women in the world. This is could happen through powerful personal narratives, establishing the conversation on gender equality, environmental justice, public health, food security and  the eradication of extreme poverty. Women for climate justice should equally integrate gender justice in climate change policy at local, national and international levels, and I believe this will be done through:

  •  Raising awareness and building capacity relating to gender and climate issues among decision-makers so that to ensure equal and improved policies.
  • Increasing the global knowledge on gender and climate issues through research, action learning, campaigns and social media.
  •  Increasing the participation of women in the formal policy making process.
  •  Raising awareness and capacity building on gender and climate change issues among youth and children.

Decision makers need to facilitate more gender responsive action on the ground, take into consideration that women have their green voice, they lead their communities and countries, no decision should be made without taking into account women, because they are also affected by the change in climate.

My message:

It is our the mission not only as women but as human beings to care for, reserve and promote the resources of environment, we have to be aware of the environmental issues impacting the world today and we must do something before our resources are gone. It’s our duty to show respect for the environment and other living things. Everyone is affected and it is every one’s responsibility. It is a matter that cannot go unnoticed and action must be taken to preserve something as exceptional to humankind as the environment.

There is no refuting that global climate change problems are going to persist if nothing is done to resolve them. Concerns like these will produce disastrous consequences on the economic, political, and social heights in the 21st century if the global climate change situation continues to decline. Solving these is crucial to human survival.

As woman leader, I’m looking to confront the climate crisis and to reach the social justice, this is why I’m interested in climate change issues and I believe in the leadership abilities that women all over the world have leading them to build a better world with a clean climate.

Women! Go green! Because we can do it!

Sana AFOUAIZ

The Amendment of Article 475 of the Moroccan law, An Emotional Story!

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This article was published on “The Voice of Women Initiative”, ckeck: http://vowinitiative.org/2014/01/27/1793/

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During the 16 days of activism against violence, I wrote about an emotional story in my country, the story of the innocent Amina Al Fili who killed herself after being forced by law (the article 475) to marry her rapist.

The Article 475 of the Moroccan law cites that a rapist can escape punishment if he marries his victim.  It is called “Reparations agreement “between the family of the victim and the family of the rapist”.

Amina Al Filali couldn’t stand to live a miserable life, since she was beaten, deprived of food and insulted all the time by her rapist who used to call her “dishonest” girl -even if it was because of him- then Amina decided to make an end to her life.  She wanted her voice her  be heard and do something about this unacceptable situation that many Moroccan girls face every time.

Her death shocked many Moroccan people, received widespread media coverage and sparked protests in the capital Rabat as well as other cities in order to amend this article and establish social justice.

Her case provoked deep emotion in the country. For media, blogosphere, human right activists, women and men … her death was marked by a dispute of exceptional magnitude on the issue of rape and the place of women in our society. Moroccans felt the need that it is high time to make an end to this article, before it ends for the life of many other victims.

With today’s social movements and social networks, this case couldn’t pass unnoticed. The news of Amina’s suicide, generated a national debate at an extensive scale in Morocco. Even the government has dedicated the greater interest of its weekly meeting on this issue, that from the one hand is inhuman; and on the other hand disadvantageous to the image of Morocco in the international community.

Finally!! the parliament of Morocco has solidly amended the article 475 of the penal code that allowed rapists of marry their victims and avoid jail.

Now! we can make sure that no one can rape a girl and then marry her… no more rights will be violated… no more girls will kill themselves…

Thanks to all the Moroccans activists who believed in Amina’s case… the real Moroccans who helped to put an end to this nightmare… the Moroccans who did their best to fight for social justice…

A special thanks to our dearest Amina… she is a symbol of inspiration… physically she is no longer here… but her soul will always be around… thanks Amina for saving other girls.

Amina R.I.P, we will always remember you!

Sana AFOUAIZ