Advocacy Champions

Meet the inspiring young women set to change the world.

  • CSW63 Lucia advocacy champion
  • CSW63 WAGGGS delegates
  • CSW63 delegates with UN Youth Envoy

WAGGGS is proud to bring you a new, exciting network of Advocacy Champions. This unique opportunity for Girl Guides and Girl Scouts to advocate for the rights of girls and young women and champion gender equality at a local, national and international level.

By becoming Advocacy Champions, young women will have exciting opportunities for personal growth and development and to represent WAGGGS and their Member Organisation externally. We chose our Advocacy Champions for their commitment to gender equality, their involvement in Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting and their ability to lead, challenge and create a ripple effect.

Our Advocacy Champions were due to participate in the 64th UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March 2020 to represent 10 million girls across the world. Regretfully, this was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the girls are ongoing representatives for both the rescheduled CSW and the Beijing+25 process.

Meet our Advocacy Champions!

Antonella Murillas, Argentina

PUBLIC SPEAKER, ANTI-VIOLENCE TRAINER, YOUTH LEADER AND PSYCHOLOGIST.


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Antonella Murillas is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Bahía Blanca, Argentina. She speaks Spanish and English.

“I strongly believe that the basis to reach gender equality is to let girls acknowledge their power and their value. In order to do so, the focus should be in favour of educational and health policies. Health policies that promote the wellness of girls, adolescents and women, but with a gender perspective.”

Antonella is a spokesperson and International Commissioner for the Asociación Guías Argentinas. She is a leading voice in the Stop the Violence programme in Argentina, campaigning to eliminate violence against girls and women in all its forms. As a national trainer for the global Voices Against Violence programme, in 2019, Antonella participated in #ReActivate, the training camp ahead of a new global anti-violence campaign in collaboration with Avon Foundation.

In 2014, she co-founded her local faction of the group “Young Catholic Adults”, which enables young people to explore current societal issues in a safe setting; and she has organised events for up to 200 participants on wide ranging topics relevant to young people, including the vulnerability of children and gender-based violence.

Antonella is a trained psychologist and community facilitator and currently works at a state agency that leads on the promotion of the rights of children and adolescents. She collaborated on the social action project “Ubuntu” which is expected to soon become a recognised NGO.

Antonella is a national delegate for international Guiding and Scouting events, including the Young Women’s World Forum.

Ask Antonella about:

● Launching NGOs in deprived communities

● Stop the Violence campaign and non-formal education curriculum

● Health policies that promote the wellness of girls and adolescents

Florence Kwizera, Burundi

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS CAMPAIGNER, GIRL GUIDE SPOKESPERSON AND ADVOCATE FOR BODY CONFIDENCE. ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN PROMOTING MORE WOMEN IN POWER.


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Florence Kwizera is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Bujumbura, Burundi. She speaks French, Swahili and English.

“I advocate for women’s rights and particularly increased awareness among women. People need to understand gender equality in the same way for us to begin to tackle it. The Girl Guide and Girl Scout Movement empowers and engages girls at an early age to grow up with the skills and beliefs to address inequality and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals”

Florence is a Girl Guide Leader from the Burundi Girl Guides Association and graduate from the National Institute of Public Health. She regularly campaigns for more visibility for women in decision-making roles and has worked with ADISCO in research into inclusion of women and young people in decision-making bodies.

She is a leader, spokesperson and panel moderator for youth and Guiding events throughout Burundi. Part of an innovation initiative with Care International Burundi, Florence inspires young people and in particular young women to break the gender stereotype. The project brings young women together as global citizens to work towards an effective solution to their community and country 's problems.

As a result of her involvement in this project, Florence co-founded Ba heza, which literally means to “live in a clean place”. Ba heza collects plastic bottles and transforms them into paving stones for use in the local community. The initiative has multiple benefits:

“We aim on the one hand to prevent the destruction of the soil and planet; and on the other, to help young women who work as small traders to improve their working conditions and attract more customers. It also creates job opportunities for street women and children, collecting plastic bottles, enabling them to become financially independent.

During a six-month exchange in Tanzania, Florence developed the “BINTI JITHAMINI” campaign, working with girls and young women in the Dar es Salaam region to promote body confidence. She is a national facilitator for the WAGGGS Free Being Me Action on Body Confidence project, spreading awareness nationwide on positive body confidence amongst girls and young women.

Ask Florence about:

● Action on Sustainable Development Goal 5 – gender equality

● Supporting independent traders

● Breaking gender stereotypes in Burundi and across Africa

● Action on body confidence

Fehizoro Ny Fitiavana Rakotomalala, Madagascar

GIRL GUIDE LEADER, ADVOCATE FOR ENDING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE, PROMOTING BODY CONFIDENCE AND EDUCATING ON ADOLESCENT NUTRITION.


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Fehizoro Ny Fitiavana Rakotomalala is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Madagascar. She speaks Malagasy, French and English.

“I live in a community where many girls are experiencing gender inequality in different forms every day. I use my everyday life experience, the news related on the media, the stories of my friends and their friends, new data from organisations like UNICEF, UNFPA as well as from the Ministry of Youth when I speak out on behalf of girls of my country.”

Fehizoro is a national advocacy champion for girl-powered nutrition and former member of Youth Parliament of the Mpanazava Eto Madagasikara. She is a spokesperson and national ambassador on the topic of education around nutrition of young women. She has also acted as speaker and facilitator for local and national training events on programmes related to body confidence, ending gender-based violence and staying safe online.

She is a student in geo-science and the author of a paper studying the understanding of gender equality and sustainable development within the framework of the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Ask Fehizoro about:

  • Action on Sustainable Development Goal 5 – gender equality
  • National campaign to improve access to nutrition education and awareness
  • Training on girl-powered nutrition

Goret Koote, Uganda

GIRL GUIDE LEADER, TRAINER AND SPOKESPERSON FOR THE ELIMINATION OF GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN UGANDA


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Goret Koote is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Kamuli, Uganda.

“At a national level, women have been left behind. There are fewer female Members of Parliament, women are left behind at work and many women in rural communities are still denied their financial rights. We need to sensitise the whole community about value of women, empowering girls to speak out.”

Goret is a full-time teacher, Girl Guide Leader and national training facilitator for Voices Against Violence, a non-formal education curriculum aimed at eliminating gender-based violence in the community and country.

She believes fervently in the global aim to end violence against girls and young women and works closely with schools and decision-makers in her community to educate girls on their rights as women.

She has trained more than 50 young women across Uganda to become agents of change in their own communities and help other women to report cases of abuse, speak out against violence and understanding their rights.

Goret recognises that the barriers to achieving gender equality are still prevalent in Uganda and seeks to use her platform as a youth advocate to influence and engage decision-makers.

Ask Goret about:

  • Action on Sustainable Development Goal 5 – gender equality
  • National campaign to eliminate violence against girls and women
  • Training on gender-based violence

Kathleen Nicole Vivas, The Philippines

ADVOCATE TO END WORLD HUNGER THROUGH GIRL-POWERED NUTRITION. GIRL SCOUT SPOKESPERSON PROMOTING BODY CONFIDENCE AND HEALTH AMONGST ADOLESCENT GIRLS


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Kathleen Nicole Vivas is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Batangas City, Philippines.

“I understand how it feels not having a voice and have demeaning voices of others instead. I know how it feels to be harassed and even get blamed. I believe we need more people empowering one another; and I am determined to be one of those people.”

Kathleen is a STEM student and one of the Advocacy Champions of Girl Powered Nutrition initiative and programme in the Philippines. She lobbies for better education around nutrition of young women nationally and has delivered a speech to decision-makers in the GSP National Headquarters Manila on the Pervasiveness of Food Advertisements and Food Stalls near Schools, being one of the factors on the growing malnutrition in the Philippines.

Kathleen also advocates for gender equality and women empowerment across the Philippines and serves as the Girl Representative of Lipa City in Southern Luzon. An activist for positive body confidence, she has acted as speaker and facilitator for events around the importance of resilience and self-confidence amongst adolescent girls.

Kathleen has a background in writing, having co-authored the study entitled, “Classifying Coffee Beans through Digital Sound Analysis” with partner and mentor in the University of the Philippines Los Baños.

She is a radio broadcaster, photographer and filmmaker, with writing and directing credits on independent films.

Ask Kathleen about:

● National campaign to improve access to nutrition education and awareness

● Training on Girl Powered Nutrition

● Action on body confidence and health

● BE THE CHANGE 2030

Piensia Ferdinand Ngirwa, Tanzania

EMPOWERING GIRLS AND WOMEN SOCIALLY AND ECONOMICALLY TO TACKLE GENDER INEQUALITY. ADVOCATE FOR GIRL-POWERED NUTRITION, PROMOTING HEALTH AMONGST ADOLESCENT GIRLS.


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Piensia Ferdinand Ngirwa is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. She speaks Swahili and English.

“I am passionate about educating young girls on gender equality and helping them to develop leadership skills, mindsets, and self-confidence in the community.”

Piensia is a national advocacy champion for Girl Powered Nutrition, Girl Guide young leader and trainer, and graduate in Business Administration in Health Services Management.

For several years, Piensia has been working on the empowerment of girls and women socially and economically through the formal and non-formal education. As an advocacy champion for girl-powered nutrition, she encourages more girls and women to engage with a good balance diet and develop a strong and healthy body, free from disease. She works with local decision-makers to improve access to education around nutrition with the goal to reduce anaemia in girls and adolescents across Tanzania.

She aims to break gender barriers in her country, mobilising and raising awareness of the barriers that exist and proffering solutions to challenges faced by girls in her community.

Ask Piensia about:

  • Action on Sustainable Development Goal 5 – gender equality
  • National campaign to improve access to nutrition education and awareness
  • Training on Girl Powered Nutrition

Kouassi Adjoua Ange Marie Felicienne, Côte d'Ivoire

CAMPAIGNER FOR BODY CONFIDENCE AND INTERNET SAFETY. ADVOCATE FOR WOMEN IN TRADITIONALLY MALE-DOMINATED CAREERS.


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Kouassi Adjoua Ange Marie Felicienne is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. She speaks French and English.

“If every one of us denounced inequality, carried the voices of those unable to speak out themselves, and supported them to receive a quality education, we could achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5”

Felicienne has more than six years’ experience as a Girl Guide Leader with Association des Guides Catholiques de Côte D'ivoire. She is a youth facilitator for the WAGGGS Surf Smart and Free Being Me body confidence training and workshops, focused on body confidence amongst girls and adolescent women, and safe surfing on the internet.

She is passionate about gender equality and women’s rights and regularly campaigns for more visibility for women in the workplace. She currently leads a community project in Abidjan to increase girls’ understanding and interest in traditionally male-dominated trades.

Felicienne is an experienced debater and lobbyist; she has previously lobbied the Ivoirian government to engage in celebrations around Children’s Day.

Ask Felicienne about:

  • Action on Sustainable Development Goal 5 – gender equality
  • Surf Smart, internet safety for girls and young women
  • Action on body confidence

Samantha Yarmiy, Canada

TRAINING FACILITATOR IN LEADERSHIP, ANTI-VIOLENCE AND BODY CONFIDENCE. ACTIVIST FOR GLOBAL ACTION ON FEMININE HEALTH ISSUES.


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Samantha Yarmiy is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Manitoba, Canada. She speaks English and is fluent in American Sign Language.

“In Canada women only hold 25% of the seats in parliament; thus, perpetuating gender inequality. We need to step up and encourage and support our female youth to enter these occupations. To highlight strong female role models in this field and redefining the definition of a leader so we don’t stereotypically associate a leader being a male role.”

Samantha is an experience public speaker and blogger on issues surrounding gender equality and girls’ rights. She is a climate activist and attends regular climate strikes in Canada.

A full-time student with a minor in Woman and Gender Studies, Samantha believes strongly that gender equality means that women and men have equal opportunities in their lives. She advocates that Girl Guides help women by creating opportunities for them to develop their skills and abilities in a safe environment.

She is an experienced training facilitator on the WAGGGS Leadership Mindsets, Free Being Me body confidence and Voices Against Violence non-formal education curricula.

Ask Samantha about:

  • Action on Sustainable Development Goal 5 – gender equality
  • Leadership mindset framework and community leadership
  • Climate action

Ruby Akua Bour-Donkor, Ghana

STOP THE VIOLENCE CAMPAIGNER, ACTIVIST AND TRAINER. LEADERSHIP FACILITATOR AND ADVOCATE AGAINST PERIOD POVERTY.


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Ruby Akua Bour-Donkor is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Ghana.

“Through programmes like Free Being Me, Action on Body Confidence and our Stop the Violence campaign, young girls are understanding and embracing their worth as women. I want to motivate all girls to fight for gender equality, raising a generation of women poised to be leaders on all fronts”

Ruby is a law student and passionate campaigner for Menstrual Hygiene Management and Ending Gender-Based Violence in Ghana. She is the author of a detailed study into Gender Inequality and its Challenges, which highlights the areas of gender equality, the challenges faced by the feminine minority and proffer solutions for bridging the equality gap in Ghana.

Leading the campaign to remove tax on menstrual hygiene products in Ghana, Ruby drafted the petition to the President and Parliament of Ghana, which has reached the committee on Gender and Social Welfare and the Chief of Staff to the President. She is an active spokesperson and continues to lead rallies on the topic to raise national awareness.

In light of the recent rise in cases of violence against women in Ghana, Ruby has been at the forefront of the Ghana Girl Guides Association national “Stop the Violence” campaign, calling on government institutions, individuals, NGOs and the general public to take action for the elimination of violence against girls and women.

Ask Ruby about:

  • Gender inequality and solutions for bridging the gap in Ghana
  • National campaign to remove tax on feminine hygiene products
  • National campaign to end violence against women

Sarah-Anna Awad, Austria

INTERNATIONAL CLIMATE ACTIVIST, UNITED NATIONS SPEAKER AND ADVOCATE FOR MORE WOMEN IN POWER


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Sarah-Anna Awad is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Austria. She speaks German, English and Spanish.

“We have a huge amount of expertise in youth work that’s really important to girls. It starts with games when they are younger, but as they grow up we provide them with the right environment to evolve and develop.”

As well as being an International Commissioner for WAGGGS, Sarah-Anna has an academic background in sustainable Tourism Management, politics and diplomacy.

She has been involved in initiatives to increase the number of women in senior posts at her university in Austria, and developing gender-neutral language for academics.

She believes the Guiding movement is uniquely placed to help make the lives of women better.

“Girls and women are facing a really hard time being taken seriously, or - even worse - are being harmed. It’s our duty to speak up against this injustice.”

Ask Sarah-Anna about:

● Speaking out at the UN Commission on the Status of Women 2019 and UN Youth Climate Summit

● Action on the Sustainable Development Goals in Austria and worldwide

● Engaging in global climate activism

● Promoting more women into decision-maker roles

Sophie Nelson, United Kingdom

INTERNATIONAL AND UK GIRLGUIDING ADVOCATE AND BRITISH YOUTH COUNCIL MEMBER. FOUNDING MEMBER OF GIRLGUIDING’S PERIOD POVERTY CAMPAIGN AND ADVOCATE FOR FEMALE BODY CONFIDENCE.


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Sophie Nelson is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in the County Down, Northern Ireland.

“Through our ability to provide a safe space for all girls, Girlguiding discovers human potential by giving girls the freedom to express themselves and explore their interests in a space free of judgement.”

Sophie is a Girl Guide Leader and UK Girlguiding Advocate, spokesperson and blogger. She speaks out on multiple issues related to girls’ needs and rights, and has represented Girlguiding on the British Youth Council.

A body confidence activist, Sophie is regularly involved in campaigning against the depiction of females in the media; she delivered several speeches in Northern Ireland as part of the No More Page Three campaign and wrote a blog on sexual harassment from a youth perspective in response to the #MeToo Movement. She is a youth facilitator for the Girlguiding Period Poverty and Free Being Me body confidence training and workshops.

In 2019, Sophie presented the results of the UK Girlguiding Girls Attitude Survey to the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, which asks girls how they feel about the specific and emerging pressures facing them today, and what these mean for their happiness, wellbeing and opportunities in life. She has met with Maria Miller from the Women’s Equality Committee to discuss how the government can work with Girlguiding to represent the needs of young women in the UK.

Sophie has represented Girlguiding as spokesperson at the Conservative Party Conference, the British Youth Council AGM and Bank of England’s Youth Panel. As part of her work with the Bank of England, she has lobbied the UK government on increased financial education in schools.

In November 2019, Sophie organised and spoke at a Girlguiding REACH event, which focused on building girls’ resilience and inspiring them to reach their goals.

Ask Sophie about:

● Training to build girls’ resilience

● Action on body confidence

● Speaking out on sexual harassment and gender based violence

● Campaigning against period poverty

Tan Ejin, Malaysia

CAMPAIGNER TO END CHILD MARRIAGE AND ADVOCATE FOR GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS


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Tan Ejin is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Melaka, West Malaysia. She speaks Mandarin, English and Malay.

“Just like in a democratic Parliamentary setting, I firmly believe that representation from different backgrounds is key to ensure that voices, as big or as small they may be, are heard in the decision-making level.”

Ejin is a campaigner and part of a team of young activists from the Girl Guides Association of Malaysia, collaborating with UNICEF to raise awareness on nutrition education in Malaysia and educating children on the value of practicing a healthy diet and lifestyle.

She is also a Stop The Violence campaigner and advocate for gender equality in Malaysia. In 2018, she played a part in the national campaign to end child marriage in Malaysia. She and her team advocated to include “End Child Marriage” as a theme in the Girl Guides Association of Malaysia national public speaking competition; the winning presentation became the model for the subsequent national lobbying campaign to change the law on marriage in the country.

Alongside a group of Girl Guides across Malaysia, Ejin’s work has directly resulted in changes to the law on child marriage across the country.

Ejin is a law student, writer and blogger. Her work has been published across various local and national media outlets.

Ask Ejin about:

● Action on Sustainable Development Goals 2, 3 and 5

● Campaigning to end child marriage across Malaysia

● Raising awareness of nutrition education

Wang Wei Tong Pheobe, Hong Kong

BODY CONFIDENCE ADVOCATE, YOUTH EMPOWERMENT REPRESENTATIVE AND DISABILITY AWARENESS ACTIVIST


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WANG Wei Tong Phoebe is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Hong Kong. She speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English.

“I believe that in order to truly deliver the thoughts and voices of girls from different upbringings, age groups and professions, the first step is to build a personal connection with different people so as to hear their stories.”

Phoebe is an experienced public speaker, award-winning presenter and body confidence campaigner. She is actively engaged in voluntary services that revolve around young people with disabilities, empowering students with Special Education Needs by sharing schooling experiences with her peers.

She is the author of a research paper “Is gender equality achieved in Hong Kong”, which evaluates Hong Kong’s gender equity through interviews on gender stereotypes and analysis of women’s participation in the economic and political sector.

As a student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Phoebe co-founded of the university group Girls Empowerment Network (GEN), which seeks to engage male and female students in discussions around gender discrimination, social expectations and career empowerment.

She is a Manager of Enactus Hong Kong, a global student society that promotes and believes in creating impact through social entrepreneurship projects and has previous experience with The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups, which focuses on empowering youths in Hong Kong through activities and exchanges.

Phoebe has also been a schools ambassador for the Free Being Me body confidence campaign, organising activities across 12 months to advocate and promote the value of inner beauty.

Ask Phoebe about:

● Disability awareness

● Gender equality in Hong Kong and measures to tackle the issue

● Girls Empowerment Network

Yvette Nkurunziza, Rwanda

GIRL GUIDE LEADER, ACTION ON BODY CONFIDENCE ADVOCATE AND YOUTH TRAINING FACILITATOR. MENTOR FOR SPEAK OUT, IN ASSOCIATION WITH ACTIONAID, TACKLING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN RWANDA.


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Yvette Nkurunziza is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in Huye District, Rwanda. She speaks French, English and Kinyarwanda.

“2020 is a pivoted year for gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Both men and women need to give a hand to a sustainable future.”

Yvette is fourth year medical student and young leader from the Association des Guides du Rwanda (AGR).

She feels strongly about ending gender-based violence in her country, and around the world, and acts as a mentor for the country’s SPEAK OUT project. SPEAK OUT - which involves girls and boys - teaches girls about their human rights and teaches boys that girls in their communities must be valued and respected.

She is also a trainer and facilitator for the WAGGGS Action on Body Confidence programme and advocates for positive body confidence amongst young women.

Yvette co-founded the DUHUGURANE project, which stands for “let us educate each other”.

“I picked the name because it is thanks to team work and collaboration that we are able to champion things which matters including gender equality. My volunteers are gender equality activists and health activists.”

Through the project, Yvette speaks out on Radio Communautaire HUYE. She helps educate women on their rights, their health and their own individual role in achieving gender equality.

Yvette is a communications officer and spokesperson for Girl Guides in Rwanda. She has delivered speeches on multiple topics tackling gender equality issues in her country and has represented the Girl Guides of Rwanda at Youth Connect Africa 2018 and 2019, UMURUNGA 2018, WHO tobacco control workshop, MAGIS Africa, Women’s Parliamentarians in Corruption Prevention, Girls’ Day and ACTIONAID workshops.

Ask Yvette about:

  • Speaking out on girls’ and women’s health
  • Campaigns on gender-based violence, education and prevention
  • Action on body confidence

Zaineb Dahmoul, Tunisia

PUBLIC SPEAKER, GIRL SCOUT LEADER AND ADVOCATE FOR GLOBAL SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS


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Zaineb Dahmoul is a youth advocate with the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), based in M’saken, Tunisia. She speaks Arabic, French and English.

“Preserving and fighting for girls rights today has become a necessity. Girls should have their rights to feel free and independent, to shine and work as an independent individual”

Zaineb is a national spokesperson and advocate for the promotion of the global sustainable development goals (SDGs). She has been a leader in launching advocacy campaigns across Tunisia, speaking to groups of young women and men on gender equality and the issues surrounding this topic in her country.

Zaineb is a Business Studies student, member of TIMUN (Tunisian International Model United Nations), volunteer for the Tunisian Future Leaders project, and works directly on the international Scouting partnership between Tunisia and Denmark.

She runs regular programmes with youth groups, as a Girl Scout leader with Les Scouts Tunisiens, on the importance of freedom of speech, the elimination of sexual harassment and gender-based violence, climate activism and consumerism.

Ask Zaineb about:

● Action on Sustainable Development Goal 5 – gender equality

● The future for gender equality in Tunisia

● Prevention and elimination of gender-based violence

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