Despite significant investments and advancement in women’s education in the MENA region, the female workforce participation is only around 22% – well below the 49% average in low and middle-income countries. Contributing to the issue is the exclusion of young women from conversations and debates that directly impact their well-being and the opportunities available to them.

Young women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are often confined to the margins of crucial economic development dialogues rather than participating as capable thinking partners or equal players in global development and peace. In addition, the MENA region has the world’s highest youth unemployment rate, too.

Therefore, to connect youth to economic opportunities in different sectors and industries, we launched a one-year programme to target young men and women in three countries: Jordan, Egypt and Palestine.



youth trained in Jordan – 85% are women


youth participation in Palestine – female participation is 77%


youth trained in Egypt – 54% female participation


Through job training and placement programming in demand-driven sectors and a focus on start-ups, self-employment opportunities, and SMEs, our one-year programme (2019-20) targeted the youth in Jordan, Palestine, and Egypt, saw 7,449 youth receive training, of which 72% were young women.

Held in collaboration with Employment for Education (EFE), a leading non-profit that trains youth and links them to jobs across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), we sought to develop the professional skills of young men and women and unlock opportunities for their increased participation in the labour force.

In 2019, EFE-Jordan trained a total of 3,624 youth – 85% of whom were young women. The corresponding figure for Palestine was 2,528 youth with 77% female participation rate, while in Egypt, 1,297 youth received training in the same period and achieved a 54% female participation rate.


To provide an enabling environment for women to access knowledge, services, support systems and resources, through a development network that advances them to reach their highest potential – in short, we are working towards building an equitable world for women.

How We Operate