Almost half of the population of the MENA region is under the age of 25, over a third of whom live in unstable and conflict-affected countries. Young people living in the Arabic speaking region suffer from one of the highest unemployment rates in the world which in turn disproportionately affects women. With civic and political engagement levels among this category account for only 9% across the region, we feel that it is civil society’s role to engage and empower these neglected voices.
Since its establishment in 2012, the Munathara Initiative has promoted the voices of youth, women and marginalized communities (YWM) in the Arabic speaking public sphere to meet their growing desire for participation in society, politics, and governance. Munathra’s debate competitions offer unique opportunities for participants who meet the YWM criteria to engage in live debates alongside policymakers and thought leaders streamed to millions of viewers.