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Empowering Women and Youth

Search for Common Ground believes that all stakeholders must be brought to the table in order to fully resolve an issue or conflict, especially underrepresented group such as women and youth.

Strengthening Women's Voices

empowering women

"[This workshop] has widened my horizons and made me realize that I, as a Muslim woman, can change the perceptions of others." - Participant Middle East & North Africa Thought Leaders Workshop 2010

"The workshop I attended in Nepal was such an inspiration for me that I have decided to put myself as an example for the rural women in Pakistan. I strongly believe that there is much to be done in these areas and as I have suggested earlier that we have to challenge that cliché that women are mentally weaker because of their physical constraints." - Participant Pakistani Mainstream Media Workshop 2010

"Generally there is a perception of a wide gap between [religious and mainstream media] when we ask religious media their preconceptions role of women in society. At first [one of the participants] said women could only work in professions such as nursing. But after our discussion they agreed women could take wider roles." - Participant Pakistani Mainstream & Religious Media Workshop 2010

Women are equal stakeholders in both the success and failure of better Muslim-Western understanding. Taking into account women's power to shape opinions in their own homes and workplaces, they can influence the conversations that affect them, their families and the societies in which they live.

  • Women make up nearly 50% of mainstream media and civil society training participants in the Middle East and North Africa, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia

  • Nearly 50% of Common Ground News Service articles are written by women

  • Articles highlighting the work of women and women's rights organisations in the Muslim world and the West are among the most popular pieces, averaging over 35 reprints per article

Listening to the Leaders of Tomorrow

empowering youth

The current "youth bulge" in the Middle East and other parts of the Muslim world means that many young people face unemployment, dissatisfaction and hopelessness. Youth want to be heard, but often lack the vehicles and tools.

  • To date, the Common Ground News Service, has featured more than 100 authors under 27 years of age from around the world in a special ~Youth Views~ column

  • 17 North African youth attended a special workshop for young bloggers in February 2010, resulting in a 6-part series of articles - 3 of which were written by women - on social media and Muslim-Western understanding

  • Youth are strongly represented in training workshops for civil society and emerging thought leaders

"The most remarkable thing noted during the workshop was the great harmony between all participants from various countries and nationalities, despite differences in views." - Young workshop participant (North African blogger workshop, February 2010)