“After living in six countries, completing both my undergraduate and graduate studies in extremely diverse environments, I have come to a conclusion: gender inequality is universal. Of course, in some places more than others. I believe that growing up with a single mother made me the person that I am today. As a matter of fact, seeing how difficult it can be in my country as laws are sexist and oppressive towards women, made me want to make a difference. I will forever raise my voice for all women going through this oppression in our country and region. Women tend to be silent because they are scared to break the status quo or traditions.”
My name is Yasmina Benslimane I am from Morocco but have always considered myself a world citizen as I have lived in six countries so far. I have professional experience in both international organizations and non-governmental organizations, including United Nations related agencies. Some of my past experiences include research and report writing at the National Council of Human Rights in Morocco (CNDH), and UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
I also possess extensive experience in the humanitarian sector, for more than 5 years I have been working and volunteering with vulnerable groups such as migrants and refugees, including both children and women. Through my humanitarian missions I have been invovled with with different NGOs focusing on human rights and children’s rights, where I have acquired experience in teaching, social media managing, and fundraising.
While I was pursuing my masters degree, I was chosen to participate in the PTA Project coordinated by UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Costa Rica) and implemented by the University for Peace (UPEACE), and also worked closely with the Directorate of Migration in Costa Rica. Adding to this, I was also selected to take part in a research project in collaboration with TUFTS University on the economic and financial journey of migrants. Upon my masters graduation, I have acquired experience related to media and communications at the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in its regional office for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean in San José.
For over a year, I was coaching, training, and developing young people at a Marketing firm located in Miami, Florida. I built and managed a team of 12+ people while teaching them the basics of marketing, entrepreneurship, and face to face strategy to represent worldwide renowned non-profit organizations, including the Humane Society, Heifer International, The Nature Conservancy, Doctors Without Borders, and Save The Children. The training was based on systematic action-driven results, fundraising and public speaking.
Following that, I have worked closely with ESD Global as a Communication and Refugee Populations assistant, for Latin America and the Caribbean. I am currently part of the 2020 Young Leader program by Women Deliver, which elevates the work of young people taking a stand for gender equality. I was as also part of the Youth Civic and Political Advisory Team for UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS).
For a short period of time, I was hired as a consultant for Governing health futures 2030, a joint The Lancet & Financial Times Commission exploring the convergence of digital health, artificial intelligence (AI) and other frontier technologies with universal health coverage (UHC). I am currently closely working with the African Union, representing Morocco as an African Youth Charter (AYC) Hustler, to lead continental, regional and national advocacy for the ratification and implementation of the Charter as well as the institution of effective monitoring and reporting mechanisms.
Academically, I have obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication from Saint Louis University-Madrid Campus. Followed by a Master of Arts in International Law and the Settlement of Disputes from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. I hold different certificates including in International Humanitarian Law-ICRC, International Refugee Law-UNHCR, Understanding Violence Against Women and Girls-UN Women, Operationalizing the Right to Development in Implementing the SDGs-OHCHR.
Last year, I have participated in The Global Allyship Program by The African Middle Eastern Leadership Project (AMEL), supported by the Stevens Initiative, and as well completed their Communication and Leadership Program. I have also graduated from the very first cohort of Young Women Peace-Builders by UN Women Regional Office for the Arab States region. The Young Women Peacebuilders programme (YWP) is an investment in the next generation of young women as peacebuilders, meditators, negotiators and leaders of sustainable peace.
As of right now, I am pursuing a Master of Arts in Forced Migration and Refugee Protection Studies through distance learning with the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Professionally, I joined UNDP Crisis Bureau in their Human Mobility team, helping governments develop policies, leadership skills, partnerships and institutional capabilities related to migration, displacement and development.