The Goodwall-SISD-Womanity Scholarships
(Middle East and North Africa)

A competition to find outstanding female students across the Middle East and North Africa


The project

“ The competition being held by Goodwall, the Swiss International School of Dubai (SISD) and The Womanity Foundation is a celebration of the excellence achieved by young females around the Middle East and Africa” said Goodwall, co-founder Taha Bawa. “We believe that talent can be found throughout the world, and we want to make sure that these talented young women are getting the education they need and deserve.”

The challenge 

Across the region, women’s employment is around half of that of men’s. We are trying to change that by supporting girls and women’s access to quality education and vocational training. This includes promoting avenues that give women a voice in society, politics and governance institutions.

Freedom House, among others, reported that women in the Middle East and North Africa are often in dependent positions within the family and subjected to conservative societal norms and that “women in the region are significantly underrepresented in senior positions in politics and the private sector, and in some countries, they are completely absent from the judiciary.” Despite challenges, there are many women paving the way for change by fighting for their right, reclaiming an equal role in society and proposing inspiring projects.

The approach

Between 2017 and 2019 Goodwall, the Swiss International School of Dubai (SISD), and Womanity will offer two different Scholarships to female students in the Middle East and Northern Africa who have had a positive and lasting impact in their communities or have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills. We’re looking for role-models who are capable of inspiring others to have a positive impact on their own communities.

In particular, in 2017, the three organizations will award 10 iPads for meriting high school girls and between 2017-2018, they will offer a prize of USD 5,000 to cover the tuition of a university of choice of a young female student. The monetary prize is generously offered by Goodwall.

Starting in September 2018- with the selection process beginning this summer 2017- Goodwall – SISD – Womanity Scholarship will offer a two year full-tuition at the Swiss International Scientific School of Dubai (SISD) for a young female leader in the MENA region. She will be ready to join Grade 11 in September 2018. The two-year scholarship is generously offered by SISD while Womanity and Goodwall commit to secure her a scholarship to join University and continue in higher education afterwards.

“Boarding at SISD allows our school to offer an outstanding international educational to young students from all over the Middle East and further afield.  With the help of the Womanity/Goodwall Foundation, the search for an eager and deserving young mind to join our community enables us to have a positive and meaningful impact on the world around us and particularly for the individual and their family” said SISD Founder Omar Danial

To participate to the call, interested candidates have to create a profile on Goodwall. More details can be found here:


Valued partners

Goodwall is a positive, inspirational community for young people to connect and get recognition for their talents and achievements. Committed to celebrating student success and rewarding students for outstanding leadership, community service, innovation and top achievements, Goodwall has a fast-growing community of approximately 1M students from 150+ countries and works with top universities around the world.

The Swiss International Scientific School in Dubai (SISD) is a leading international day and boarding school where future generations are inspired to become confident and enthusiastic lifelong learners, ready to embrace the opportunities and challenges of a global world.  SISD provides an inspiring, inclusive and challenging learning environment while celebrating academic excellence.








Teenagers Leading Change (Past Project)

Inspiring and empowering young disadvantaged Arab Israeli women.


The project

“The Teenagers Leading Change program improved my connection with my school. I started to learn seriously and decided to do the matriculation exams. I understood the importance of education, and now I believe I can succeed.” – Arab Israeli teenager and program participant.

The Challenge

Arab women in Israel face major challenges: both as members of a minority group and as part of the more traditional Arab society. Their political representation is almost non-existent and they have few opportunities to be part of any decision-making processes. They remain the poorest, lowest paid, and least educated segment of Israeli society.

The number of Arab girls in Israel who continue to higher studies after completing mid-level education remains very low. This drastically reduces their chances of achieving their full potential, obtaining work, or becoming independent and lifting themselves out of poverty.

The Approach

“Reaching girls at this influential age can lead to deep-seated transformations in their lives and can change their academic and professional career paths.” – Antonella Notari, Director Womanity Foundation.

In 2008, with the Israeli Women’s Network (IWN), the Womanity Foundation developed the program, Teenagers Leading Change (TLC). This was a unique leadership training course, intended to promote the empowerment and personal development of young Arab women in Israel. Validated by the Israeli Ministry of Education, the training targeted Arab women aged 16 and 17 in the city of Jaffa in East Jerusalem, and in the so-called Triangle area.

The course was delivered by specialized facilitators in 10 weekly sessions. Through role-play, discussion, practical exercises, and lectures, the course examined social inequality issues, perceptions of stereotypes, sexual identity, and other gender-related topics. It provided participants with skills needed to gain confidence, exercise leadership roles, and make life-determining choices, whilst providing a safe environment to share views and feelings about the role and status of women in their communities.

The training took place during school hours to ensure full student participation. Schools selected the classes in which the course was taught, based largely on the number and interest of students.

The Impact

Womanity worked with IWN to carry out an independent and in-depth evaluation of the program’s impact, especially in relation to changes in attitudes and behaviour among participants. The evaluation considered in-depth interviews and facilitators’ feedback on the groups they led.

  • Over 1,500 young Arab women aged 15 to 17 have participated in the program, furthering their critical thinking skills and personal development.
  • In 2013, the program was strengthen by introducing modules aimed at encouraging girls’ taking on leadership roles and independent decisions.
  • The evaluation showed a positive impact in improved wellbeing, better listening skills and empathy in the participants who as a result were most likely to consider continuing their studies and pursuing a professional career.

 Teenagers Leading Change Valued Partners

The Israeli Women’s Network (IWN)




University Scholarships
(Palestinian Territories)

Supporting underprivileged young Palestinian women graduating from university.


The project

“Entering university had provided me with self-confidence and the ability to deal with other people and to understand their points of view and learn from them. I started looking at life from a different angle that is now filled with hope and enthusiasm for a better future.” – Ghadeer Muzahem, graduated in Accounting from Al-Quds University in 2012 with the support of the Womanity Foundation

The Challenge

In the Palestinian Territories education of women is valued as proven by the fact that it has one of the best female literacy rates in the developing world. Women from poor backgrounds, however, often miss out on the opportunity to pursue higher education. As a result, they have fewer training and educational chances to develop their skills and gain economic independence and remain trapped in poor economic conditions without opportunities to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

 The Approach

In collaboration with the Women’s Studies Centre (WSC),  Womanity developed a project to provide financial support to underprivileged young women and cover their university tuition fees. The aim is to boost supported women’s chances of finding employment by helping them to complete courses at colleges and universities.

The women selected must meet socio-economic criteria, have graduated successfully from high school and maintain high academic scores. Representatives from the WSC visit each family before approving a scholarship, follow-up with the academic performance of students and pay directly to the Universities the tuition fees due. A special scholarship has further been established for young girls living in refugee camps.

The annual scholarships covered the costs for one semester per year in order to encourage some funding from the students or other sources.

The Impact

Since 2009, 21 students have received scholarships for one semester per year, 20 of them successfully graduated.

Of the young women who have graduated, some have already entered the workplace and are involved in careers such as teaching, or as employees in pharmacy, non-governmental organizations and private sector, or are working as volunteers and civil servants. Others have progressed to additional higher education.

WSC were also able to expand the project and fund, with additional sources, an average of additional 55 scholarships every year.

Valued Partner

The Women’s Study Centre (WSC)