by Lucia Conti
Sana Afouaiz is a public speaker on global feminism and an expert on women’s issues in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
In 2016, she founded Womenpreneur-Initiative, an organization that aims to advance women’s position in the entrepreneurial scene, technology, and innovation.
For the past five years, she has advised the United Nations, the European Commission, corporate institutions, and organizations on gender issues, and in July 2020, she will be a role model speaker in the Spotlight Session of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) international online conference, “Women in Industry and Innovation”.
Sana Afouaiz was born and grew up in Morocco and she started caring about gender equality at a very young age. She was a pre-teen when she first got interested in feminist books and started writing short paragraphs about inspiring women on the school magazine.
Now she is 26 and her commitment is stronger than ever.
“I do face discrimination daily, like most women” she says, “For instance, I’m quite outspoken, and sometimes I have been told that, as a woman, it is better not to be”.
But for Afouaiz discrimination doesn’t only occur when women are penalized for being assertive, it is also a major issue in the workplace.
“When I am presenting a project to be sponsored and people ask me personal questions, like my marital status, that’s discrimination. And it was discrimination when I started my organization and many possible investors asked me whether I had a male co-founder”.