American Univesity of Beirut

The SAWI Project

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​WHY SAWI?​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Women in the region face structural barriers at the workplace. These barriers manifest in the weak policies for women's recruitment, retention, and promotion. Women get turned down from positions they aspire for or may not even apply at all to jobs in male dominated professions. Working women also tend to hold on to their jobs but retention is not equated with workplace wellbeing and work-life balance. Women also are barely represented in senior and decision-making positions. We know these facts and we measured them in the KIP Index using surveys from employers, we also captured women's voices and perceptions in the Lived Experience Index.

Together with our partners from the region, we decided not to sit aside and wait for change. We have joined forces to accelerate women's inclusion by empowering employers and decision-makers to develop policies that begin to address structural barriers.

Women should not bear the burdens on their own. Employers and Human Resource managers can play a role in facilitating women's access to jobs they deserve, improve workplace wellbeing, and increase women's rates of promotion to top positions.   

SAWI Project, which stands for “Support and Accelerate Women's Inclusion", has established a transnational network of employers to develop, improve, and implement inclusive policies and practices for better recruitment, retention, and promotion of women. Together with our partners, we will work towards national action plans for the dignified and sustainable inclusion of women in formal economies across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

SAWI is operating in Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. Against all odds, our network of trailblazing employers are championing inclusive policies.

Women's dignified careers and workplace wellbeing is important for economic growth, social development, and women's lives. Join us, in refusing to sit and wait, our multi-stakeholder partnerships and evidence-based approaches can successfully accelerate women's inclusion. 



To accelerate SAWI's pace of change, we will:

> Work with a multi-disciplinary team of activists, scholars, and professionals to develop inclusive recruitment, retention and promotion policies
> Learn and interact with our Country Partners who are building networks, collecting data, and reaching out to decision-makers.
> Contribute to shaping the region's first ever eco-system on Gender-Lens Investing
> Learn how to apply the recommendations from the KIP index and Lived Experiences index in your organization
> Join a growing network of employers and decision-makers in the public, private, and non-profit sectors leading ​inclusive policy change in the region ​


The SAWI project was made possible through generous funding of the US State Department and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).​


Our milestones have been made possible thanks to the partners we have worked with in eight countries (Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia). These partnerships are critical to the building and delivery of an inclusive culture in the region.


This project is led by Dr. Charlotte Karam, Dr. Lama Moussawi, Dr. Wassim Dbouk and Dr. Carmen Geha.​

SAWI Project Press Releases

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