American University of Beirut

Mission, Vision, and Pillars

​​​​​​​​​​We are a multi-sector, multi-country, interdisciplinary movement of businesses, universities, and civil society organizations, transforming employment policies and practices to accelerate women's economic inclusion across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Join us!


SAWI is a regional model for collaborative impact that aims to accelerate women's economic inclusion in the MENA by overcoming policy and practice barriers. We are the first regional initiative to focus on the formal economies of the MENA. We partner with HR managers and thought leaders to reform and implement employment policies within organizations and across sectors. We are a leader for local solutions designed by MENA experts and for MENA economies. We are a multi-stakeholder and participatory movement of businesses, universities, and civil society organizations collaborating across disciplines and geographical borders on an agenda for dignified economic participation of women.​


SAWI's team strives for a future in which universities, businesses, and civil society organizations collaborate for social impact by improving women's careers and well-being. We aspire that the MENA region will implement inclusive workplace policies to not only capitalize on women's talent, but to also ensure fair and equitable work experiences for all. We want all individuals, regardless of identity, to have dignified, meaningful, and rewarding careers and workplace experiences, and together build more sustainable futures in the region.​

SAWI pillars constitute our theory of change, applied across countries and sectors for inclusive workplace policies and practices.​​


I. Participatory and action-oriented research for social impact 

Learning together and learning by conducting research aimed at social impact. SAWI mobilizes academics, managers, government officials, civil society leaders, and activists to initiate, explore, and publish research that is focused on improving women’s careers through inclusive policies and practices. 

II. Skill-building and partnerships

Building a community of practice and certifying HR managers and trailblazing employers. SAWI’s commitment to workplace inclusion is extended through customized learning opportunities such as executive training, mini-certification, and workshops.   

III. Co-creation of strategies for women’s dignified economic inclusion 

Highlighting women's experiences for solutions that cater to local and sectoral contexts. SAWI model is about working together with decision-makers and those affected by policies in order to identify solutions that are applicable and sustainable for employers. 

IV. Mobilization for dignified workplace inclusion

Taking collective action for solidarity based on informative research and multi-stakeholder engagement. SAWI aims at organizing across countries and borders to engage decision-makers in policy-change. We are a network of partners across countries and sectors in the MENA region to identify and empower change makers within different societies.

V. Knowledge transfer and global networks​ 

Deliberately generative applicable knowledge for the region, and by regional actors, to workplace policies. SAWI is a model of how knowledge is a powerful tool for awareness, policy change, and collaboration. ​

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