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10 A young Tunisian woman between science and activism[1]

Sihem Nasraoui

Good afternoon everyone,

I am honored to be today with you to share my experiences as an engineering, activist and a young student like you.

But first of all, I want to thank Beatriz and her dedicated team from Conarte NGO, Rey Juan Carlos University and everyone else who supported me to be here today with you.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Sihem Nasraoui. I am an activist, the regional youth and community mobilization leader. I take part of the Young Leaders Entrepreneurs, that is a youth-led awarded organization working for fostering peace, cohesive inclusion and resilience, through mentorship and startup-oriented projects.

I am leading the Peace Lab Kasserine within the network of Peace Lab Project founded by the Young Leaders Entrepreneurs. I am also a UNFPA 2250 Youth, Women and Peace. I am also member in the Cultural-Artistic group Kasserine-Madrid specifically under the umbrella of the Kasserine Catalyst, which is an initiative sponsored by the European Culture Foundation and implemented by the Tunisian Young Leaders Entrepreneurs and its partner in Spain Conarte NGO.

I know I gave a lot of information but I just wanted to give a background about the amazing work of this youth-led organization. So, “women and science” is an interesting subject and yet difficult. In Tunisia girls used to be forced to study anything else except engineering or anything technical because the society in the past believed that women were not smart enough to study such subjects. However, after the revolution, Tunisia witnessed a high increase of girls challenging the odds to become engineers, scientists and an entrepreneurs. Today, as a future engineer, I am the General Secretary of one of the most influential clubs called Young Engineering. Its aim is democratizing access to science and engineering offering capacity building, hackathon, challenges and bootcamps mainly in the Manouba University in Tunis. I am proud of the fact that more than an half of active members are women who believe that science can be empowering, science can solve social issues like poverty, illiteracy, violence, extremism and gender-based violence.

Through our activities across the regione, we helped vulnerable communities, like my hometown, Kasserine.  There we offered a training for children and adolescent, with a huge particiapation of girls, with the aim of teaching them how to use mobile applications to denounce sexual harassment in their schools.


  1. This is the presentation made by Sihem in the seminar “Sciences and Cultural Rights: Exploring connections.”


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