Gender Empowerment

Majd… a virtual ambassador of positive change


Majd (the same name is used for both the male and female characters) is Sharek and UNFPA virtual ambassador, a 12-year-old who advocates for positive change in the lives of Palestinian adolescents, who number approximately two million. Majd is brave, curious, and engaged; Majd wants to be a healthy, educated, and active Palestinian citizen, contributing to the good of the community, promoting gender equality, and combating gender-based violence.


Many challenges may occur as Majd navigates the complex road to adulthood: physical changes brought on by puberty coupled with rapid psychological development and an increased desire for autonomy and stability; peer pressure and potential harmful social norms; and many, many questions. To become a healthy and educated adult, Majd needs a supportive environment, a great amount of information, and many learning opportunities to help Majd transfer safely from adolescence into adulthood. With generous funding support from Belgium to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Sharek Youth Forum developed a cartoon character illustrating a brave student who promotes gender equality and plays an active role in standing up for Women and girls’ rights. Henceforth, introducing the general idea of positive behaviour and masculinity through integrating it as an educational tool. Majd takes young people on a journey through adolescence using animated videos, a mobile application, educational diary, educational games, and theatre-based awareness-raising activities, including school contests.


Palestinian society today needs new tools and methods to help adolescents and youth safely transit from adolescence into adulthood. Majd is not just a cartoon character but a stimulation for positive change and behaviour that begins in childhood and promotes long-term commitment to supporting human rights in general, Women and girls’ rights in particular.


The Journey


Majd’s long journey started in 2018, accompanying Palestinian children and adolescents through various tools and methods.

Majd’s journey invites young people and others including the media to engage in an innovative and unconventional initiative, bringing gender inequality and gender-based violence into mainstream narratives, rather than simply viewing them as issues relevant to women only.


Majd’s journey raises awareness about gender inequality within Palestinian society and ways to change attitudes towards all forms of gender-based violence; it encourages young people to challenge dominant stereotypes and promotes young men’s engagement in advocacy for gender equality while simultaneously increasing young Women’s awareness and empowering them to reject all forms of violence against their peers, both females and males.


Majd “Brave Student” Diary


The brave student. Majd diary was developed and updated based on the brave man diary developed in 2017 with the support of the Spanish Cooperation to UNFPA in 2017 which focused at first on teaching boys the concept of positive masculinity and their engagement in promoting gender equality. In 2018, the brave student, Majd’s diary was updated to raise the awareness of both boys and girls on concepts related to gender sensitive roles and responsibilities among school students and their families, teachers, friends, and others, aiming at changing misperceptions and stereotypical behaviours of gender inequality associated with norms and traditions, that leads to gender-based violence in the Palestinian society. The diary has been used as an educational tool in selected public, private and UNRWA schools in partnership with the Ministry of Education, and UNRWA. Teachers and counsellors have been trained on the usage of the diary where they facilitated class sessions reflecting on bravery, the perceptions of gender norms, and violence. Through reflections, students talk about the value of domestic work and their mothers’ role at home. They also discuss the fine line between societal gender roles and whether they can be crossed or not. Can men cook? Can women work outside the frames of the home? etc. This aims to make these students advocates for women’s rights and roles. 


The diary is one of the tools used by teachers, counsellors, and parents not only to talk about the change in understanding gender roles, but also to enhance the dialogue with parents, friends, and teachers on topics including violence and discrimination in the society.


Majd mobile application


The application introduces an electronic version of the diary through games and worksheets for positive practices in a variety of situations that the child may face at home, in school, in the neighbourhood and public places. The application includes digital security materials, animated videos, awareness-raising posters, and interactive games. Currently, more than 500 children have downloaded the application. The application is currently available on Google Play under the name رحلة مجد (Majd’s journey).


Majd against COVID-19


To respond to the worsening situation during the coronavirus outbreak, Majd decided to stay at home and engaged virtually through an online platform under the name رحلة مجد (Majd’s Journey) on Facebook. Through this platform, various programs were introduced to keep children and adolescents engaged during their homestay. Forty-seven young volunteers worked to develop content and introduce it through a variety of means, including an online summer camp, reading competitions, health and well-being sessions, online Majd diary sessions, digital security and early marriage campaigns, and question and answer sessions. Around 300 items of educational material (videos, posters, and posts) have been created and introduced attracting 137,699 views and 11,150 accounts.


You, too, are invited to meet Majd and Majd and join them on their journey.

  • Around 300 items of educational material (videos, posters, and posts) have been created and introduced attracting 137,699 views and 11,150 accounts.
  • 47 young volunteers worked to develop content and introduce it through a variety of means, including the following:
  • An online summer camps
  • Reading competitions
  • Health and well-being sessions
  • Online Majd diary sessions
  •  Digital security and early marriage campaigns
  •  Question and answer sessions