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Women celebrate in the street. Credit: Oxfam

At a glance

AMAL supporting women's transformative leadership in changing times in the Middle East and North Africa.


AMAL (which means hope in Arabic) was a programme that supported women's transformative leadership in Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The programme worked through partner organisations to enable women from poor communities to strengthen their confidence, knowledge of their rights and their campaigning and advocacy skills. The aim is for these women to become leaders who can work with their communities reclaim their right to political and civic participation and achieve long lasting positive change. 

The programme ran from 2012-2015, implemented by Oxfam and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). There were an estimated 43,210 direct beneficiaries and 132,000 indirect beneficiaries.

Key activities and objectives

Key activities 
The AMAL Innovation Fund supports emerging women's rights and youth organisations to implement small innovative projects that advocate women's participation and provide opportunities for linking, learning and networking.  

The AMAL research project aims to provide an in depth analysis of the barriers to women's civic and political participation in poor and marginalized areas of the programme countries, and to identify potential opportunities for breakthrough. The research will be used for lobbying, advocacy and media work to raise the voices of women nationally, regionally and globally.  

By the end of the programme, women and girls will know their rights and be able to exercise leadership at all levels: household, community, national and regional, thus gaining power over their lives.

Women's organisations and their allies will have a collective voice on women's rights and be able to influence policies. Decision-makers and opinion formers will be more supportive of women's rights, aware of the needs of different women, including the marginalized, and reflect those in their positions. Finally, Oxfam and its partners will have stronger approaches to support women's leadership in the region and globally.

Partners and news

  • In Morocco women's organisations successfully advocated for a change to the penal code on rape. The law which previously stated that a rape perpetrator could be exempt from a prison sentence if he married his victim was amended by a unanimous vote of parliament in January 2014.
  • In Tunisia the new constitution passed in January 2014 recognises equality in rights and duties between men and women for the first time (article 20). This includes a commitment to protect and advance women's rights, as well as a commitment to ensure equal representation of women and men in elected bodies at all levels. The same constitution also includes commitments to eliminate violence against women (article 46), to address social inequality (articles 10 and 14) and to provide essential services to all citizens (articles 38, 39 and 44).
  • An article about AMAL (in Arabic) was featured in the Al Hayat newspaper in July 2014

Oxfam's AMAL Partners include:

The Women's Centre for Legal Aid and Counselling, Palestinian Working Women's Society for Development, Women's Affairs Centre, The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue & Democracy, Association des Femmes Tunisiennes pour la Recherche et le Développement, Ligue des Electrices Tunisiennes, Association Tunisienne des Femmes Démocrates, Yemeni Women's Union,Women's National Committee Yemen, La Fédération de la Ligue Démocratique des Droits des Femmes, Association troisième Millénaire pour le Développement de l'action Associative de Sud-Est, Association Démocratique des Femmes du Maroc, Center of Arab Women for Training & Research, Association Ennakhil.

AMAL is identifying more partners during implementation.

Time for women to lead in the Arab world

Time for women to lead in the Arab world

Watch the video

In the Arab uprisings women were on the front-line demanding change. Yet the Middle East and North Africa still rank the lowest in the world for women’s political participation.

AMAL blogs

Me, Marcel and five inspiring Moroccan women leaders

On the International Day of Rural Women Laurie Adams, Oxfam's Women's Rights Director, shares the stories of five inspiring women leaders she met on a recent trip to Morocco, accompanying... Read more

Fighting for political participation in Tunisia

On April 23 dozens of Tunisian women gathered in front of the National Assembly in the capital to protest against moves to curtail women's rights and ensure that women enjoy equal representation... Read more

Amal: hope for the women of the Arab spring

Although women were at the forefront of the 2011 uprisings in the Arab world, their voices are still not being heard in many areas. Here Serena Tramonti introduces our gender justice programme in... Read more

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