Born and raised in Morocco, Yasmina Benslimane has lived in six countries around the world and firmly believes that gender equality is a universal right for all. She has witnessed firsthand in her own country how oppressive laws affect women and force them to remain silent out of fear of breaking the status quo. Today, she is a member of the United Nations Association of the USA, human rights activist and the founder of Politics4Her, a feminist, youth-led blog that reinforces one main message: All politics must include girls and women. She has helped to lead a movement aimed at breaking stereotypes, including women’s voices in social, political, and economic decision-making, and setting them on paths to live out their full potential everywhere.
What does #EqualEverywhere mean to you?
It means that we leave no one behind — that everybody deserves equal dignity, opportunities, and human rights.
How do you advocate for equal rights for girls and women?
By being an active participant rather than a passive observer. By raising my voice through social media platforms and participating in as many opportunities to smash patriarchy coming my way.
What motivates you to do this work?
Growing up in Morocco and having a single mother came with a lot of challenges. I witnessed and experienced firsthand how hard it was for women to have equal access to rights and opportunities and advancement, simply because they were women.
What progress are you seeing as a result of your work?
I am seeing countless young women inspired. I am seeing many more wanting to join the fight. I am seeing women raising their voices and not being scared of breaking the status quo.
What progress are you seeing in the wider gender equality movement?
Women are stepping out of their comfort zones and shattering old barriers. We also now see greater diversity and inclusion as Kamala Harris became the first female vice president of the United States of America. The glass ceiling has been broken at multiple levels.
In which part of life are you most committed to taking action on gender equality, and why? For example, at work, school, home, or at the polls.
Definitely political participation and leadership. My wish is to see as many women as possible in leadership positions. The more we see women at the top, the more young women will get inspired and know that they can do it, too.
What will you challenge others to do?
To have uncomfortable conversations. To raise awareness about issues they care about. To stand out of the crowd. To make a change. To be the change they wish to see in the world.