Mary Zaki – Women Deliver

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Mary Zaki

  • Age: 31
  •    |   She/her/hers


Country of Origin:

Country of Residence:

Expertise Areas:

We, humanitarian and development practitioners, cannot work anymore without integrating the age, gender, and diversity approach when designing, planning, implementing, and monitoring and evaluating our interventions. Intersectionalities do determine our work, and using such a lens is key to understanding, reaching out, and impacting those lives to see an actual change that alters situations of oppression and strives for equality for all.

- Mary Zaki


Mary Zaki was born and raised in Egypt. She is working toward a professional master’s degree in gender and development studies from Cairo University. As a Child Protection Officer at Save the Children International, Egypt Country Office, Mary is responsible for managing three teams of 19 members and design and implement activities of a one-year project that is funded by UNHCR, which manages cases of unaccompanied and separated minors aged 15-18 from Africa and Syria who are newcomers to Egypt and register with UNHCR to seek asylum.

What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?

As a young advocate for children's and women's rights, I used to see all dynamics around me from a gender-sensitive lens. In Egypt, I have been integrated in communities where gender inequalities are pervasive and apparent. These inequalities have triggered my ongoing advocacy efforts to alleviate as many burdens and harmful social norms as possible for these people to thrive and stand free of oppression as a fundamental human right.

Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.

I have designed a project in collaboration mainly with UNHCR in the course of my work at Save the Children to advance the position of girls and boys at their communities who are about to age out with the objective of empowering them enough to face the new challenges and mitigate the risk to be subjected to SGBV. This project aims at reaching 150 of this target group. We are still in the implementation phase, in which most of its activities were suspended because of COVID-19 crisis.

Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?

Reading, playing sports, and traveling.

Languages Spoken:

  • Arabic (Advanced/Native)
  • English (Advanced/Native)

Speaks On:

  • gender equality and programming
  • gender equality and child protection
  • SGBV response in emergency contexts

Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:

  • Fellow at the Swedish Institute Gender Equality Lab (2019-2020)
  • Caring For Children Moving Alone: Protecting Unaccompanied and Separated Children University of Strathclyde and Celci (2019)
  • Age, Gender, and Diversity by UNHCR (2019)
  • IELTS Academic Module (Band 7 overall) (2018)
  • Sustainable Development in the 21st Century with Ban Ki Moon (2018)
  • Certificate in International Women’s Health and Human Rights by Stanford University (Online, 2018)
  • Sexual Violence Course by MSF Barcelona (2018)