- Age: 22
- | He/him/his
Country of Origin:
I am not a man, unless I am a feminist.
- Nojus Saad
Nojus Saad is a multi award-winning Digital Health expert with 7+ years of research, capacity-building, and advocacy expertise in healthcare, gender and digital inclusion. He has directly impacted 5000+ youth and women in 51 rural and marginalized territories of Iraq, India and France. Nojus is the President of Youth For Women Foundation, making him the youngest Iraqi CEO of a French multinational organization. He is the PMNCH Vice Chair at World Health Organisation, where he represents at global dialogues with world leaders, including the WHO’s 10th Global Conference on Health Promotion and the 24th International Aids Conference. Nojus is an Expert Adviser on Locally-led Development at Bond UK; consulting the UK’s International Aid Sector on investments promoting rural development. He is the former UN Internet Governance Forum ambassador, research fellow at ICANN, and regional ITU ambassador; where he championed inclusive digital healthcare policies. He was also trained by the Swedish Institute and Orygen for innovating digital mental health services for MENA region’s villages. Nojus is a Kofi Annan ChangeMaker, Reckitt Benckiser ambassador at One Young World, LGBTQI+ Scholar at ILGA World, and women’s champion at Women Deliver. He is a Clinton Foundation student at Vanderbilt University and a certified MD.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
I grew up in a vulnerable and remote town in Iraq, where my childhood was haunted by the sight and sounds of men abusing their wives and children everyday. A society that grants men the legal and moral right to “discipline” and exclusively control the lives, choices and bodies of women and girls; from abstaining her access to essential healthcare and digital services, depriving her from seeing her own family, mandating her to carry a household alone, to deciding if and how many children she can have. This results in the terrifying numbers of emotional, physical, and sexual violence against women and LGBTQI+ young people that this country records every year. In addition to the lack of inclusive and accessible medical, legal, and psychological services or shelter programmes for victims. Those are all the basis of my extreme devotion and 7+ years of humanitarian volunteering and dedication to women and youth empowerment; through community education, rural research, policy reform campaigns, and digital inclusion services in the rural, semi-urban, and refugee communities where most human rights violations take place.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
The enormous victory in my gender equality and digital gender inclusion initiatives, includes all the inspiriting moments when me and my team gave our sweat and swears into delivering above 35 educational campaigns and trainings; which directly impacted more than 5000 women and young people in 51 rural and disadvantaged communities of Iraq and India. The successful implementation of the Diana award-winning national Policy campaign on Domestic Violence has also been the biggest highlight of my professional life. In which, we empowered 550+ youth activists, rural women, national civil society organizations, religious leaders, and government officials for a nationwide Domestic Violence policy for women and children across rural Iraq and India. On the international stage, I was humbled to have recently represented the voices and struggles of our vulnerable rural world at the 67th session of the UN Commission on Status of Women, and delivered one of the most impactful Keynote speeches at the Gender Equality Plenary session of the 2022 One Young World Summit; as the ambassador of Reckitt Benckiser Plc. I shared the disheartening story of my society with Domestic Violence, and how it is a shadow form of Modern Slavery.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
Volunteering, listening to Ted talks, reading fictional novels under the stars of the dark sky, reading professional books, going on a hike, watching movies and diving into euphoria through music - are all activities that make me lose track of time.
- Arabic (Advanced/Native)
- English (Advanced/Native)
- French (Beginner)
- Domestic violence against women and children
- LGBTQIA+ mental health and human rights
- Digital health and internet inclusion
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- Diana Humanitarian Award from the legacy of Diana, Princess of Wales (2021)
- LGBTQI+ Scholar at ILGA World in the city of Long Beach, California (2022)
- International AIDS Society Scholar at the 24th International AIDS Conference (2022)
- Kofi Annan ChangeMaker at the United Nations, Kofi Annan Foundation (2022)
- ICANN Senior Policy Fellow (2021)