Idea Factory


Inclusive Policies for Young Men and Women in MENA

4 February 2015 - Paris, France

Idea Factory totemYoung men and women will be the drivers of the MENA region’s future development. Young people comprise almost 30% of MENA’s population, yet with unemployment rates among MENA youth significantly higher for other age segments and regions, their socio-economic integration is a challenge. Similarly, the labour force participation rate for women in the MENA region remains the world's lowest at 24%, and for young women, unemployment is nearly double that of men.

The OECD is committed to supporting policymakers around the world in addressing the youth unemployment challenge. Given the important economic and social dividends that could be achieved by further integrating young women and men into MENA economies, this area of work is highly strategic for the region and for the MENA-OECD Initiative’s future activities.

Objectives the MENA-OECD Idea Factory

The OECD Idea Factory “Inclusive Policies for Young Men and Women” brought together more than 50 participants from various backgrounds, including students and young entrepreneurs from the region. The event allowed participants to discuss in a highly interactive setting how governments in the MENA region can help to further inclusive policies responding to the expectations and needs of young men and women in the region. Focussing on the two pillars of the MENA-OECD Initiative, participants presented their ideas on:

  1. How to rebuild trust: including young men and women in policy-making and public service delivery

  2. How to unlock the potential of the private sector to create jobs for young men and women

Idea Factory roomThe outcomes of the Idea Factory fed into the MENA-OECD Initiative Steering Group meeting on 5th February that discussed how the ongoing work of the Initiative could be further developed to promote youth integration and women’s empowerment in the region. Key ideas developed by participants will also be reflected in forthcoming discussion policy documents, prepared by the MENA-OECD Initiative, on inclusive policies for young men and women in the MENA region.

Who attended

Policymakers and public officials engaged with representatives of civil society organisations, private sector, academia, students and young entrepreneurs from the MENA region.

Meeting Documents:

• Agenda:

English | Français| Arabic

Presentation: Youth in the MENA region: How can the private sector create more and better jobs?



• Discussion papers (forthcoming)

Steering Group meeting

OECD Work on Youth



Contact us:

For further information about the MENA-OECD Governance Programme, please contact Miriam Allam.

For further information about the MENA-OECD Investment Programme, please contact Nicola Ehlermann-Cache, Head of Programme.


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