Cartoon representation of Mariam - UNFPA virtual ambassador to adolescent girls in the Arab States

The UNFPA Arab States Regional Office (ASRO) has officially introduced Mariam — an animated character who now serves as a regional ambassador to adolescent girls. The 15-year-old girl who transcends borders, faiths, and ethnicities will address younger audiences, member states, partners, and donors to highlight the issues facing adolescent girls in the region, acting as a symbol of equality and universal human rights.

UNFPA ASRO celebrated Mariam's launch and birthday on 11 October 2020 — the International Day of the Girl Child. The international event also saw UNFPA continue to highlight the array of challenges facing adolescent girls as identified in its various programmes, including systemic gender discrimination, family and domestic violence, child and forced marriage, early pregnancy, sexual violence, among others.

 As a regional ambassador, Mariam will advocate for meaningful change in order to redefine the realities for many adolescents. Mariam is here to highlight the struggles, challenges, opportunities, and victories of adolescents and youth within the region. She will also work to mainstream the UNFPA mandate and its related ideas, concepts, and references in a safe, educational, familiar, and human rights-based approach to the adolescents and youth of the region.

Check this video to know more about Mariam!

UNFPA Arab States continues to highlight the issues of adolescents in two major new publications

The UNFPA Regional Syria Response Hub has recently launched two major publications aimed at fostering greater knowledge sharing among humanitarian actors in the region, focusing on service delivery and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first, an evaluation that tracks the evolution of gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health services within the Syria crisis response, captures the most effective programmes and initiatives that have allowed UNFPA’s programmes to serve those impacted by the Syria crisis, including programmes geared toward the often overlooked needs of adolescents. The second publication offers a closer look at the unique approaches UNFPA has taken in responding to COVID-19 within various Arab states, providing a series of successful best practices that can be reproduced by other regions and organisations.