I Can Be She in Paris

In 2013 Maslaha were funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to develop a toolkit that would practically illustrate our approach to tackling social issues affecting disadvantaged communities on an international scale. The idea was for Maslaha to build on its experience of working with disadvantaged communities in the UK and create a toolkit relevant to an international audience.

The 'Rêv'Elles' Programme - Empowering women to choose their own path

Following extensive research and consultation, Maslaha decided to work with Athina Marmorat to develop a project targeting young women in the suburbs. This pilot project targeted young women between the ages of 16 and 20 from disadvantaged communities in Sensitive Urban Zones (ZUS – Zones Urbaines Sensibles) in the Parisian suburbs.  Statistics around educational attainment, employment and occupation illustrated that our target group faces striking inequality of opportunity, examined in more detail through our qualitative research. (Read more about this here.)

The aim of the project was to build confidence and raise the aspirations of participants (from a variety of ethnic backgrounds) through educational workshops and by introducing them to local female role models with whom they could identify. 














The participating role models were:

  • Mariam Khattab: Head of recruitment division at Mozaik HR
  • Bouchra Alioua: Secretary General at the KPMG Foundation
  • Samira Ama: Doctor 
  • Koumba Diallo: Head of Animation at Herold retirement home
  • Emira Zaag: CEO of ZA Consulting, a business specialising in site management

The objectives behind the educational workshops included:

  • Developing knowledge and self-confidence
  • Overcoming inhibitions and deconstructing prejudice 
  • Raising aspirations
  • Developing a methodology to build a career plan, including previously unexplored paths














The immediate feedback from the first set of workshops was overwhelmingly positive, reflecting the life-changing impact on many participants, some highlights included: 

“I never got bored, there was an incredible atmosphere"

"The workshops allowed me to explore different types of personality, to see how other people think and understand their reality”

"Frankly the workshops gave great hope and confidence to us."

We are incredibly pleased that following our work in Paris with Athina and the participants in 2013, that Rev’Elles has been developed into an independent organisation. Athina secured funding and support from the KPMG Foundation and United States Embassy to run a second phase of workshops in April 2014. Read more about the workshops and the continued success of Rev'Elles here.

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