Ala Oueslati

2017 Winner

Position: Women Deliver Young Leader / Blogger & Freelance Journalist / Empower Women Global Champion / Founder
Organization: Women Deliver / Youth Time International Movement / UN Empower Women / SHE Mobile Clinic
Current Location: Tunisia, Africa

B.A. in International Business Administration with Major in International Affairs from Nazareth College of Rochester & University of Tunis

Additional Degrees and Certifications:
• Certificate of Spanish language C2 level from Instituto Cervantes
• Certificate of Russian language B2 level from Bourguiba Institute of Modern Languages IBLV in Tunis
• Certificate of Mandarin Chinese Language and Culture course from Confucius Institute at University of Liverpool
• Diploma of piano theory at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY
• Women Deliver Course Certificates (2) on Women’s SRHR, Family Planning, Porject Management and Advocacy
• Certificate of Completion of YaLa Citizen Journalist Program by YaLa Academy & the Peres Center for Peace
• Certificate of completion of the MENA Regional Youth Advocacy Course on GCED in Amman, Jordan by the UN Secretary General’s GEFI
• Certificate of participation in the Adolescent and Youth Wellbeing in the MENA Conference at American University of Beirut, Lebanon
• Certificate of participation in Rome Model United Nations Conference in Rome
• Amnesty International Certificate of participation in Amnesty’s International Human Rights Conference in Chicago
• Certificate of participation as North African delegate at MINDS Annual African Youth Dialogue in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
• Certificate of participation in Tunisian AMPION Venture Bus 2014
• Certificate of completion of course on UN SDGs Reporting offered by International Center for Journalists & the United Nations Foundation
• Certificate of completion of internship at Caux Initiatives of Change in Caux, Switzerland, June & July 2013
• Certificate completion of Caux Peacebuilding Program at Caux Initiatives of change, Caux, Switzerland, June, July & August 2016
• Certificate of completion of internship at the UNDP Mauritania, Nouakchott, Mauritania
Awards Received:

Empower Women Global Champion title
Awarding Organization:
UN Women
Date Awarded:
November 12, 2016

UNLEASH LAB 2017 for SDG Talents
Awarding Organization:
Date Awarded:
May 31, 2017
Alumni Innovation and Entrepreneurship Fund (AIEF) Award
Awarding Organization:
Date Awarded:
December 18, 2015

Ala Oueslati is a young feminist activist and SRHR advocate from Tunisia. He has been a Women Deliver Young Leader since 2015, advocating for women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in the Middle East and Africa. Ala is a freelance journalist and blogger. He writes for Youth Time Magazine, YaLa Press, Global Eyes Network, Make Every Woman Count Blog, and the Huffington Post, amongst others. He has also co-authored a commentary on the Lancet Commission Report on adolescent health and wellbeing. Mr. Oueslati launched “SHE Clinic”, a women’s SRHR promotion campaign in rural Tunisia aimed at advocating for and supporting women’s reproductive health, safe abortion, and access to contraception. In 2016, he has been selected by UN Women as an Empower Women Global Champion working on advancing women’s economic empowerment in the MENA. He has worked for several international organizations such as the Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue in New York, the UNDP in Mauritania, and Caux Initiatives of Change in Switzerland. Ala has traveled to more than 30 countries across Africa, the Middle East and Europe where he has conducted extensive research on women’s rights, health, and wellbeing, and gender perspectives. He has spoken in numerous occasions in more than 10 countries, some of which were the Adolescent Wellbeing Conference in Beirut, MINDS Annual Meeting in Victoria Falls, Women Deliver Global Conference and Talk Town Festival in Copenhagen. Mr. Oueslati has recently been appointed Youth Media Professional by the African Union, working as part of a think-tank on harnessing the Demographic Dividend in Africa through investment in youth.

“A Tunisian women’s rights advocate, he was selected by Women Deliver to work on women’s sexual & reproductive health focusing on family planning in rural Tunisia. He’s an Empower Women Global Champion & a family planning project leader & blogger.

– Thouraya Bessaoudi, Teacher at Ministry of Education of Tunisia

Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

Since I became a Women Deliver Young Leader, I have been advocating for women’s sexual & reproductive health and rights SRHR in the MENA. In Tunisia, I’ve launched a promotion campaign on a mobile clinic in the remote south where my fellow volunteers and I were able to help over 100 women find support, medical assistance & answers to their SRHR problems. The project that I called SHE Clinic reached out to as many as 15 villages, helped over 30 pregnant women go to regional hospitals for necessary tests & medicine & made contraception methods more accessible to over 200 women. Other than SHE clinic, I have also been advocating for women’s SRHR & challenging other men to do the same & confront patriarchy through blogs, articles, videos and workshops that I organize in Tunisia and beyond.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

t was only when I witnessed violence & discrimination against women, some in my own community, that I understood my responsibility towards this cause. It was only when I grew up to learn that contraception & SRHR are taboos, that marriage is about pregnancy, that a mother should aspire to have many kids, & that as a man this fight isn’t mine, that I decided to dedicate my life to advocate for family planning and women’s SRHR. I believe these are a major key to social peace and prosperity.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

To bridge generational divides and operate in the conservative south, I gathered other SRHR advocates from the region & approached families with scientific evidence & a less complicated language. I then made adjustments to the clinic to keep it operational in this context. I co-authored a commentary on the Lancet Commission on Adolescent Health & Wellbeing & was invited by Barack Obama & ex-Tunisian PM to DC to discuss my work in Tunisia as an advocate & project founder.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work?

This title will allow me to approach family planning in remote areas with a bigger voice. I’ll use the grant to improve our mobile clinic, purchase new materials, print toolkits & start psychological support for women in need. I’ll also use this platform to broaden my online advocacy & reach out to as many advocates in Tunisia as possible, creating new coalitions & partnerships. Finally the grant will help me organize & fund my dream North Africa workshop on family Planning.

Video Introduction

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work