When asked about her vision for a world where gender equality is a reality, Aya Chebbi sees “a world where women own their own narratives, because our struggle is a struggle for voice.”
Aya was born in Dahmani, yet spent her childhood years in 6 different cities in Tunisia, following her father who served 40 years in the Tunisian Armed Forces. Very young, she experienced patriarchal abuse, violence and discrimination, and has since then carried out her childhood traumas and turned them into resistance, fights and search for liberation. “Feminism is not about dividing society on the basis of gender. It is actually about uniting society to thrive in equality, unity and collaboration”.
Starting from her blog, Proudly Tunisian, to the feminist collective Voice of Women Initiative, Aya is creating multiple platforms for young people and women to speak up, be heard and have access to the digital space.
Founded with two other feminist bloggers, Konda Delphine from Cameroon, and Rose Wachuka from Kenya, the Voice of Women Initiative “trainscorrespondents around the world to document the stories of ordinary women doing extraordinary things”. Highlighting women’s achievements, the Voice of Women Initiative is self-described as “a feminist platform to empower women to voice their unedited and underreported stories without barriers of language, exclusion, editorial gatekeeping, access to the internet or agenda setting.”
The use of online tools and the conquest of the digital space is key to Aya’s fights, as she wants to “revolutionize the way we campaign and advocate, the way we use technology, access information and organise in new ways of activism”.
Aya wants to highlight and strengthen the role of women and of the youth in social change and in peacebuilding. Her vision for empowerment intersects with a vision for peace. Through her mentoring and organising of retreats and trainings, she want to lead people into “act[ing] as active citizens and changemakers.”
Her feminist and youth activism is inseparable from her Pan-African vision. Founding Chair of the Afrika Youth Movement, Aya wants to change the narrative about Africa. Named as one of Africa’s most outstanding young women leaders, Aya considers her life mission to “unite North Africa with the rest of the continent [...] and work towards Africa’s integration economically, culturally and politically.”
The Global Progressive Forum is thrilled to welcome Aya to the S&D Youth for Gender Equality Forum, where she will train 30 young activists from all over Europe.