‘Obstacles are not barriers to achieving your goals, but rather a ladder to climb to achieve our dreams.‘
Riham Riad Al-Adwan, a 19-year old girl from Southern Shouneh is the eldest of 5 children with aspirations of becoming a fashion designer. However, Riham has struggled academically, receiving failing marks on her tawjihi exam (exit exam for high school students), a test that has become a major factor in determining the professional opportunities available to its workforce. Despite this significant roadblock between Riham and her dream, she began to develop her craft of sewing and looked forward to working in the local garments factory to continue to hone her skill. However, due to her parent’s negative ideas towards manual labor, a perspective that permeates the Jordanian culture, she was not allowed to pursue a job that would support her ambitions in becoming a fashion designer. Though her parents did not have the financial means to afford college tuition, and despite Riham failing her tawjihi exams continued to be persuaded by her parents to achieve a degree in higher education. Faced with considerable push back from her parents, Riham felt she had very little options to pursue. Nonetheless, the paradoxical nature of Riham’s situational conundrum is far more common than it should be.
With the implementation of JoWomenomics “Work Ethics and Employability skills” training program, and the assembly of local empowerment committees that organized and implemented social dialogue sessions with the local communities, and after several attempts by Riham to persuade her parents, Riham was permitted to participate in the skills-building program. During the development courses, Riham began to develop confidence in herself and pride in her professional goals. Riham successfully completed the work ethics and skills-building courses and received a salaried position in the local garments factory. The course was able to develop Riham’s professional confidence and provided her with the relevant soft and hard skills to successfully navigate the workplace.
As a result of the JoWomenomics program, supported by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Riham was able to effectively organize her time; providing financial support for her family. Additionally, Riham is now more aware of her role in society and her ability to affect change. She is sincerely thankful for the role JoWomenomics has played in her life; helping her and many girls like her to find purpose and achieve their goals.
Riham is currently planning to complete her bachelor's degree, with hopes of becoming a fashion designer.