For many people across Jordan, life is incredibly challenging — especially women.
With around 15% of the population unemployed, many local families are unable to support themselves. Around 1 in 7 people live on less than £1.40 a day and struggle to survive.
For female-headed households, opportunities are even more limited. In fact, for women across Jordan, immense challenges sadly remain.
Whilst the gender gap between literacy and primary school attendance has almost disappeared, women still face a range of political, social and economic barriers.
In fact, women make up less than 1/5th of the workforce in Jordan.
That means that out of the 2.3 million people working in Jordan, fewer than 480,000 women are in work.
This means that many Jordanian women rely solely on the income of their families. The death of a husband and/or father can signify immense financial hardship.
This is sadly a scenario that mother-of-four Eman knew all too well…
From grief to income generation: Meet Eman
Living in Amman, life was stable for many years for Eman and her family.
However, ten years ago Eman’s husband sadly passed away and this marked the beginning of her struggle to provide for her family:
When my husband died, I felt like every door had closed and I didn’t want to do anything with my life anymore.
At first, Eman’s father was able to financially support her, however he too died a few years later.
Thankfully, Eman began receiving financial assistance from Islamic Relief with three of her children receiving assistance through our orphan sponsorship programme. This ensured that the children’s schooling and meals were taken care of, whilst Eman also started receiving an additional monthly stipend from the local government.
With her daily financial needs met, Eman was able to invest her time in education and enrolled onto courses at the Jordan River Foundation, a local government organisation.
After impressing the staff with her knowledge, energy and pro-active mindset, they asked her to work with them to deliver training to other women:
A dear friend came to me saying that I needed to wake up and do something better with my life. She took me to Jordan River Foundation and registered me onto various courses as they were free of charge.
Since then, my life has changed, and I now feel that I’m a strong woman and I can do anything!
Eman’s training work now also provides extra income to sustain the needs of her children. What’s more, Eman works as a volunteer trainer, giving support to vulnerable families in two of the local mosques.
Empowering women: “We should all work to empower ourselves”
Thanks to the support she received and her enthusiasm to help both herself and others, Eman can look ahead to the future with hope.
Eman now specialises in training communities around early/child marriage, women’s economic empowerment projects such as straw, soap and chocolate making; effective communication skills development; and time and anger management support.
She is also an active volunteer with the local Sulaf Academy, helping to inspire young people by organising career fairs. She also encourages her children to persist with their education, which has resulted in them achieving high grades.
One of her daughters is a talented writer and aspires to publish a book one day. Alhamdulillah, the future is looking bright:
I believe that we should all work to empower ourselves as widows for both ourselves and our children so that one day, they too will become active members of our community and give help to anyone in need.
I pray to Allah to bless me with the means to be able to sponsor every vulnerable child in the Al-Nasser area. For my own children, I hope to open a small business one day so that they can inherit a sustainable income, granting them independence.
It’s great to see the positive impact that Eman is having on not just her own life and her family but the wider community. Fantastic work Eman!
Thanks to you, Eman’s children are still being sponsored financially, offering some sense of stability.
Thank you all for supporting Eman and countless more women across Jordan and the globe. You are life-savers!
Find out more about our life-saving, life-transforming work in Jordan supporting men, women and children in need.