From where I stand: “I do it because I am a woman, I am capable, and all women should be empowered to think the same.”

Date: Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Shereen Al Qasim, committed to advocate for the rights of women and girls after undertaking her own journey of empowerment. Utilizing her personal experience as a tool to support women and girls to overcome the repercussions of child marriage, she has been providing her assistance through her role as an administrative assistant at the Association of Family and Childhood Protection Society (FCPS) in Irbid, Jordan. With the generous support of the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund, FCPS is providing educational and aware-raising opportunities to help improve the lives of young brides. 

Shereen Al Qasim, 43, is utilizing her role as an Administrative Assistant to empower and improve the lives of young brides in Jordan. Photo: UN Women/ Susan Al Hilo

“The perception I had of my role as a woman has changed dramatically compared to eleven years ago. I was under the assumption that I would be a stay at home mother; I would look after my family and attend to my home. However, this idea soon changed after I unexpectedly came across an advertisement in the newspaper.

The advertisement stated; ‘Free one-week workshop on child labour led by the Family and Childhood Protection Society in Irbid’ and out of intrigue I decided to apply. After attending several sessions, they offered me to work with them due my passion for the subject, and in that short time I gained my position as an Administrative Assistant - my first job and an inner-triumph I had never felt before.

My personal journey has reinforced the work I do today, it has heightened my need and commitment to empower other women and girls to think about their future and to manage the pressure of societal expectations and traditional norms.

Through my work, I can support vulnerable women and girls, especially those who married at a young age, to gain access to opportunities and services that will improve their lives. Child marriage is a significant phenomenon in the community, that affects girls, their families and their futures.

I work so hard for these girls and women because I am conscious of our situation, I know what it is like to be a woman in a male-dominated community, to feel the pressure and the harmful stereotypes that can diminish us. It is this feeling that drives me to fight for these women and this cause, I do it because I am a woman, I am capable, and all women should be empowered to think the same.

My hope for the future is to ensure that girls no longer feel the societal pressure to marry at a young age. To make this future a reality, I believe that we need to foster a community that supports girls and young women to pursue a future they dream of.”


SDG 5: Gender equality
SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

Shereen Al Qasim, 43, is an Administrative Assistant for the Association of Family and Childhood Protection Society in Irbid, which received generous funding from the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund to empower young Syrian refugee and Jordanian women, providing services to young brides and raising awareness on early marriages in the community. Qasim’s story relates to Sustainable Development Goal (SG) 16, which promotes peace and security, as well as SDG 5 on gender equality and women’s empowerment.