We're continuing our "Focus On Her" blog series throughout the month of March in honor of International Women's Day 2020. This series began as a conversation with women in Sitti's global community who have a unique voice and perspective on how education accessibility has impacted their lives. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are continuing this series with a new sense of urgency. This conversation now demands the questions: What is the importance of education accessibility in times of even greater marginalization and inequality? How can we "flatten the curve" in more ways than one?
We’re rounding out our Focus On Her series this month with several stories of education accessibility from women in Jordan.
Rawan Hashel Abo Hassoun is a professional translator and interpreter based in Jerash, Jordan. She is also in the process of completing her M.A. in Translation at Yarmouk University in Irbid. As a hard-working undergraduate student and a member of the Palestinian refugee community in Jordan, Rawan is a past recipient of a Hopes for Women in Education scholarship. It’s women like Rawan that we look forward to supporting through our International Women’s Day initiative Sitti x Millie Limited Edition Gift Boxes.
And it’s been a privilege to see Rawan graduate from university and continue to pursue her dreams. We have also been fortunate to work with Rawan as a colleague. As a Hopes scholarship recipient, she has contributed her time and skillset to the Jerash Camp community through translation and interpretation services at the Hopes-Sitti Women’s Centre for various beneficiary programs and visiting partners.
Rawan’s perspective on education accessibility is undoubtedly unique and highly valued. We’re grateful for the opportunity to Focus On Her...
What does education mean to you?
Education means a lot to me. I wouldn't be where I am today without it. I wouldn't meet all those amazing and inspiring people I know today without it. I wouldn't have the same mentality and think the way I think today without it.
I grew up hearing others say "education opens doors for you," but I didn't understand what that really meant until I experienced it myself. I'm super grateful for education.
Explain a specific moment when access to education played a major role in your life.
Education played a huge role in my professional and social life. It provided me with a job I've always liked and wanted. Working with different people from different backgrounds and cultures improved my social networking experience and allowed me to have more friends and build more connections.
Was there a female teacher/educator in your life who is memorable to you? How did she help you as a student?
Mrs Manal was my English teacher in 6th grade. She used to encourage everyone in class to engage in the discussion. She would listen to their Arabic answers and ask me to translate them. She used to call me "The Little Translator", and that got into the mind of the 11-year-old me. And like any other young student who has been inspired, I didn’t hesitate to study translation in college.
How does your education influence your life today?
Education helped me to gain a better understanding of myself, things I'm interested in, and what I want to achieve in the future. So now, I know exactly where I want to be and I'm making my decisions in life accordingly.
What is one hope you have for the future of education for women and girls?
I hope each and every girl in the world gets access to education.. and the education of their own choice.
Education matters to me because...
It really "opens doors"!
I believe in Education because …
It makes a difference in people's lives.
Photo credit for this post: Nadia Bseiso
This post is part of Sitti’s “Focus On Her” blog series. In the spirit of International Women’s Day and as part of the our IWD 2020 Initiative, we are sharing stories and images on the Sitti blog of women around the world whose access to education has helped shape their lives. International Women’s Day is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It is also a call to action to accelerate women's equality. The more we understand how education impacts womens’ ability to succeed in their goals and ambitions, the more we can advocate for education equality regardless of gender. Learn more about how you can be an advocate for education equality with Sitti at: https://sittisoap.com/pages/international-womens-day-2020