In Her Own Words

“The abilities and resilience of women in finding their way, despite their challenges from family or community, motivates me to work harder to address obstacles and barriers for women.”

Rania Al-Hayyouk is the executive director of the National Association for Family Empowerment (NAFE), a WPHF partner in Jordan. A women-led civil society organization in Amman, NAFE aims to improve socio-economic situations of vulnerable and marginalized groups, especially refugee and Jordanian women.

“Refugee and Jordanian women are still not active participants in community-based efforts towards peacebuilding due to cultural barriers and economic exclusion. This increases space for extremism and radicalization in Jordan, and drives tensions among refugee and host communities.”

As humanitarian aid is shrinking, refugee and Jordanian women in marginalized areas are disproportionally impacted. Women refugees are more reliant on external humanitarian aid to meet their basic needs than male refugees, as they have fewer independent sources of income and support. Rania promotes the socio-economic inclusion of vulnerable Syrian and Jordanian women and girls in Ma’an and Zarqa governorates.

“Local organizations have strong knowledge, skills, experiences and tools. Their understanding of the local context is essential to raise awareness for refugee and host communities.”

Women leaders like Rania are using non-traditional and innovative approaches to engage local communities and address culturally-sensitive issues. NAFE has pioneered creative approaches such as interactive theater, drawings and puppet shows to promote the rights of women and girls, address violence against them and advance peacebuilding and economic recovery.

“I believe that increasing women’s participation in economic recovery processes will only decrease threats of violence and extremism. Women play advanced leadership roles in maintaining civic peace and enhancing tolerance in refugee and host communities.”