Emiline, 39, is a married Syrian mother of three. When she fled from Syria to Jordan in 2012 with her husband and children, she found herself trapped inside four walls. She was too afraid to leave her home, and wouldn’t let her children leave either. Her husband couldn’t find work and they had no source of income. This turned their household into a place where no one felt happy, or even safe.
“I became a different person; I yelled at my kids, I stopped talking to my husband, and I locked myself in a room most of the time. The walls were closing in on me,” explains Emiline.
One day, a neighbor told Emiline that she could try attending some of the many awareness-raising sessions held at different NGOs in order to get out of the house, and participate in an activity that might take her out of her misery.
“The first session I ever attended was at CARE, and it was about Women’s Rights. I remember going back home and telling my husband to take us back to Syria if this was how we were going to continue living. I have rights, and I want to be able to live like everybody else. The next session I attended was about Child Abuse. I was heartbroken to know that my attitude and feelings were directly affecting my children.”
Emiline did not stop working to improve her life. Eventually she became one of the leaders at CARE’s Zarqa Women Leadership Council. “I now stand and talk to other women from a hurtful experience. I tell them that I was exactly where they are now, and show them that I’m a live example of how things improve when you are determined to be better. My husband and children are so proud of me. I’m proud of myself.”
Women’s Leadership Councils (WLCs) enable Syrian women to take part in activism, promote gender-responsive and participatory monitoring practices, and participate in key decision-making processes within their local communities in Jordan. Each council is made up of twelve members between the ages of 18-55 (with exceptions to qualified and committed women over 55). WLCs help raise the voices of Syrian women and girls by including them in policymaking and providing support to the women and girls in their communities.
Learn more about CARE's work in Syria.
Emiline, 39, said of her experience as a leader in one of CARE’s Women’s Leadership Councils, “I tell [other women] that I was exactly where they are now, and show them that I’m a live example of how things improve when you are determined to be better.”«All Stories and Blogs