“I believe in my personal capabilities, and this pushes me forward to achieve my dreams in protecting and enhancing womens rights.”
For over 30 years Haifa Abu Ghazaleh has worked with governmental ministries, NGOs and UN bodies, striving to integrate womens economic, political, social and cultural rights into development planning. Through her work as Regional Program Director (RPD) at Unifem, she has developed programs and projects in the Arab world, supporting issues such as peace, domestic violence, womens rights and political participation. She invested this opportunity to create a common agenda for gender equality amongst the UN members and government agencies.
With obligations and commitments across the Arab region and indeed the entire world, Haifa Abu Ghazaleh manages to maintain her passionate energy to work on women’s issues. As she says, “As an advocate of human rights and gender equality, womens situation in my region is the reason and motivation for my continuous work to stop their daily suffering from poverty, illiteracy, deteriorated health conditions and limited participation in economic, social and political activities.” Her commitment to the individual and collective security of women is what motivated her to work for peace, which she sees as intimately tied to human security issues: “Upholding peoples fundamental freedoms, protecting them from severe threats and building on their own strengths and aspirations is the path towards achieving peace.” In her view peace is subject to the attainment of human, social, economic and political security. It is this idea the achievement of each persons human security that motivates her to work towards peace and a better life for all those around her. Her vision of a peaceful future is one in which all peoples men and women are protected. And this can happen once the exclusion of women within society is addressed, and the obstacles that prevent women from achieving their goals and expressing their needs are removed. One of these obstacles is the major economic insecurity women and children face. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh believes that combating this insecurity is a major challenge to her vision. Her experiences have taught her that the fulfilment of her vision is nothing short of an uphill battle. Despite the setbacks, struggles and obstacles, she remains committed as ever to her vision of the future: “I continue to work towards peace because I believe that it is my mission and I have to continue this work until I feel that one day it is fulfilled.”
United Nations Development Fund for Women (Unifem) Jordanian Ministry of Education General Federation of Jordanian Women (GFJW)
Central Asia and the Middle East | Jordan