Story of a Young Woman Leader: Safa Shaheen
Safa Shaheen is a Palestinian young woman living in a small town in the Governorate of Hebron and is a mother of a child. She studied Media and Television Arts; however, after graduation, she was unable to find a job and was trapped in unemployment, a typical situation for most Palestinian youth. Yet, she didn’t give up and sought to create her own opportunity through volunteerism. She joined a women’s association in her town, where she organized awareness and educational workshops for women to help them understand their rights and empower them to break cultural barriers and assume leadership roles. She started as a volunteer and now serves as the Board Secretary of the association and is responsible for its youth activities and oversees the food production unit.
Safa started to volunteer with the YWCA of Palestine two years ago, an experience that has boosted her self-confidence and helped her network with others and develop a positive mindset. She is currently one of the young woman participants in Manarat, a project we are implementing in eight localities in the Governorate of Hebron. She is, in fact, the Coordinator of the Manarat group in her town, young women leaders who strive to create a better reality for women in their community. Through the project, Safa has participated in a number of project planning and implementation workshops. She aims to start her own income generating project, through which she hopes to contribute to social development and create job opportunities for women and young women in her community.
Despite all obstacles the Palestinian youth, especially young women, face, Safa sees her leadership role in continuing to build her capabilities and her civic engagement, thus taking part in social change. She urges all women and young women to challenge gender stereotypes and work on their self-development to be active members of society because they every women and young woman has the potential to be a leader.