Esraa Mahadin’s love for work in public service started when she studied law in Syria, where she was led the student union at Damascus University. When she went back to her home in Karak, Jordan, she noticed that the small city lacked opportunities that the capital city of Amman offered. Esraa began working with local and international organizations to strengthen civic engagement. She became the Executive Manager of Al-Hayat Center for Civil Society Development (Al-Karak Branch), and Head of Board at the Jordanian Women Union (Al-Karak Branch).
However, work was not always easy for Esraa, who is currently the Youth Program Coordinator at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Jordan. “It was difficult for a young girl in a conservative society to find a place. There were a lot of challenges, but with hard work, persistence, and effort, it became easier. I am proud of where I am in life today,” she said. Esraa thinks it is very important to share one’s experience and knowledge, but mentions that she also learns a lot from young people.
Esraa is the founding member and member in international and local foundations like the Jordanian Women Union, Jordanian Alliance Against the Death Penalty, Legal Committee for the Jordanian Women Union, Legal Committee for Civic Alliance to monitor the parliamentary elections, Shehan Housewives Foundation (Al-Karak), the Arab Organization for Human Rights and the Lawyers Professional Association.
Her role model is her father. As a successful lawyer and politician, his hard work, encouragement and support for her and her siblings motivated Esraa to achieve her goals. From him, Esraa learned that “it is important to have a goal and work hard to achieve it, even when you are facing people who are trying to prevent you from succeeding."
Esraa dreams of changing how women are perceived in her society, and making a lasting change. She agrees that women are forced to make difficult decisions, like choosing between career and family. Being a Certified Trainer in different fields of democracy skills and life skills, such as election observation, human rights and good governance, advocacy, project management, networking, team building, RPM, communication skills, moderation, and analysis, Esraa has a lot to offer. This desire, combined with her experience, enabled her to join the Vital Voices Policy Advocates Jordan team, whose SADAQA campaign successfully promoted a friendly working environment for women. She says she was thrilled to work with Vital Voices because the collaboration turned a simple workshop into a real project with a real impact.
As a hard-working woman, Esraa hopes to be a role model, particularly for girls in both her family and circle of friends. “If I hear people say, "We are proud of you, and hope our daughter to be like you,’ that is enough for me.”