The 15-year-old Omaima Hoshan is not an ordinary teenage girl. She is working on the frontline against the prevalent issue of child marriages. Since the start of a civil war in Syria, more than half of the country’s population has been displaced, with many of them becoming refugees. Poverty and lack of protection puts child refugees at heightened risk of being married underage.
Of the 1.3 million Syrian refugees residing in Jordan, a concerning 32% of them had been married off before they reached the age of 18. This included Hoshan’s best friend, who was forced to enter into a wedlock at the age of 13.
Since then, she has been playing an active part in the campaign against underage marriage, by organizing workshops and helping educate parents and young girls about its consequences. Her interactive sessions help spread awareness about child marriages and encourage young girls to stay at school.
“These workshops are for parents and teenage girls, which help them build their future,” she says about her work.
Hoshan herself is a refugee of war but circumstances could not prevent her from taking up the cause and making big changes to the lives of many, that too at such a young age.
“Girls from my home have their future lost or destroyed. This is something I cannot accept… I have to fight for women’s right,” she tells reporters. She plans to marry herself one day but on her own terms, after she has completed her university education.
The young activist is absolutely an inspiration in herself and one can perhaps think of her as yet another Malala in the making.