In the words of Amal Mahmoud: "It feels good to earn my own money and I believe every woman should have that."


Amal was leading the traditional life. She would wake up in the morning and do her household chores, take care of her three children, and wait for her husband to come back home from work. However, when she took the bold step of participating in the programme she did not realize that her life would change drastically.

Amal Mahmoud
Photo of Amal Mahmoud at her village in Beni Suef governorate. Photo: UN Women/ Nada Ismail

“Before joining the programme, I didn’t have anything to look forward to in my day. My daily routine was just on repeat mode, over and over again. But now, I’m full of energy. I wake up early to finish my household chores before I go out to look after my business.

When I first heard about the programme, I was intrigued to join and try something new. I had a Bachelor’s degree but was not employed at the time, although I often did volunteer at the local community-based organization.

Working on building my entrepreneurship and business skills through the programme was an entirely different experience. Even being pregnant during the training period and while initiating my business was not a reason to deviate from my dream of running my own business.

I had some family members who were very supportive and understanding that this is a significant step for me to advance and progress financially and personally. I had others – mostly women – who were totally against me pursuing my business aspirations. For them, the right choice for any married woman is to look after her husband and kids. Yet, bit by bit, they saw how I was changing, so, they all became extremely supportive, and some even wanted to join me.

Through the programme, I started to learn about the world outside my house and mingle with people outside my close circle. I got out of my comfort zone and succeeded in building good relationships with so many people, starting from my business partners to customers and vendors. Being an introvert myself, this is something that I was too shy to do before and never expected I would ever be able to do.

Before adding any new product line, I felt scared. However, to my own and everyone’s surprise, every time I proved myself and succeeded. Actually, I am achieving such high sales in Juhayna that I dream of one day becoming its sole vendor in my village.

With my increased income, life has become so much easier. I am now able to buy myself whatever I want and whatever my children need without burdening my husband with extra expenses. It feels good to earn my own money and I believe every woman should have that.

I have changed since I joined the programme. My personality became much stronger, and I gained more self-confidence. I have learned how to be courageous and persistent to be able to achieve my goals.

Working is not just about making money; it’s about shaping your personality and proving yourself.”