Girls skate school enables equal opportunities

Twenty-year-old Arwa's girls’ skating academy is challenging social norms and gender stereotypes and creating equal opportunities for girls.

Arwa in the skating academy she has co-founded.
Arwa challenged social norms and
established her skating academy.

The path to girls’ empowerment

Empowerment is not just a word; it is a journey. It is about breaking barriers, challenging norms, and creating opportunities. In the realm of dreams, Arwa, at the age of 20, embarked on a transformative path, co-founding a skating academy for girls where her determination and resilience unfolded.

Almost 3 years ago, Arwa’s engagement with Plan International began with the “Tamkeen II” economic empowerment project. With an initial curiosity about income-generating activities, she immersed herself in a world of knowledge, unaware that this would be the catalyst for her transformative journey.

Equal opportunity for girls

“Empowering girls starts with creating spaces where they feel safe and understood.”


Two years later, a bold idea sparked in Arwa’s mind: a skating academy for girls. Despite an existing school in the area, the absence of a female coach caught her attention. In a governorate where a woman leading such a project was unheard of, Arwa faced numerous challenges aiming to pave the way for new possibilities.

The concept was not initially hers, but a man had proposed the idea. However, societal concerns about sending daughters to a sports academy led by a man prompted Arwa to take action. In a strategic partnership, they opened a place together, providing girls with a haven to learn without inhibition. “Empowering girls starts with creating spaces where they feel safe and understood,” said Arwa.

Challenging gender stereotyping

Being a female pioneer brought its own set of challenges. The rented space that hosted their project posed financial hurdles, with rent increases tied to the number of trainees. The struggle to cover expenses, from trainer fees to equipment costs, pushed Arwa and her partner to new heights.

The pursuit of a suitable skating playground added another layer to their journey. Balancing the need for a soft surface without compromising safety became a metaphor for Arwa’s relentless pursuit of her dream.

As the project gained success, Arwa’s vision expanded. The discovery of Plan International’s “Ready for Tomorrow” project, focusing on entrepreneurship, resonated with her aspirations. Arwa now set her sights on making the academy an even more significant force for empowerment.

Establishing the academy

As the girls’ skate academy continues to flourish, Arwa remains a beacon of inspiration, reminding us all that with determination, dreams can indeed take flight. Arwa’s journey is not only about empowering herself but also paving the way for countless others to dream beyond boundaries.

Arwa always believed that any person should “Dream big, break barriers, and be ready for the journey ahead.”

Simply put, Arwa is a skater, a dreamer, and a trailblazer!

“Dream big, break barriers, and be ready for the journey ahead.”


Girls Get Equal, Skills and work, Youth empowerment, Financial literacy, girls’ leadership