FOUNDER OF ROHINGYA WOMEN’S DEVELOPMENT NETWORK
From smuggled child to US Women of Courage nominee, Sharifah Shakirah faced all of the struggles that refugee children have had to deal with before getting to where she is today. She was just a child when she and her family fled Myanmar to find safety in Malaysia. Refugees in Malaysia, whether registered or not, are forbidden to go to national schools, work legally, or get access to healthcare. But Sharifah was blessed to have been accepted into a refugee learning centre. From there she was given a taste of just how important education is for a person, so she took it upon herself to help educate her people with what little she could glean from the centre as a start to the education of the Rohingya community. Convinced that gender equality is also another key to lifting her community, she started the Rohingya Women’s Development Network (RWDN), the first Rohingya women’s group in Malaysia that aims to give Rohingya women refugees a platform to empower themselves and speak up for their rights. She decided to set up RWDN after listening to a Rohingya community leader berate women. Sharifah is determined to be a role model to other refugee women, even with death threats directed at her. This only strengthened her determination to continue on with her work.
Photography EDMUND LEE; Styling WEECHEE; Hair BIBIAN LEONG; Makeup DEIDRE CHONG; Hoodie, BALLY; Watch, RADO CENTRIX AUTOMATIC DIAMONDS; Location APW