Dr Eman Sharobeem is the director of the Immigrant Women's Health Service in Sydney and was a finalist in the the 2015 Australian of the Year awards. Dr Sharobeem was forced into an arranged marriage at 15 and lived through years of domestic abuse before she was widowed at 29. Dr Sharobeem has drawn on those experiences in her work as a tireless campaigner for migrants' and women’s rights.

Dr Eman Sharobeem

What's your definition of feminism?

A collection of ideologies that share a common goal: to achieve equal employment, education, political, economic, cultural, and social rights for women and girls. 

I still have to simplify the meaning of feminism when I talk with various ethnic communities or to men in general, the term is mostly confusing and misrepresented. 

What is the single biggest issue facing women today?

Fear, we are living the "culture of fear". Fear from the unknown, from violence, from a partner or even a son. Community violence is also escalating, and it is a new norm of oppression against women's rights.

Have you ever felt disadvantaged for being a woman?

Of course, not only back home but also in Australia. Being a migrant woman sometimes is a disadvantage in certain arenas. Look at the percentage of migrant women in politics or in the board rooms and you will know that we still face it all, yet trying to keep our heads up high.

"Look at the percentage of migrant women in politics or in the board rooms and you will know that we still face disadvantage."

Who's your role model?

Many women. My mother is one of them, and every client who I participated in their journey to recovery, yet they made it and now helping others. 

What advice would you give to younger women?

Listen to each other, learn from your elders, stay strong, and unite as a team. Your power is in your united front.

@sharobeem