Ghada Al-Jabi, born in Syria in 1938, was the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs. She began her social work at the age of 16. Her strong belief in voluntary work prompted her to continue work for 40 years on very demanding issues, such as illiteracy, in coordination with the Syrian Ministry of Culture and the Syrian Women’s Union. Thanks to her splendid efforts, the rates of illiteracy in Syria dropped from 53% in 1970 to 14% in 2000. Her work covers local, regional and international issues, and her accomplishments are highly acclaimed in the Middle East, especially in the Arab World.
Ghada Al-Jabi was motivated to become involved in social work by her patriotic dedication to the development and welfare of her homeland and nation, focusing her efforts on the empowerment of the less-privileged members of society. Since 1959, she has devoted herself to eradicating illiteracy through her work with the Ministry of Culture and her voluntary work as head of the Syrian Women’s Union. When the Syrian Literacy Act came into force in 1972, Ghada Al-Jabi was appointed as Director of the Department for Illiteracy Eradication at the Ministry of Culture. Thanks to her invigorating ideas and indefatigable efforts, the department launched a number of projects targeting unskilled laborers, especially uneducated women in rural areas. The remarkable successes that her projects have achieved in Syria earned her the respect and approbation of many regional and international organizations. In 1990 the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) published an article about her significant energetic social projects in its periodical, and she was awarded the title of the Unesco’s Honorary Ambassador to the Syrian Arab Republic in recognition of her contribution to the International Decade of Education for All. As a regular participant in international conferences, Ghada Al-Jabi's papers address issues concerning freedom of opinion and independence, which she considers as the most fundamental rights of all nations.
The General Union of Syrian Women (GUSW) The Arab Net for Literacy and Adult Education (ANLAE) The International Council for Adult Education (ICAE)