Her entry into the field started as a joke, she says, but quickly grew more serious when she realized that her enjoyment of “fixing things around the house” could fill a legitimate need in her country.
“In our culture, it is not easy to let men plumbers enter the house, especially when our husbands are not around,” she says, adding that husbands are usually at work when plumbers – traditionally always male – make house calls.
So Ra’edah, who has a university education and worked as a teacher before starting her family, took a classroom training course. Then she began an apprenticeship with a male plumber in Zarqa, Jordan, where she lives and works today, under 30 km (18 miles) from the capital city of Amman. Gradually, she did more of the work on her own, and impressed her trainer with how capable she was.
“In the beginning, this idea was almost impossible for women,” Ra’edah says. “But today, many women work as plumbers, and I have many female colleagues in this field.”