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Caroline Maher

Caroline Maher

HR Director, Taekwondo Champion, and the Youngest Egyptian Parliament Member

A literal role model, Caroline Maher is a symbol of dedication, perseverance, ambition, and hard work; a success on all three fronts: work, sports, and political and social work.

At the age of 10, a mere coincidence was how Caroline got into Taekwondo, when she tried it out as she was waiting for a friend at the Shooting Club.

With her mother’s encouragement, Caroline joined the Shooting Club Youth Team, and two months later, she was awarded her first Silver Medal in a German Tournament.

Since then, Caroline was awarded more than 130 trophies in 40 countries, and is the first African Female to be inducted in the World Taekwondo Federation’s Hall of Fame.

According to the World Taekwondo Federation, Caroline was ranked Third in 2009, Sixth in 2010, and Eleventh in 2011, worldwide.

As for the National front, Caroline was selected among Egypt’s Top 10 Athletes by the Ministry of Youth and Sports for three consecutive years.

However, the road to glory is usually filled with hardships, which was no different for Caroline who was suspended in 2010 by the World Taekwondo Federation for allegedly testing positive for Steroids.

Being the fighter she’s always been, Caroline didn’t give up. She pleaded her case in front of the Court of Arbitration for Sports in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Court ruled in her favour and ordered the highest compensation in the sports history.

Caroline quit playing Taekwondo in 2015, after her appointment as a member in the Egyptian Parliament; she is the youngest Egyptian Parliament Member ever.

As a Parliament Member, Caroline has introduced two draft laws related to women, one of which was on sexual harassment and kidnapping, which has already been approved; in addition to presenting a new law to give support to graduating orphans.

As for her professional career, she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from the American University in Cairo, and an MBA in Human Resources Management from Victoria University in Switzerland, both with high honours.

Caroline is an HR Manager at CDCM and is the youngest manager on board, in addition to being an HR Consultant at Helm, a non-profit foundation.

Furthermore, she was also appointed as the youngest member in the African Taekwondo Union and in the Women Committee in the World Taekwondo Federation, as well as being an International Taekwondo Referee.

In 2014, Caroline was chosen by UN Women to participate in its global campaign “Women of Achievement” which highlighted women and girls who have overcome barriers to succeed in their fields.

And in 2015, she was part of espnW’s “Global Sports Mentoring Program” where she joined other women in learning how to have a better impact on the world of sports, and to empower girls and women in their own home countries.

In the end, Caroline Maher is living proof that if you work hard enough, you can make your dreams come true, and that you aren’t truly successful until you want to ensure that everyone else gets an opportunity to achieve what they want, and to give back to the community.

Written by Yasmine Mokhtar

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