If strategies to support Jordanian women and narrow the gender gap are fully implemented, Jordanian women will receive equal pay and the same employment rights as men in the country.
But despite the government’s 2015 promise to close the gender gap by 2030, there is still a long way to go. While Jordan has a large number of university graduates compared to other countries in the region, the participation rate of Jordanian women in the labor market is the lowest in the region. As a result, Jordan has placed 131 out of 156 countries in the Global Gender Gap Index for 2021. Despite this, the current year has shown momentum in efforts to reduce the gender gap in Jordan.
It is noteworthy that Jordanian women enjoy a number of privileges they have recently acquired, but the effect of this has so far been ink on paper. Last February, constitutional amendments came into force after loud sessions and heated parliamentary debates, especially on the inclusion of the term “Jordanian women” in the constitution, which now stipulates that the state guarantees the empowerment of women and their support for an active role. to play. role in building society, to ensure their right to equality Opportunities are based on justice and fairness and protect them from all forms of violence and discrimination.
In March, the Political Parties Act was updated, which now stipulates that women must make up at least 10 percent of the party’s founders, as well as young people between the ages of 18 and 35, while this percentage is expected to rise within 20 percent. three years.
In it, Magdalena Kirchner, resident director of the German Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Amman, says that “the constitutional amendment and reform of the law on political parties has generated more public interest, which Jordan desperately needs.”
In an interview with DW, Majd Saleem, who contributed to a report issued by the International Labor Organization entitled “Gender Equality and Decent Work in Jordan 2022”, said that the issues of combating violence against women and harassment, the achievement of Gender equality and equal pay should be top priorities.
A survey conducted by the “Arab Barometer” in March last year indicated that the Corona epidemic had worsened the lives of Jordanian women, in addition to the problems that existed before the pandemic, of which perhaps the most prominent issues of heredity, male domination is. , and the preference for women to stay at home rather than work.
Consequently, the International Labor Organization said that the participation rate of Jordanian women in the labor market reached 14 percent. Justice Minister Wafaa Bani Mustafa said in an interview with DW that the challenges facing Jordanian women are still many, especially with regard to “women’s economic capacity. The weak economic empowerment of women still represents one of the obstacles to women’s participation in public affairs. “
The role of social institutions
Social projects launched in rural areas of Jordan to create jobs for Jordanian women
But what is remarkable is the increasing involvement of Jordanian women in private projects, as Magdalena Kirchner pointed out, “the high representation of women in Jordanian civil society, especially among elites in urban areas.”
Women’s participation has accelerated the pace of social enterprise creation, Middle East researcher Lillian Tauber noted in a report published by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in February last year. She wrote: “Social enterprises are innovative, community-oriented organizations. Business strategies are used to address social issues, and are well placed to mitigate some of the challenges facing Jordan.” In light of this, hopes are rising that, in parallel with government movements, it will further empower women in Jordan.
Unlike NGOs, which are often non-profit or temporary international programs, social enterprises are not time-bound.
Sandra Gilly, for example, decided to register her social enterprise as a profitable business. Where she moved to the desert area of ”Wadi Rum” Jordan 14 years ago and made her main mission to empower women, especially through the “Lomeo” project.
Through the project, 35 Bedouin women recycle used clothing and make textile bags and rugs with modern patterns inspired by Bedouin traditions, according to the project’s website. In an interview with DW, Sandra Gilly said her main goal is to increase global demand for handmade textiles “so that women in rural communities can work from home and help their daughters support their daughters in college.”
Sandra Gilly Launches Project in Wadi Rum Desert to Encourage Women to Work
Sandra highlighted the lack of a specific list of social institutions in general in Jordan in the absence of a legal framework for such initiatives.
In light of this, Sandra has registered Lumio as a profitable business.
The Tribalogy Project, founded by Mai Hayashi, is one of the most prominent social institutions in Jordan. Since 2013, the project has supported refugee women and women living in underprivileged communities by selling handmade, traditionally embroidered products around the world.
“Our project generates profit and provides training and jobs for women so that they can earn money,” she said in an interview with DW. But she does not feel the impact of the government’s steps to reduce the gender gap, adding that she does not see the government helping her “as there is still no concrete encouragement of the term social enterprise”.
Internet and social media platforms
The success of such entities could enhance the empowerment of women in Jordan, especially in light of the increasing presence of social institutions on the Internet and social media platforms.
The popular online platform “Nawa” is the first Arab scholarship and job platform for male and female graduates, in addition to the government-funded Impact Hub Amman, the platform reads.
Despite the increasing number of social institutions in Jordan, the Jordan River Foundation is the only one registered as a social institution. At the end of May, Queen Rania visited the Jordan River Foundation, and wrote on her Instagram page, “Of my meeting today with some wonderful ladies from the Jordan River Foundation’s Karma Kitchen. I am proud and happy to hear about your journey with the Jordan River. ” Queen Rania is one of the most vocal advocates of women empowerment in Jordan.
Jennifer Hollis / MA