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Activists partner with ILO to study children daycare facilities at workplace

By Dana Al Emam - Apr 07,2016 - Last updated at Apr 07,2016

AMMAN — SADAQA organisation plans to develop a business case report on the financial benefits of establishing daycare facilities at the workplace as means to enhance women's participation in the labour market.

The study, which will be the first of its kind in Jordan, seeks to prove in figures that establishing daycare facilities at the places of work increases business revenues, said Lara Ayoub, Sadaqa core team member, noting that the move will give momentum to the organisation's stance when addressing concerned public agencies, employers and workers.

Under a new partnership agreement signed Thursday with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), SADAQA will work to further promote the establishment of crèches in the workplace through technical support to private educational institutions, which is one of five fields the campaign works to develop.

The partnership will also award companies that have already complied with the law and currently provide more parent friendly environment for their staff, according to Ayoub.

Woemen’s participation in the labour force in Jordan is still "very low", according to ILO's regional specialist on gender equality, Emanuela Pozzan, who cited the lack of childcare facilities as a major reason why women do not enter or remain in the workforce.

Elaborating, she said woman enter the labour force at a young age, along with their fellow male workers, but women "get stuck very quickly" along the way and are therefore not able to move up the employment ladder.

Some women are able to "slowly" get through, and some get discouraged and are more likely to leave the job, especially those in the age bracket 35 to 40. 

Very few women manage to move up the employment pyramid to occupy management positions, she said. 

Although some women leave the workforce to start their own businesses, many of them go back home to take care of their families, Pozzan noted, citing the absence of “well-developed structural social support services offering quality domestic and family care”.

Meanwhile, she commended SADAQA's work in promoting Article 72 of the Labour Law, which, according to Pozzan, is extremely important in family-work balance, yet needs to be amended to include the rights of male workers for child facilities at the work place.

Randa Naffa, co-founder of SAQADA, said the partnership, which is funded by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Amman, will give the organisation a boost to continue advocating the full compliance with Article 72, which calls for the provision of daycares in the workplace, and help companies realise the importance of such facilities.

ILO consultant, Reem Aslan, highlighted the importance of developing a referential research of the situation in the Kingdom, noting that there are studies that depict how women entering the workforce increase the gross domestic product of the country, but Jordan still does not have concrete studies.

"We have seen numbers like JD13,000 a year per each women entering the workforce but the studies available are not detailed enough," she said, noting that there are no studies on daycare facilities. 

 

There are currently over 50 childcare facilities at workplaces in the Kingdom, with 24 of which established in cooperation with SADAQA, according to the activists. 

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