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Civil society organisations urge gov’t to protect women’s rights amid pandemic

By Rana Husseini - Oct 17,2020 - Last updated at Oct 17,2020

AMMAN – Twenty-two civil and women’s organisa-tions issued a statement recently asking the govern-ment to adopt concrete and comprehensive measures to safeguard women’s social and economic rights in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

The statement, dated October 13, pointed out that the government “has been ignoring the inclusion of work-ing women’s needs in its policies and legislation that are being adopted and implemented to deal with the COVID-19 crisis”.

“The government failed to contact civil society organi-sations with regard to women’s needs and the negative impact that affected them, especially working mothers who are now carrying double burdens because of the online education,” stated the statement.

The economic burdens that occurred due to the current COVID-19 crisis and previous financial constraints have added more burdens on working women and could eventually result in “many withdrawing from the labour market to cater to other pressing demands such as staying home with their children,” the statement stressed.

To avoid such “problematic matters, it is important that the government include women in its future agen-da when dealing with this pandemic”, the statement said.

It listed several suggestions for the government to con-sider and/or adopt.

It is of utmost importance, according to the statement, to establish a special fund to support working women who lost their jobs and are supporting their families.

Another recommendation, the organisations pointed out in their statement was expanding the social securi-ty protection to include and pay for women who are not enrolled in the Social Security Corporation or to de-crease the amount paid by working women.

They called for supporting working mothers who have children at schools or daycare centres by providing them with flexible hours and making sure that their fi-nancial rights are legally protected at their workplace.

The statement also called on the government to allow children to attend school and abandon online teaching, since “attending classes physically is much better for the students than distant learning”.

This will also ease the burdens on working mothers mostly, who end up taking most of the responsibility when their children are at home, the statement added.

During the past months, dozens of working parents said that the government's decision to shut down doz-ens of schools in the Kingdom in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19 is adding more burdens on them.

Following the rapid spread of COVID-19 cases in the Kingdom during the past weeks, the govern-ment decided to shut down certain entities, including schools that have registered any COVID-19 cases. 

 

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