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Lower House agrees to add ‘Jordanian women' to Constitution

By JT - Jan 02,2022 - Last updated at Jan 02,2022

MPs attend Sunday's Lower House session on constitutional amendments (Photo by Hassan Tamimi)

AMMAN — The Lower House on Sunday agreed to add “Jordanian women” to the title of the second chapter of the Constitution to become the “Rights and Duties of Jordanian Men and Women”, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

A total of 94 deputies approved the Legal Committee's proposed amendment, 26 rejected it while 10 were absent.

The Lower House discussed the draft amendment to the Constitution on Sunday, headed by Lower House Speaker Abdulkarim Dughmi.

Political and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mousa Maaitah said that adding the words “Jordanian women” to the title came “to honour and show respect and appreciation towards women”, without entailing any legal provisions.

He rejected some MPs' claims that Jordan “succumbed to pressures exerted by donor institutions” to pass this amendment.

He stressed that Jordan's rejection of various political pressures during previous years proves that “Jordan does not succumb to any pressures”.

He added that fears over the impact of the amendment on personal status issues are “unjustified", noting that the issue of granting Jordanian citizenship is regulated by the Nationality Law that cannot be amended without referring to the Lower House.

Minister of State for Legal Affairs Wafa Bani Mustafa said that the amendment does not affect the structure of the Constitution, adding that the second chapter of the Constitution relates to basic rights, freedoms and duties entrusted to citizens, as well as the right to education and work.

In turn, Head of the Legal Committee Abdulmunim Oddat said that the amendment to the title of the second chapter does not affect “the relative equality” adopted by the Constitution.

Also during an evening session, the Lower House continued discussing draft constitutional amendments. 

MPs, with a majority of 106 votes, approved amending paragraph 5 of article 6 of the Constitution aiming at enhancing legal protection for persons with disabilities and their political participation.

The Chamber also approved adding two paragraphs (6 and 7) to article 6 of the Constitution that envisages the empowerment of women and youth. 

Also, a total of 113 lawmakers voted to scrap a paragraph added by the government to article 32 of the Constitution, which stipulates that ”the King is the head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Council”. 

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