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Study examines women’s economic participation in Jordan

By Rana Husseini - Aug 20,2023 - Last updated at Aug 20,2023

AMMAN — The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Women’s Empowerment (IMCWE) on Sunday launched a study that aims to analyse the current state of women’s economic marketplace participation.

The study, titled “Engendered Strategy of Jordan Economic Modernisation Vision”, was prepared by the IMCWE and aims to analyse strategic initiatives for women’s participation in the economy.

Speaking during the launch, Minister of Social Development Wafaa Bani Mustafa said that the in-depth study is based on the theory of change, the theoretical framework for gender equality and the empowerment of women in the macroeconomy.

“The study is also based on the reality of women’s participation in the economic sectors, and the promising sectors to increase their participation in the economy,” Bani Mustafa, who is also the chairperson of the IMCWE, told the gathering.

The minister stressed the importance of addressing the motives for integrating women into the Economic Modernisation Vision, analysing the current state of women’s economic participation and an in-depth analysis of the strategic initiatives for women’s participation in the economy. 

The minister pointed out that the study tackled women’s participation, opportunities and challenges in 10 economic sectors: communications and technology, trade, education, manufacturing industries, food industries, mining, healthcare, water and sewage supplies, energy, agriculture and food security.

The head of the technical team from the multi-sectoral women’s empowerment team Senator Abla Amawi, who prepared the study, also addressed the gathering.

“The approach to increasing women’s economic participation must be comprehensive and sustainable,” Amawi said.

The senator added that this requires not only taking different measures at the social, political and economic levels, “but also taking the decision to make a radical change in the methodology for dealing with issues related to gender discrimination and women’s empowerment”.

This, Amawi stressed, could be achieved through legislation or by imposing “positive discrimination” for a temporary stage in all aspects of work, including the issuance of laws and policies that support women’s rights and protect them from employment discrimination.

Amawi pointed out that some of the study’s findings indicated that there is clear discrimination against women in various aspects of life, which contradicts the provisions of international conventions and treaties ratified by Jordan, as well as the Constitution and the equal citizenship between men and women.

This comprehensive national strategy encompasses several sectors to reflect Jordan’s commitment to justice, equality and respect for human rights, and its active participation in the elimination of all forms of gender-based discrimination, according to Amawi.

“Successful strategic plans based on equal citizenship must address the root causes of gender gaps in a manner that caters to the strategy and the expectations and needs of citizens across different social groups,” Amawi added.

In addition, Amawi said that the strategy requires full cooperation and coordination among various institutions.

According to the study, Jordan came in the 125th place among 146 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report 2022 in terms of Economic Participation and Opportunity. Jordan came in the 145th place among 146 countries included in the Labour Force Participation Rate index.

Women in Jordan face a high unemployment rate of 30.7 per cent compared with 22.4 per cent for men. Of those employed in Jordan, 48 per cent are employed in the informal economy, and 56.8 per cent of those with informal employment are women.


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