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USAID, JNCW sign MoU to mainstream gender into legislation, gov’t plans

By Rana Husseini - Aug 15,2023 - Last updated at Aug 15,2023

Minister of Social Development Wafa Bani Mustafa and USAID Jordan Mission Director Leslie Reed preside over a signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Jordanian National Commission for Women and USAID Tawazon on Tuesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with USAID Tawazon - Promoting the Voice and Leadership of Women Activity, with the aim of mainstreaming gender into legislation and government strategies and plans.

Minister of Social Development and the Head of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Women Empowerment Wafa Bani Mustafa served as the patron of the one-day event, held at the JNCW headquarters on Tuesday.

Bani Mustafa stressed the importance of USAID projects in Jordan which work to empower women in Jordan in various fields. 

In addition, the minister described the previous year as a “golden period for women in Jordan in terms of legislative reform”, highlighting some of the new and reform laws that aim to empower women and ensure their protection from all forms of violence and discrimination.

Amendments to the election and political parties’ laws increased the quota for women, and empower women and youth’s access to political party resources and leadership positions, Bani Mustafa said. 

JNCW Secretary General Maha Ali said that the collaboration with USAID Tawazon will cover areas that fall within the objectives of the National Strategy for Women, including supporting national efforts in promoting equal opportunities and rooting the culture of women empowerment.

“We also aim to enable women to reach leadership positions and participate in decision-making processes by supporting policies and legislation that will narrow the gender gap and enhance women’s active political, economic and social participation,” Ali added.

USAID/Jordan Mission Director Leslie Reed also addressed the gathering and reiterated USAID’s support for the efforts of USAID Tawazon and the JNCW.

“We are excited to see JNCW’s evolution in recent years and how its leadership has been so intentional and strategic in promoting gender equality across the government of Jordan and civic space,” Reed said.

“We all unite around a single fundamental development principle which is that women’s participation in social, economic and political issues is essential to creating a future in Jordan that is prosperous and sustainable for everyone,” Reed added.

Through the MoU, USAID Tawazon and JNCW will seek to enforce nondiscriminatory legislative frameworks; strengthen the Jordanian government’s capacity to mainstream gender equality in its work; and provide leadership training and mentoring opportunities for women.

The MoU will also facilitate cooperation between USAID Tawazon and the JNCW to support the JNCW in its mission to mainstream gender into legislation and government strategies and plans, in line with Jordan’s National Women’s Strategy for 2020-2025.

The strategy’s main vision is to ensure a society free of “all forms of gender-based violence and discrimination”, in which women and girls realise their full human rights and have equal opportunities to achieve inclusive and sustainable development.

USAID Tawazon is a five-year project, funded under the auspices of the US-Jordan MoU for economic development, according to a press statement.

This is a part of the United States’ commitment to helping Jordan create transformative change that enhances women’s voice and agency in the country by strengthening legislative frameworks, improving institutional practices and removing barriers to women’s participation and leadership, the statement said.


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