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Trickledown effect of equal gender participation in Jordan

May 01,2017 - Last updated at May 01,2017

A study by the UNDP shows that women participation in the workforce in Jordan is 23 per cent. Women in Jordan constituted 48.79 per cent of Jordan’s population in 2015, according to the World Bank, which is almost half of the population.

If, an immediate shift were to occur to a 50 per cent-50 per cent men-women participation rate with equal pay, what would happen? 

Existing companies would either keep all the male employees, decrease their pay and hire an equal number of female employees, or they would lay off some male employees to make place for female employees.

Both options are less than pleasant, which is why companies in Jordan need to have within their operational strategies a five-year plan to incrementally increase the participation of women in the workforce.

Each year, a certain percentage of employees retires, gets promoted or moves out of an organisation.

A staffing plan needs to be set in place to fill those positions, with priority to women until employment gender equality is reached in the firm.

That being said, I do believe in fair competition. Only women who meet the qualifications should be considered. 

However, a diverse, equally weighted organisation offers a healthier, more competitive, multibackground space.

Traditional thought that women should not be hired because companies have to pay for pregnancy leaves or that women eventually exit the workforce to become housewives needs to be dropped. 

A successful path of development for any employee, male or female, will secure sustainable outputs. 

As women become contributors to the finances of their families, families will no longer have to rely on one source of income, traditionally the male, and will have a larger voice in the decisions made. 

As women’s voices are more heard, the roles they have in society will have a larger impact.

In a culture like Jordan’s, where most popular and respected careers are those of doctors, lawyers, engineers or businessmen, more women willing to enter the workforce will cause Jordanians to expand their search to non-traditional methods of earning, such as trade or services.

Jordanians would thus be forced to become creative in their search for jobs, and some will be led to entrepreneurship, expanding the business sector.

The pool of qualified candidates will then increase, and Jordan will have a more efficient use of its capital endowment.

That will cause Jordan’s economy and job sectors to be more fairly spread.

The best way for an economy to rise is to allow it to correct itself after a shake. In this case, a necessary shake.

Such change would see increased female participation and spending in the economy.

If organisations commit to hiring an equal amount of men and women, eventually down the line that will allow a shift in job roles, eventually causing a cultural shift.

Jobs will stop being dominated by a gender, such as almost exclusively women teachers, librarians, nurses, or male drivers, plumbers, electricians, welders and factory workers.

The diversity in the workforce will benefit everyone.

Rather than explaining gender roles in the modern world, there will be clear examples. And diversity in the workforce will eventually make its way up to all levels of an organisation.

The shift towards gender equality in the workforce does not have to happen overnight, but if implemented in doses over a period of time, it can provide the desired outcome with minimal conflict and resistance.

 

 

The writer, a graduate of the University of Texas at Arlington, works in social development. She contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

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Comments

I THINK THAT ITS ABOUT TIME THAT WE STOP POUNDING ON THESE WOMEN ISSUES THAT IS NOT ONLY TABOOS BUT CULTURALLY VIEWED AS CHALLENGING THE AUTHORITIES OF MEN WHO CLAIM TO OWN THE COUNTRY AND CONTROL THE WOMEN WITH A REMOTE CONTROL. AMMEND THE CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS OF WOMEN AND THE REST NOXIOUS STIMULI WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF.

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