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Advocacy group calls on gov't to facilitate opening of daycares in Kingdom

Recommendation aims to boost women's participation in labour market

By Rana Husseini - Feb 10,2020 - Last updated at Feb 11,2020

Most research confirms that daycare centres increase the number of women in the workforce, according to recent statements by SADAQA advocacy organisation (File photo)

AMMAN — A local organisation has called on the government and labour entities to adopt practical measures to encourage the establishment of more daycare centres in the Kingdom, with the aim of boosting women’s economic participation and ensuring a safe environment for children.

The call came during a recent workshop titled "Laws and Regulations in Support of Childcare Provision for Working Families in Jordan", which was organised by the advocacy organisation SADAQA. 

“One of the goals was to ensure that daycare centres become public good and become accessible to all working parents,” said SADAQA Core Team Member Randa Naffa.

Naffa told The Jordan Times that the workshop heard a recommendation to urge the government to offer tax deductions for entities establishing on-site daycare centres as well as entities purchasing equipment to open daycare centres.

Other recommendations included offering practical solutions for establishing and running nurseries shared by multiple companies geographically close to one another to serve a larger number of children, Naffa added.

“The participants also called on the relevant authorities to ease the registration process and to raise the capacity of cooperatives and community-based organisations to provide this service,” she said.

SADAQA Core Team Member Sahar Aloul added that the workshop was the result of a study tour of daycare centres and other services and methods adopted in France.

SADAQA's study, titled "Proposed Models for Making Workplace Daycares Accessible" (2017), found that France is one of the leading European Union countries in public provision of childcare services and family support benefits, Aloul told The Jordan Times.

After further assessment of the Jordanian labour and employment landscape and its needs, Aloul added, SADAQA adapted some of the models included in the study and tested them on the ground in Jordan.

SADAQA is currently investigating the possibility of setting up a municipal daycare in collaboration with Al Hasa municipality, according to Aloul.

 “We want to ensure that more bodies support the establishment of daycares by adopting various models in the workplace so that more women will participate in the labour market,” Aloul stressed.

In September of last year, SADAQA released a study in which it described the unemployment rates among Jordanian women as “horrifying”, stating that around 45 per cent of women who leave the labour market in Jordan do so due to a lack of childcare.

According to the International Labour Organisation, increasing women’s economic participation in Jordan, which stood at 13.3 per cent in 2015, could boost GDP by $8 billion a year. 

Many studies have shown the importance of daycare centres in the workplace, according to recent statements by SADAQA. 

Most research confirms that daycare centres increase the number of women in the workforce, which helps increase a country’s GDP in the long run, the statements said. 

SADAQA was launched as a campaign in 2011, registering in 2012 as a non-profit organisation that mobilises a wide range of activists to advocate for a work-friendly environment in compliance with Article 72 of the Labour Law with the aim of increasing women’s economic participation in Jordan.

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