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Women on the Front Lines conference kicks off

Women’s participation in decision-making positions, political life ‘no longer an option’, says Bani Mustafa

By Rana Husseini - May 31,2022 - Last updated at May 31,2022

Minister of State for Legal Affairs Wafa Bani Mustafa during the Fifth Women on the Front Lines (WOFL) MENA Chapter Conference in Amman on Tuesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The Jordanian government is keen to ensure equality in roles and duties between men and women, Minister of State for Legal Affairs Wafa Bani Mustafa said on Tuesday.

“There is also a clear political will by His Majesty King Abdullah to empower women by encouraging them to overcome any obstacle that could hinder their political and economic participation,” Bani Mustafa stressed.

She also praised the efforts made by Her Majesty Queen Rania and her continuous support for women in various fields.

Bani Mustafa, who was deputising for Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh at the Fifth Women on the Front Lines (WOFL) MENA Chapter Conference, said that Jordanian women constitute a “main pillar” in civil society and all legislative, executive and judicial authorities.

“Over the past years, the Kingdom witnessed the largest women’s representation at the national assembly, councils, government and the judiciary levels,” Bani Mustafa told the gathering.

Bani Mustafa stressed that women’s participation in decision-making positions and political life is “no longer an option for any country seeking a promising future, democratic reform and sustainability”.

This, she continued, begins by “assisting women to reach leadership positions that encourage their participation in public and economic life, all of which is a key foundation to empowering women in society”.

The conference in Amman, which was organised by the May Chidiac Foundation (MCF), saw the participation of leading local and global figures in media, politics, arts, economics and the business sector, according to a statement that was distributed to the media. 

Also addressing the gathering was the MCF founder and Lebanese former minister of state for administrative reform May Chidiac who praised the Kingdom and their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania’s efforts in advancing women’s participation in public life.

Chidiac pointed out three main pillars that are “key” to ensure an active political and social life participation for women in the region.

One of the three pillars, according to Chidiac, is ensuring gender equality by reducing the gender gap between men and women while simultaneously recognising that women are the primary victims of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and weak political participation.

The second pillar relates to developing economic and political involvement between men and women.

The third pillar, according to Chidiac, is strengthening the leadership role of women by spreading a culture of democracy and non-discrimination as well as changing the legal framework as a way of furthering fair representation in elections and guaranteeing the peaceful transfer of power.

Meanwhile, former Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, an award-winning journalist, communications professional, and the conference chairperson Suzanne Afanah highlighted the major economic, environmental, social and health challenges that Arab women faced over the past several years, which were further heightened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference, which included high-level panel discussions with leading women in the fields of politics, media, art, business, economics, human rights and social development, aims to empower and encourage women to achieve a better and sustainable future for themselves and the society, according to the press release.

Towards the end of the conference, a special tribute video was presented with a minute of silence for Palestinian journalist and martyr Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed in cold blood by the Israeli army while covering an attack on the Jenin Camp, according to the press release. 

 

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