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Gender Equality and Female Empowerment

Language: English

Gender Equality and Female Empowerment Enhanced

OVERVIEW

For decades, USAID has partnered with the Government of Jordan and civil society organizations to support the well-being and empowerment of women and girls. With an education system that ensures equal access to both genders, Jordan boasts a highly educated female population that has the potential to advance Jordan’s economic, social, and political development.

Though there has been significant progress, women in Jordan remain under-utilized and often sidelined due to enduring social norms and traditions that have stifled women’s advancement. USAID’s programs promote gender equality by expanding social dialogue to change discriminatory social norms and practices, strengthening policy enforcement and advocacy for female empowerment, improving services for women and girls and encouraging women’s political and economic participation.

CHALLENGES 

Despite having drastically reduced the educational gender gap, Jordan continues to have one of the world’s lowest rates of women’s workforce participation at only 13.2 percent. Among Jordan’s unemployed women, the majority are university graduates. Although there is support for improvement within the Government of Jordan, resources are lacking and a sizable gap exists between women; constitutional rights and acceptable social norms.

Furthermore, due to the traditional beliefs and cultural restraints enforced by family and community networks, limitations on women; political participation continue to persist; despite the inclusion of quotas for women in national and municipal bodies. Additionally, violence against women is still prevalent and consistently underreported due to societal and familial pressures.Adding to the problem is the influx of Syrian refugees; among whom the rate of gender-based violence is high, and though under-reported, early marriage could be as high as 33 percent among Syrian girls.

CURRENT PROGRAMS

The USAID Mission in Jordan works with its implementing partners to advocate and promote gender equality across our entire portfolio through cross-cutting activities. All USAID programs advocate changing discriminatory social practices, enhancing support for policy reforms, and expanding access to female-centered services. In 2014, in an effort to build on previous gender efforts, USAID launched a five-year activity called the USAID Takamol Project. Takamol works with national and local stakeholders to empower government, civil society institutions, and individual change agents to address challenges to gender equality and female empowerment in Jordan.

IMPACT & RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Partnered with relevant stakeholders to review and develop 59 laws, policies, and procedures to promote gender equality and improve prevention and response to gender-based violence.
  • Supported the establishment of Jordan’s first women’s caucus in Parliament. Provided technical support to more than 350 potential female parliamentarian candidates, leading to an increase in the number of women represented.
  • Supported the approval of the Flexible Working Hours By-Law for 2017, which seeks to boost participation of women in the workforce.  
  • Trained 350 female public servants to develop their leadership skills and support the advancement of women in the public sector.
  • Provided more than 50 grants to community-based organizations to promote women's political and economic participation in communities across Jordan. Grant activities included 433 community-based activities that reached 20,398 people.
  • Increased women’s economic participation through providing 2,343 women with new or better employment opportunities as a result of workforce development programs.
  • Supported more than 300 woman-owned home-based businesses to enhance their quality and productivity, to integrate them into supply chains, and to develop their financial management skills. Facilitated access to finance for 657 woman-owned businesses.
  • Trained over 100 female community health workers who visit nearly 400,000 Jordanian women annually, providing counseling on women’s health issues and modern family planning methods.
  • Created social dialogue opportunities on gender roles and stereotypes. Online debates and conversations on gender virtually generated 11,215,520 views on Facebook, 8,965 impressions on Twitter and 24,891 views on YouTube.
  • Supported an open space for dialogue on gender equality through holding community workshops which resulted in the painting of eight evocative murals in high-traffic areas in six governorates.

Last updated: July 03, 2017

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