UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF WOMEN
Partners: Work with women cuts across USAID’s initiatives and the Mission works with all of its partners to address the needs of women.
Women are an untapped resource for Jordan. Despite their comparatively high education levels, Jordan has some of the lowest indicators in the world for women’s labor force and civic participation, economic productivity, and gender equality. Fewer than one-fifth of women are engaged in the workforce. Social norms discourage women from working and there are limited support services, such as transportation and child care, to enable their economic participation. Few women achieve leadership roles in the private sector and government. Despite the increased number of women running for election, women continue to have minimal representation in parliament and local councils.
AREAS OF FOCUS
Inclusive Social Norms
Equitable gender norms within households, communities, and organizations are essential for ensuring women have access to the opportunities they need to realize their full potential. In cooperation with Jordanian partners, USAID is raising awareness about social attitudes and values that hinder economic, political, and civic engagement by women through meaningful economic, political, social, and civic engagement through gender initiatives, advocacy, training, and social media discussions.
Removing Barriers to Leadership
Enabling women to play leadership roles in decision-making positions in the public and private sectors is essential for Jordan to secure a stable and prosperous future. USAID supports local stakeholders to strengthen the regulatory and institutional frameworks that underpin women assuming leadership roles within their families, communities, and workplaces, and strengthen their leadership skills to allow for more effective engagement as decision-makers.
Participation in Economic and Public Life
USAID’s market-driven initiatives provide women with the skills needed to participate in the economy, including developing and growing their own businesses, and poised to contribute to and benefit from economic growth of the country. Civic and political engagement programs involve women in decision-making and create pathways for participation in public life.
- Successful efforts that protect the rights of women and encourage their participation in the public sphere includes: the adoption and implementation of the Flexible Working Hours Bylaw to encourage women’s economic participation; the launch of a Guide on Combating Violence Against Women in Public Life to help women address the challenges they face when seeking leadership roles; empowering youth to help draft a manual on Gender-Based Violence to initiate the development of a violence reporting system; and mobilizing NGO community health workers and leaders to educate 46,000 women on preventing violence against women.
- Support to the Government of Jordan to mainstream gender responsiveness throughout their work and to combat violence against women includes: training of judges and the Family Protection Department staff on settlement procedures and guidelines for alternative measures described in the Protection Against Domestic Violence Law; training staff from Jordan’s General Procurement Department to increase participants’ knowledge of gender equality in public finance; and developing the first ever gender policy and action plan for the water sector including training on recognizing and addressing gender biases, empowering gender focal points within the ministry, and developing mentoring and job-shadowing programs for women in the Jordanian water sector.
- Support the Ministry of Health to train healthcare providers on maternal and child health care and establish the first national Maternal Mortality Surveillance and Response System. Because teenage childbearing is more common among Syrian women (28 percent), USAID supports a multi-donor effort that provides free maternal and child health care to refugees. USAID also developed and ran COVID-19 prevention and vaccine uptake campaigns that included women and youth as target audiences.
- Facilitating access to finance for women-owned businesses, and supporting women to formalize their home-based businesses; providing vocational and professional skills training, and job placement opportunities for women; and, supporting mentorship and networking forums to connect women with other women in their sector.
- In partnership with the Family Protection Department, the National Council for Family Affairs, RASED, and Sisterhood is Global Institute Jordan, USAID raised awareness on gender-based violence (GBV) and supported both Jordanian women and men, especially youth, to raise their voices and identify solutions to stop violence. A 16-Days GBV national media campaign in 2021 reached nearly 10 million Jordanians and resulted in male and female viewers championing women’s rights.