AMMAN — A recent study funded by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to examine loopholes in the Kingdom’s laws governing pay equity found a total lack of legal protection against gender discrimination in wages.
The study, which was presented by Labour Ministry Secretary General Hamada Abu Nejmeh at a workshop on the same subject, also found gender discrimination in the bylaws of several workplaces and urged legislators to revise the Labour Law so as to prohibit this.
“The study recommended amending the Labour Law to clearly prohibit discrimination against women in the workplace and to impose penalties on those who do so,” Abu Nejmeh said at the two-day event, which concluded on Saturday.
“It also urged the government to engage the private sector in programmes and activities pushing for ending unequal pay among men and women in the same institution.”
This weekend’s event was organised by the ILO, the labour ministry and the Jordanian National Committee for Women (JNCW) with the participation of individuals representing the government, employers and women’s rights advocacy groups.
JNCW Secretary General Asma Khader underlined the importance of creating a legal framework for the protection of women’s rights, stressing that Jordan is signatory to several international covenants on gender equality but does not abide by them.
Pointing to sectors of the labour market such as private education where studies have found women are paid much less than their male colleagues, Khader stressed that no effort by the government to secure more protection for women will be successful without a legislative basis of equality.
In an effort to bring this issue to the attention of the public, the labour ministry, the ILO and the JNCW have been engaged for the past few months in an ILO-funded project on pay equity and formed a committee to study the issue and come up with practical suggestions to address the problem, the project’s manager, Reem Aslan, said at the event.
She underlined the important role of the media in educating the public, especially women, about their rights, adding that women should not accept discrimination and should report any violation against them to the authorities.
Aslan added that the project also includes a media campaign targeting employers and working women in an effort to win public support for this cause.