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JoWomenomics report spotlights barriers to women’s workforce participation in Jordan

By Maria Weldali - Mar 09,2024 - Last updated at Mar 09,2024

AMMAN — A recent report by JoWomenomics, a feminist research organisation, highlighted societal constraints and cultural attitudes as significant obstacles to women’s full professional participation in the Kingdom.

The study, titled “Women’s Voice and Leadership: The Impact of the Changes to the Labour Law on Women’s Rights in the Workplace in Jordan”, was funded by Oxfam and employed a feminist research framework and methodology.

The research, which involved 79 participants (37 men and 42 women), examined the effects of amendments to the Labour Law on women’s workplace rights in Jordan. It gathered perspectives from community members, community-based organisations, influencers, tribal leaders, and representatives from public and private sectors in three regions: Irbid, Shouneh and East Amman.

Despite recent progress, the report indicates that Jordanian women continue to encounter barriers to employment opportunities, including societal norms, economic constraints, and safety issues related to transportation and sexual harassment.

The report also said that while women participating in the Kingdom’s labour market are highly qualified, with 73.2 per cent holding a bachelor’s degree or higher, their overall economic participation remains low.

The study participants also underscored the need for safer work environments to boost women’s participation in the local labour market and emphasised that safety measures should extend beyond the workplace to ensure women’s safety in society at large.

The report also concluded with recommendations for developing media and advocacy campaigns in the three targeted regions. These recommendations focus on addressing employment access barriers, mobilising influencers to change mindsets, raising awareness about women’s participation in the labour market, and using a community-centred approach to address societal and familial barriers to women’s employment during night shifts and across all economic sectors.

JoWomenomics, founded in 2014, is an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting an ecofeminist economy in the Kingdom and the MENA region. The organisation has employed over 600 women across 10 governorates, reached 4000 community members, developed 18 community champion networks, and advocated for amendments to the Labour Law and Social Security Law.

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