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Gender and development — more needs to be done

Nov 18,2017 - Last updated at Nov 18,2017

After a recently concluded three-day mission to Jordan, the executive director of the UN Population Fund, Natalia Kanem, praised the country for its continued and determined efforts to fulfil the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but also candidly listed the challenges ahead that must be addressed, including child marriage, high fertility and the resulting growing number of youth, and the need for continued commitment to reproductive health, family planning and gender equality. 

The visit, the first for this official in the country and the region since her appointment as UNFPA executive director on October 3, gave Kanem the opportunity to get acquainted with “the huge responsibility that the government is taking” and the support “provided to those living in Jordan, whether nationals or not, securing their right to be educated and sheltered, and to participate in the national life”. 

Yet, despite the efforts, Jordan, she said, is still one of the 10 per cent of countries “with the lowest gender and development index”, a classification that should spur officials to action in this direction, for, “without efforts that address gender inequities for marginalised women, economic aspirations and targets for the 2030 agenda cannot be realised”, the official warned. 

She specifically called for investment in sexual and reproductive health as a fundamental human right and “the cornerstone of preparing a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled”.

Jordan is exerting efforts in this direction, but more needs to be done. However, the economic hardships, the serious outside challenges and the fact that the country is host to about 1.3 million Syrian refugees that it treats fully aware of its international obligations, but also with typical Jordanian hospitality, stretch its finances thin.

The UNFPA head’s urging the country to make “explicit funding and integration of these topics into the national budget”, therefore, may stay a recommendation only.

Jordan is certainly aware of what needs to be done to fulfil the UN SDGs, but needs aid and support to face the overwhelming challenges that go beyond its means.

 

As long as the country is made aware of what needs to be done, once circumstances allow, it will no doubt tackle the problems and work to put things right.

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AS WE ALL SEE, IT DOES NOT TAKE MUCH TO FIND OUT ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON(S) WHY JORDAN IS IN A MESS ECONOMICALLY. WHEN YOU LOCK UP YOUR WOMEN AND GIRLS IN A KITCHEN AND BEDROOMS AS BABY MACHINES, SOMETHING HAS TO FILL THE ECONOMIC GAP CREATED BY THE MARGINIZATION OF OVER 50% OF YOUR POPULATION AND EDUCATED WOMEN. THANKS TO MRS NATALIA KANEM FOR PICKING UP THIS UNFORTUNATE AND CONFOUNDING ISSUE TOWARDS ECONOMIC GROWTH. MAY BE NATILIA SHOULD CABLE THE DIRECTOR OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS DIVISION OF THE UN IN SWITZERLAND WHO HAPPENS TO BE A JORDANIAN THAT THE HUMAN RIGHT SITUATION AS APPLICABLE TO WOMEN IN HIS COUNTRY IS IN SHAMBLES. IT STILL TAKES TWO WOMEN TO MAKE A MAN IN ALL LEGAL DOCUMENTS, JORDANIAN WOMEN MARRIED TO NON JORDANIAN MAN ARE EXILLED TO LALA LAND, PROPERTY INHERITANCE AND OWNERSHIP IS SKEWED TO MEN AND MEN ONLY, THEIR GIRLS TAKES FIRST PLACES IN EDUCATION AND LAST IN INTEGRATION INTO PUBLIC SERVICE AND LEADERSHIP POSITIONS. ALL THE PUBLIC POLICY POSITIONS ARE HEADED BY ABU-THIS AND ABU-THAT AND NEVER OMU THIS AND THAT. TO BE HONEST TO YOU, I SEE NO REASON(S) WHY THEY EVEN ALLOW THEIR GIRLS AND WOMEN TO GET EDUCATION WHEN THEIR DIPLOMAS ENDS UP IN THE KITCHEN SINK.

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