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Campaign prepares projects to address gender-based violence across Kingdom

By Ana V. Ibáñez Prieto - Nov 20,2018 - Last updated at Nov 20,2018

AMMAN — The legal aid organisation Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD) on Sunday presented its 16 Days of Activism campaign to combat Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The campaign is set to start on November 25 with the launching of an analytical report highlighting the discriminatory practices that may hinder women from safely accessing the labour market in Jordan, organisers said, noting that “End Gender-Based Violence in the World of Work” will be this year’s theme.

Organised by the first Women's Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Centre for Women's Global Leadership in 1991, the 16 Days of Activism represents a time to “galvanise action to end violence against women and girls around the world”, according to the UN Women’s website. 

In an interview earlier this year, co-founder of the non-profit organisation SADAQA Sahar Aloul pointed out that “violence in the workplace is one of the greatest barriers forcing female workers to leave the workforce in Jordan”.

“It is very important to raise awareness on this issue,” the activist said, stressing that “several campaigns should be carried out at a mass level to inform youth about the problem, the legal framework and the available resources and channels for victims”.

In a similar vein, Jordan Labour Watch Director Ahmad Awad said that “women are the most vulnerable to violence and harassment in the workplace”, calling for “appropriate conditions for working mothers, such as granting them the right to maternity leave, providing custody at the workplace and obliging employers to give women their rights under the Labour Code”.

The organisation will conduct training on safeguarding and anti-harassment at the workplace for all employees, in addition to the publication of a “zero tolerance” policy for harassment and sexual exploitation, ARDD CEO Samar Muhareb told The Jordan Times, adding that the campaign will also include deliverables in coordination with the Jordanian National Commission for Women and the UN Gender Based Violence Working Group (GBV WG).

With the support of UNHCR, the organisation will conduct a total of 16 awareness-raising sessions among refugees and host communities across the Kingdom on the challenges faced by women in the labour market. 

ARDD will also distribute advocacy materials developed under the Ford Project among private sector companies in East Amman and Mafraq, seeking to disseminate information on the ways in which workplace environments for women can be improved.

Meanwhile, a team will be working with men and boys in the refugee camps of Azraq and Zaatari to address GBV and harassment in their communities, while other staff members will conduct a workshop with Syrian lawyers within the refugee communities to discuss reporting mechanisms and safe spaces for women. 

The organisation will also participate with other GBV WG members in the Ras Al Ain Bazaar, where the team will display products handcrafted by Jordanian and refugee women, as well as advocacy materials produced by ARDD. 

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