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Fight for gender equality is a struggle for entire human race — Princess Basma

Princess presides over 30th anniversary celebration of JNCW

By Rana Husseini - Oct 06,2023 - Last updated at Oct 06,2023

HRH Princess Basma speaks during a ceremony marking the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of the Jordanian National Commission for Women at Al Hussein Cultural Centre in Amman on Wednesday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — HRH Princess Basma on Wednesday called for the expansion of knowledge and capabilities, creating broader platforms for women’s voices, and investing primarily in building stronger connections with the emerging generation.

The princess’s remarks were made on the occasion of the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the establishment of the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) at Al Hussein Cultural Centre in Amman.

“Today, we gather to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the JNCW,” Princess Basma told the gathering.

It is a day that “takes us back to the time when we joined together in preparation for our participation in the 1995 Women’s World Conference in Beijing,” she said. 

“Nearly three decades have passed since the adoption of the Beijing Platform for Action, a global agenda for women’s empowerment and key policy document on gender equality,” the princess stressed.

This marked the first acknowledgement of the disproportionate impact of environmental degradation and armed conflicts on women and girls, and it underscored the crucial role that media can play in fostering positive attitudes towards women in society, according to Princess Basma. 

“This agenda, which we brought back to our countries, evolved into a dream that ignited the ambitions of women in Jordan and throughout the Arab world,” the princess said. 

“We have witnessed remarkable strides in the realms of education, employment and political engagement for women and girls,” she added.

Princess Basma pointed out that despite the many triumphs in the areas of legislation and the protection of women from violence, “we find ourselves at a crossroads, facing challenges that threaten the gains we have made in the field of women’s rights”.

“We stand halfway towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, yet gender equality remains elusive,” she added.  

Therefore, the princess said that “in light of our escalating challenges, our need for national mechanisms that empower women has grown, exemplified by the JNCW”.

“These institutions must have adequate authority and resources to network and secure support from governments to develop and implement policies and strategies efficiently,” Princess Basma stressed. 

“These circumstances demand our collective responsibility, heightened awareness, and the understanding of institutions and individuals, international organisations, governments and civil society groups,” Princess Basma added. 

The princess concluded by saying: “We must remember that the fight for gender equality is not exclusive to women; it is a struggle for the entire human race.”

“It is a battle for justice to prevail, allowing every individual, regardless of gender, to find their place in a world free from war, conflict, prejudice and discrimination,” Princess Basma said. 

Also addressing the gathering was JNCW Secretary General Maha Ali, who praised leading women activists who “raised the equality and social justice flag since the 1940s and demanded women’s economic, social, cultural, political and civil rights”. 

“I salute all these great women who paved the way for us to be where we are today and to celebrate the many achievements,” Ali added.

Alli, a former minister, also praised Princess Basma for initiating the JNCW and for working “under your directives in a participatory approach to include women’s issues in various strategies and policies”. 

 “The JNCW worked hand in hand with various states, activists, and local and regional governmental and non-governmental organisations to implement the Jordanian women’s strategy,” Ali added.

The JNCW secretary general added that “the trip is not over yet”.

“There are still many legislative, institutional and social challenges that require intensified efforts to build on what has been achieved and to continue the process of promoting the rights of Jordanian women in various fields,” Ali added.

The JNCW, which was initiated and headed by Princess Basma, is a semi-governmental organisation that advocates and promotes women’s diverse issues, according to the organisation’s website.

It was established by a Cabinet Decision in 1992 and has since gained recognition as the authority on women’s affairs in Jordan’s public sector while it also represents the Kingdom at regional and international levels in matters pertaining to women.

JNCW’s mission is to support the mainstreaming of a gender-equality perspective in all policy areas and to narrow the gap between formal acknowledgement of women’s rights as detailed by legislation and the actual societal attitudes towards women.

Its purpose is to engender positive tangible transformation in the status of women in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination against them and to achieve their effective and equal participation with men in all political, economic, social and cultural arenas.

 

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