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Jordan marks International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women

By JT - Nov 25,2019 - Last updated at Nov 26,2019

AMMAN — On Monday, Jordan joined in celebrating the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which falls on November 25 annually. This year's theme was "The Orange World: Generation of Equality Stands against Rape", according to the Higher Population Council (HPC). 

In 2009, the UN General Assembly designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and as an “Orange Day” for its “Say No- Unit” campaign to mobilise individuals, civil society, activists, governments and the UN system to strengthen efforts to end violence against women and girls globally, according to an HPC statement.

The UN General Assembly declaration defined violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life".

In the statement, the HPC stressed that it is “committed” to focusing on issues of women's empowerment and paying attention to reproductive health and gender equality through seminars and awareness workshops.

The HPC referred to the results of the Jordan Population and Family Health Survey (2017 -2018), which showed that 21 per cent of married women between the ages of 15 and 49 have been subjected to physical violence at least once. Moreover, 14 per cent were subjected to physical violence during the 12 months prior to the survey, and 2 per cent were subjected to this type of violence during pregnancy, according to the statement. 

In terms of ​​sexual violence, (i.e. the physical coercion of a woman to have sexual intercourse with her husband against her will), the survey showed that 5 per cent of women have been subjected to this type of violence by their current or previous spouse. 

As for ​​violence against women during pregnancy, the HPC indicated that this type of violence may not only threaten women’s well-being, but may also threaten the lives of their unborn children. The survey indicated that 7 per cent of women were "beaten, slapped, kicked", or subjected to physical violence at least once during pregnancy, according to the survey. 

The results showed that 24 per cent of women who have been married have been subjected to “physical violence and/or sexual violence” by their current or most recent spouse, while about a third (32 per cent) have experienced “physical, sexual and/or emotional violence”.

The HPC noted that the data show a “marked increase” in violence rates against women, as most percentages are “significantly higher” than survey data from 2012. 

The HPC stressed the need for a transitional framework through which structural and infrastructural obstacles to gender equality and women's rights are addressed.

The council highlighted that insufficient women’s empowerment and low economic participation, which does not exceed 16 per cent of the economic activity rate, are considered “violence against women and girls”. Moreover, women are poorly represented in political and judicial fields as well as in other aspects of life, the statement said. 

UN data show that one in three women and girls worldwide experience physical or sexual violence during their lifetimes, mostly by their partners, according to the statement. 

Only 52 per cent of married women “make decisions freely” about their sexual relations and using contraceptive methods and health care, the statement said. 

Nearly 750 million women and girls around the world are married before the age of 18, while 200 million women and girls have undergone female genital mutilation.

Moreover, one in every two murdered women were killed by their partner or a family member worldwide, compared to one in 20 men who were killed in similar circumstances. Additionally, 71 per cent of all human trafficking victims are women.

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