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Princess Basma celebrates 70th birthday

By JT - May 10,2021 - Last updated at May 16,2021

AMMAN — Tuesday marks the 70th birthday of HRH Princess Basma, who has dedicated her work over decades to empowering women and local communities, while addressing the needs of children and promoting the role of young people.

Princess Basma’s efforts in these areas have been embodied in her role as the chairperson of the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD), the pioneering non-governmental organisation that she established in 1977, which was one of the first in the country to address development challenges at the national level. 

JOHUD’s unique and expansive outreach includes a network of 51 community development centres throughout Jordan’s cities, rural areas and villages, involving thousands of community members and volunteers.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the National Goodwill Campaign, (GWC) launched by Princess Basma in 1991. Culminating every year during the holy month of Ramadan, and rooted in Islamic values of solidarity and support, the GWC’s programmes aim to improve living standards for people living in poverty, through small businesses, improved housing, scholarships and medical assistance, as well as direct assistance and in-kind donations. 

The GWC’s Family Relief Fund was created to identify and support some of those hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic and its repercussions across the country, and has been actively reaching out to thousands of families in need.

Women’s advancement has always been a key area of concern for the princess. As a longstanding and passionate advocate for women’s rights around the world, she has chaired the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW), since its establishment in1992. The JNCW is the highest official entity responsible for addressing women- and gender-related issues, with a focus on legislative and policy reform.

Speaking last month on the occasion of Jordan’s centenary, Princess Basma highlighted the role women have played in the development of Jordan: "What Jordanian women achieve today builds on the efforts of grandmothers, mothers and young women, who are too rarely remembered by history. Their efforts to open doors that were closed, and to take small, simple, but steady steps forward have brought us as Jordanian women to where we are today. Whether it was the teacher who went to study in a village and lived far from her family, the nurse who broke the stereotype of ‘women’s work’, the young woman trained to give injections to help on the front lines, the illiterate mother who insisted that her daughters go to school, or the farm worker who wanted her daughter to own land herself. We owe the progress we have today to the accumulated effects of their efforts, and stand humbled by their accomplishments."

In recognition of her commitment and advocacy work, Princess Basma was appointed as Honorary Human Development Ambassador for UNDP and Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women and the UNFPA.
Princess Basma is married to Walid Kurdi and has four children; Farah (JOHUD’s Executive Director), Ghazi, Saad and Zein Al Sharaf and seven grandchildren: Fatima Al Zahra, Zein Al Sharaf, Abdulaziz, Aysha, Iman, Basma and Haya.


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