Population size and demographic: 10.27 million. 49.35% of the population is female and 50.65% is male.
Women at Work:
In Jordan, women’s labour force participation stands at 15.1%, a remarkably low percentage, ranking 149 out of 153 countries in the Global Gender Report of 2021. (1) In 2018, the percentage of economically active women was 14.6% and the unemployment rate reached 24.1%. (2) Women were mostly present in sectors like education, with 29.7% of women working in this industry, and health and social work, with 11% (2). Only 3.8% of firms have a female majority ownership and only 2.4% have female top managers (1).
Jordan also ranks 145 when it comes to estimated earned income for men and women (1). In the private sector, the wage gap for women and men is about 17% (3). Only about 4% of working women in Jordan are employers or own account workers, while this percentage is 13% for working men. (4)
Women’s Participation in Parliament:
In Jordan women were given the right to vote and stand for election in 1974, although this right would not be exercised until years later, and the first woman in parliament was Toujan al-Faisal who won her seat in 1993 (5). Women hold 12.31% of the seats in parliament, meaning that out of 130 members, 16 are women. About 21.51% of candidates in the last election were women (6). Women hold 20.8% of all ministerial positions and they rank 113 out of 153 countries when it comes to political empowerment in the Global Gender Report (1).
Violence Against Women:
When it comes to women experiencing physical and/ or sexual intimate partner violence in their lifetime, the percentage stands at 18.9% and 13.8% when it comes to physical or sexual violence in the last 12 months. Child marriage is high in Jordan, as 9.7% of girls between 15 and 19 years of age are married (7).
According to the law, the minimum legal age of marriage is 18, but exceptions can be made with judicial consent for individuals as young as 15 years old. When these exceptions are made, the age gap between man and woman must not be over 15 years and the marriage can’t be an obstacle to the girl’s education (8). Jordan provides 3 types of shelter, for victims of human trafficking, victims of violence (with a specialized centre for children victims of violence and sexual abuse) and women at risk. In 2009 a law was adopted which makes all forms of human trafficking punishable by up to 10 years of prison. (9)
Literacy rates in Jordan stand at 97.8% for women and 98.6% for men, ranking 67 in the Global Gender Report of 2021 (1). Enrollment in primary education is similar for girls (80.2%) and boys (81.5%) and both drastically fall when it comes to enrollment in tertiary education, with women standing at 37.4% and men at 31.5% (1).
Healthy life expectancy for women in Jordan is 67.5 years. Maternal mortality stands at 46 deaths per 100,000 live births. About 99.7% of births are attended by skilled personnel in Jordan (1) and 98% of pregnant women were receiving prenatal care in 2018 (10). In 2020, 26 of every 1000 girls aged between 15 and 19 years gave birth, meaning a 25.8 adolescent fertility rate (11).
Current Law and Policy:
Jordan commits to end violence against women and girls. The Government of Jordan has joined UN Women’s COMMIT initiative and announced that it will develop and adopt a national strategy to combat violence against women and girls. Specific measures under the strategy will include legislative reforms to improve legal and judicial responses to violence against women in Jordan, in line with international standards; strengthened coordination efforts between key stakeholders and expansion of services for survivors of violence; as well as increased data collection on violence against women.
· Women On Boards - https://www.wobsjo.com/
· Arab Women Organisation of Jordan - https://www.awo.org.jo/ - email@example.com