The House of Representatives convened for 5 days to discuss constitutional amendments recommended by the Legal Committee at the House of Representatives. These amendments are part of a package sent by the government to the legislature based on the recommendations of a royal committee tasked with providing insights to modernize political life and develop legislation in the Kingdom. On Jan.2, 2022, the Lower House passed a gender-sensitive title for the Second Chapter of the Constitution, which has become: “The Rights and Duties of Jordanian Men and Women” instead of “The Rights and Duties of Jordanians.” A total of 94 MPs approved the Legal Committee’s proposed amendment, 26 rejected it while 10 were absent. The second chapter of the Constitution relates to basic rights, freedoms and duties entrusted to citizens, as well as the right to education and work.
The House passed two more amended articles of the Constitution. A majority of 106 deputies voted to amend Paragraph 5 of Article 6 of the Constitution to read as follows: “The law shall protect the rights of persons with disabilities and promote their participation and inclusion in various walks of life. It [the law] shall also protect motherhood, childhood, and the elderly, take care of young people and prevent abuse and exploitation.” Before the amendment, the text of the paragraph was: “The law shall protect motherhood, childhood, and the elderly, take care of young people and people with disabilities, and protect them from abuse and exploitation.”
The House also approved the proposal to add paragraphs (6 and 7) to Article VI of the Constitution to empower women and youth. The amended paragraph 6 reads as follows: “The state shall guarantee the empowerment and support of women to play an active role in building society in a way that guarantees equal opportunities on the basis of justice and equity and protects them from all forms of violence and discrimination.”
Paragraph 7 now reads: “The state shall guarantee the promotion of the values of citizenship, tolerance and the rule of law. It [the state] shall also guarantee, within the limits of its capabilities, empowering young people to participate in political, economic, social and cultural life, developing their capabilities, and supporting their creativity and innovations.”
It’s worth mentioning that on Jan. 12, 2022, the Senate unanimously approved these constitutional amendments.