On 17/6/2020, in coordination with Solidarity is Global Institute (SIGI), a focus group of experts representing the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Ministries of: Labor, Parliamentary and Political Affairs, representatives from the Social Security, political parties and the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities met. The meeting aims to seek expert opinions to prepare a study on assessing the status of Jordanian women. H.E. Asma Khader, SIGI’s CEO, indicated that studies assessing the status of Jordanian women are issued mostly by foreign NGOs, and that the time has come to conduct a local study. “The achievements that have been made for the sake of women are many, but to achieve what we aspire to, we have a long way to go,” she said. She also indicated that the time has come to develop a new Jordanian women’s document as an amendment to 2003 document.
H.E. Wafa Bani Mustafa indicated that the interpretive decision related to Article 33 of the constitution that was issued about a month ago by the Constitutional Court had covered the status of international treaties, as it was stated that no national law may be issued that contradicts the obligations established in an international treaty ratified by the Kingdom by a special law . She indicated that this decision could achieve a qualitative leap not only in women’s rights, but also in human rights and all economic, social and political rights. She indicated that there have been amendments to several important laws, among them the amendments to the Labor Law. She emphasized that Article 69 that limits working hours and the areas in which women work and Article 29 regarding a safe work environment free from harassment should be amended. She emphasized the importance of linking all sectors with gender. She pointed to the importance of the political role of women, indicating that the absence of women leaders during the Covid-19 crisis led to neglecting all plans related to gender. She indicated that the coalition had developed a guide to protect women from political violence to encourage women to engage in politics and reduce electoral violence. She said, “Women politicians who possess the ability to work in politics must be supported.” She also stressed the importance of regulating domestic and care work and the importance of understanding and respecting roles, noting that the lack of awareness of civil society about the role of legislators hinders the achievement of the demands of women’s rights, and the lack of awareness of legislators of the importance of the role of civil society, research centers, and the media also impedes work. She also confirmed that Parliament has worked to institutionalize the role of women through forming women’s committees in the HoR and the Senate, the Women Caucus, and the Coalition of Women MPs from Arab Countries to Combat Violence Against Women. She also praised the important role of the Raedat network, and stressed the importance of forming a lobby between female legislators, and the importance of allocating budgets to implement laws.
Dr. Rula Al-Hroub, Secretary General of the Stronger Jordan Party, indicated that the study should highlight social security and its problems in terms of entitlement to social protection regardless of contributions and reducing the percentage of current contributions that do not encourage individuals and employers to join social security. She stressed the importance of increasing the quota In the governorates that are divided into several electoral districts such as Amman, Irbid, and Zarqa, and the importance of considering the rights of children of Jordanian women and granting them civil rights like the rest of the Jordanian citizens. Moreover, she pointed to the importance of enacting a law condemning harassment for all the society, and to reform the work of women’s loan funds, and to reform the mechanisms of spending alimony. This in addition to solving the problems of new female graduates who suffer from unemployment.
Her Excellency Haifa Al-Najjar explained the importance of starting from the principles of equality and citizenship for the sake of women and translating Article Six of the Constitution into laws based on equality, and stressed the importance of working for the sake of the rule of law and for the sake of women. She said, “We have to fight for the presence of women politically in the parliament and the presence of political, active and real women. We have to fight for the existence of political and legitimate women who are aware of civil rights, the rule of law, national identity, openness, pluralism, flexibility and adaptation.”
The attendees touched on private education and the need to oversee the unfair contracts of female teachers in private education, and stressed the importance of linking protection and development when enacting and implementing laws. They indicated the need to follow up on the implementation of laws and raise awareness regarding them, improve public transportation issues and follow up on the establishment of nurseries in workplaces, and they indicated the importance of raising awareness of women’s rights, and the need to amend legislation; as there are texts that need to be amended and texts that do not serve the purpose, and there are issues that needs new legislation such as the Child Law and the legal protection for old women. They also stressed the importance of conducting studies on women and the impact of the Corona pandemic on them. This in addition to the importance of amending the Personal Status Law, bridging the gap between civil society and decision-makers, and the importance of issuing gender-sensitive budgets.
Alaa Dakkak, a delegate of the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, indicated that they had issued a ten-year plan for inclusive education, which was implemented with the Ministry of Education. And they created a committee for humanitarian cases to follow up with the Civil Service Bureau to achieve the employment of 4% of persons with disabilities in governmental institutions in accordance with the law. She indicated that they were translating for the deaf students all the lessons on Darsak platform, and they were translating the press briefings about Corona in the sign language as well. She indicated the importance of allocating a quota for the disabled in the Parliament.