Photo: Olivia Cuthbert / Kvinna till Kvinna

Kvinna till Kvinna in Jordan

Kvinna till Kvinna has supported women’s rights in Jordan since 2007. Jordan is one of the few Middle Eastern countries where the women’s movement has recently achieved major victories. Yet obstacles remain: women struggle to access work, are legally discriminated against and politically underrepresented. Reporting sexual violence is difficult. Female refugees in Jordan live under particularly tough circumstances.

Why we work in Jordan

In Jordan, the women’s movement has achieved important victories.

The country recently adopted a National Action Plan on UNSC resolution 1325. Laws have also been changed to ensure rapists can no longer escape punishment by marrying their victim. Men are no longer excused either for murdering female relatives in “fits of rage provoked by the victim’s actions.”

Despite these successes, several major obstacles remain.

Legal discrimination against women persists in inheritance cases. Religious courts still tend to side with husbands in divorce and custody disputes. They have also condoned child marriage of girls as young as 15. Becoming financially independent remains a challenge for Jordanian women: just 33% of them hold jobs. Politically, there are relatively advanced quota to ensure women’s participation. But in recent elections, voter turnout among women was worryingly low. On certain levels, women made up as little as 1% of candidates running for office.

Particularly vulnerable are women who have fled to Jordan from Syria. More than 740 000 Syrian refugees live in the country. Until recently, they had very little economic opportunity; now, Jordan is taking steps to help Syrians access formal employment.

Women's rights activists of our partner organisation AWO, holding up signs saying
Women's rights activists of our partner organisation AWO, holding up signs saying "My mother is Jordanian and her nationality is my right" (left) and "Jordanian women refuse oppression" (right). Photo: Arab Women Organization

How we support women in Jordan

Together with our partner organisations in Jordan, we:

  • Advocate for changes to laws, policies and practices to advance women’s rights
  • Promote women’s participation in politics, especially at the local level
  • Support the provision of legal aid, shelter and counselling to victims of abuse
  • Prevent gender-based violence and document its occurrence
  • Empower women to enter the labour market
  • Raise awareness of CEDAW and monitor its implementation
  • Support young women to take on leadership roles

Our work in Jordan is conducted from our regional office in Amman.

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