EuroMed Feminist Initiative promotes gender equality in household chores


Published: 2023-01-26 19:38

Last Updated: 2023-03-27 14:19

EuroMed Feminist Initiative promotes gender equality in household chores
EuroMed Feminist Initiative promotes gender equality in household chores

The EuroMed Feminist Initiative (EFI) launched a media campaign titled "Your Work is Everywhere" under the patronage of senator H.E. Dr. Maysoon Atoum. The campaign, which is part of EFI's project "Towards Stronger Economic Participation of Women in Jordan" funded by the European Union (EU) and in partnership with the consortium- Business Development Center (BDC) and Tamkeen for legal aid and human rights-, aims to raise awareness about the importance of gender equality in the distribution of household and care-taking responsibilities in Jordan.

The campaign is a response to recent data by the Jordanian Department of Statistics, which revealed that women in Jordan constitute only 14% of the total workforce, and in a study issued by the Higher Population Council shows that 78% of married Jordanian women have withdrawn from the labor market. The study also found that 45% of those who withdrew cited family responsibilities as the reason.

The goal of the campaign is to promote equal division of domestic duties in order to encourage and enable more women to join or remain in the workforce. This will ultimately lead to an improvement in the per capita gross domestic product, household income, and overall economic activity in the country.

Dr. Maysoon Atoum emphasized the importance of gender equality in achieving true progress and prosperity in society. She asserted that in order for a country to truly develop, both men and women must actively participate in the production of knowledge and economy, as well as the creation of the public sphere. Without equal participation and representation in these areas, it is impossible to achieve genuine advancement and well-being for the society as a whole.

Tahani AlSaadi, EFI Project Manager, highlighted the importance of equal distribution of domestic responsibilities between women and men in order to encourage women to enter and stay in the labor market. By sharing the burden of care and household tasks, women can fully utilize their capabilities and contribute to the economy. It does not only improve the level of family income, but also helps to create a more stable and secure household. The media campaign aims at advocating for these principles and trying to raise awareness on the importance of equal distribution of domestic responsibilities.
Issa Murad, Head of labor and social development committee in the Jordanian Senate, highlighted the need for legislative reform to remove barriers preventing women from entering the workforce. He also emphasized the importance of creating job opportunities for women in under-served areas, improving transportation infrastructure, fostering a supportive environment for working women, and addressing wage disparities between women and men. He is recognizing that systemic issues make it difficult for women to join the workforce and that addressing these issues is crucial for achieving gender equality in the workplace.

The press conference was attended by over 80 attendees representing government officials, municipalities, community-based organizations, national and international non-profit organizations, embassies, and activists.

The event included a panel discussion featuring expert perspectives on the topic, including Dr. Maysoon Atoum, H.E. Mr. Issa Murad, a senator, and Sahar Aloul from Sadaqa. The panelists agreed on a comprehensive set of recommendations aimed at promoting gender equality in the division of household and care responsibilities, as well as enhancing women's economic participation in Jordan.

The recommendations included: activating collaborative efforts between public and private sectors, as well as civil society institutions, raising awareness about the societal expectations and stereotypes that shape women and men's roles; recognizing the value of care work by providing infrastructure and support for the care sector by the government; encouraging women to participate and succeed in the labor market; amending legislation that hinders women's access to the workforce, and enforcing existing laws protecting and promoting women's rights in the workplace.

The EuroMed Feminist Initiative with the consortium BDC, Tamkeen and the strategic partner SADAQA, is committed to working with relevant national institutions in Jordan to promote a social, cultural, and professional supportive environment for women's work. In addition, the organizations are working to equip Jordanian and Syrian women with specialized skills and provide them with employment opportunities.