On Monday December 23, 2019, the second round table session for the social dialogue on women’s rights in Jordanian legislation was held at the Landmark Hotel in Amman, under the patronage of the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Nearly forty participants and members of the House of Representatives and civil society organizations who work in the fields of law, academics and legislature attended.
Dr. Hamdi Qibailat, a professor of administrative law at the International Islamic Sciences University, presented a research paper as a grounds for discussing important legislative amendments that will contribute to advancing the status of Jordanian women. The dialogue session was facilitated by Dr. Nizam Assaf and was followed by questions from the audience on a variety of topics. Many experts were in attendance inlcluding Marzouq Al-Da’jah, Muhammad al-Ataiqa, Randa al-Shaar, Shaha Abu Shushah, Sabah al-Shaar, Dr. Maysoon Tillan, Attorney Amani Owais, Professor Asma Al-Rahmanah General of the House of Representatives, Attorney Nour Al-Imam, Attorney Salam Al-Zoubi, Noha Mahrez, Mrs. Khuloud Khreis, Maysoon Hegawi, Professor Souad Al-Khatib, Head of the Women Empowerment Department and Forum of Women Parliamentarians Professor Asia Yaghi.
The meeting participants reviewed suggestions to dismantle the economic and legislative obstacles and the customs and traditions that hinder strengthening of the political participation of Jordanian women. Such practices do not allow women to fully develop their capabilities without being bound by the stereotypical images associated with their role.
Participants in the dialogue emphasized that the women are limited in political participation and public sector work. It is crucial to eliminating all forms of discrimination against them in society in order to achieve full euqality.
The attendees reinforced the deep awareness of women’s political participation at different levels in order to create equality for all citizens. The presence of women in political parties and decision-making position benefit society on many levels.
The participants believe women should play an active role in political parties and the enactment of legislation. Jordanian women should be free to engage in partisan work and included in the law-making process.
At the end of the meeting, the round table came out with a set of recommendations to enhance women’s political participation.
The First Recommendation: Raising the percentage of women’s representation (quota) so that they are no less than 30% in all elected councils, including unions and local administration councils. The quota is a means of ensuring that marginalized groups reach decision-making positions (such as women, or ethnic and religious minorities, people with special needs, etc.). Without the quota, marginalized groups will have little participation in the decision-making process and demanding their rights and freedoms.
The Second Recommendation: Overcoming economic obstacles for women and financing female electoral campaigns. It is essential that legal treatment of campaign financing is addressed and women have the same opportunities to participate in the electoral process as men. Legal controls must be set on election campaign spending to enable women to compete despite lack of economic opportunity.
The Third Recommendation: Support female participation in political party life. To address the low participation rate of women in partisan life, several methods and procedures must be followed to allow for the participation of Jordanin women.
The Fourth Recommendation: Enhancing women’s participation in the executive branch. In light of the persistent societal, political and cultural obstacles that prevent women from reaching decision-making position, the system for appointing leadership positions for the year 2020 must be modified by adopting the “quota system” in regards to public bodies and official institutions.
It is worth noting that the round table sessions for social dialogue are part of the activities of the second phase of the social dialogue project implemented by the Amman Center for Human Rights Studies, funded by the United Nations Fund for Democracy.