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Muna Al Rfou is the Director of the Gender Unit at the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD). With the support of UN Women and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), MoSD launched its first action plan to effectively mainstream gender equality and women’s empowerment into national systems and policies. Al Rfou shares how strengthening institutional capacities will enhance services for all communities.
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Amid the coronavirus pandemic and the social distancing measures, UN Women is providing urgent support, information and essential services to more than 5,700 Syrian refugees in Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps.
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Deep within the rural community of Karak lies the town of Taibeh, where 39-year-old Mona Ahmed Alqkla, found a safe place for her family seven years ago after fleeing the conflict in Dara'a, Syria. She had never found an opportunity to work, until now. She recently joined the incentive-based volunteer programme as a tailor in the Oasis Centre in Taibeh, which was launched by the Ministry of Social Development in partnership with UN Women in March 2019.
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At 50, Fatima Alhaj has finally found the confidence to overcome the pain of her past. A Syrian refugee living in the Azraq refugee camp in Jordan since 2016, she regained her sense of purpose after joining UN Women’s Incentive-based Volunteer programme as a literacy teacher, where teaching and writing are her catharsis.
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Falha Abrabo arrived at the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan after fleeing Syria in 2012. Shortly thereafter, her husband had a severe stroke, which left her in the position of becoming the sole provider for her family. She found a livelihood opportunity teaching adult literacy sessions to other women through the incentive-based volunteer programme at UN Women’s Oasis Centre, which builds women’s resilience and empowerment.
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Manal Barham, 35, led most of her life balancing with her role as a wife and a mother, she never believed she would have the chance to become the working woman she had always dreamt of becoming. In 2018, Bahram enrolled in the beautician and project management courses provided by the Jordanian National Forum for Women (JNFW) in partnership with UN Women and with the generous support of the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund. Now, Bahram is an enthusiastic owner of her own thriving home-based salon in Hashmi Shamali, East Amman.
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Maha Aasi Emm Ala’a, a Syrian refugee, came to the UN Women-run women’s centre in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp with severe depression after her husband passed away. She received counseling and found tailoring work through the cash-for-work programme. As refugee crises become more protracted, humanitarian assistance must take into account immediate and long-term needs of women and girls. The women’s centres in Za’atari Refugee Camp are building women’s resilience and empowering them as leaders, workers and entrepreneurs.
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On March 21st, 2018, The launch marked the recent implementation of the Jordanian National Plan (JONAP) 2018-2021 to activate UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Security and Peace as a key framework within Jordan. The event marked the commitment of the Prime Minister H.E Dr. Hani Fawzi Al-Mulki, the Jordanian Government's and stakeholder's enhancement of women’s participation in the peace and security sectors within Jordan.
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In celebration of the International Women’s Day 2018, UN Women joined forces with Sweden’s embassies around the Arab States region and with hundreds of youth volunteers to convene a series of edit-a-thons to promote knowledge of women and their experiences through the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia
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UN Women, in cooperation with the Government of Jordan, is supporting enhanced access to essential public services for more than 1000 women and men in Irbid and Zarqa.
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In her statement to mark this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka says “if we all work together: governments, civil society organizations, the UN system, businesses, schools, and individuals mobilizing through new solidarity movements, we will eventually achieve a more equal world—a Planet 50-50—where women and girls can and will live free from violence”.
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More than 5,000 Syrian women and girls visit ‘Oases’ safe spaces in the Za’atari camp per month, and several hundred have independently earned incomes through UN Women’s work programme in Jordan.