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Like many young Jordanians, 27-year-old Nermeen Khalil Hasan Ballan had a hard time finding work, despite her diploma in architectural engineering. The job market was fierce, with many employers requiring years of work experience she didn’t have.
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A week since The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a pandemic, the social impact of the Corona Virus is hitting women hard, around the world. Globally, women make up 70 per cent of workers in the health and social sector, and they do three times as much unpaid care work at home as men. As first responders, frontline health workers, primary care givers at home and community mobilizers, women are at increased risk of exposure to the virus. They are also playing a disproportionate role in responding to the disease.
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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.