UNICEF and UN Women Host Beijing+20 Consultation to Commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child in Jordan


Within the framework of the joint program “Realizing Beijing+20 in Jordan: Women in Action!” UNICEF and UN Women held a consultation on the Area of Concern ‘The Girl-Child’ of the Beijing Platform for Action. Representatives from governmental and non-governmental organizations, Jordanian civil society and youth attended the event hosted by the Jordanian National Commission for Women, in order to discuss most pressing challenges for girls in Jordan and review achievements made at the country level since the last Beijing review.

Priorities and recommendations collected during the event will feed into the Beijing+20 National Position Paper for Jordan, which is going to be prepared by the Jordanian National Commission for Women  in view of the 59th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, held in New York in March 2015.

The event is also part of national celebrations to mark the International Day of the Girl Child (11 October), which aims at raising awareness on the discrimination and inequality in terms of opportunities and access to services faced by girls worldwide. According to UNICEF’s statistics, one in four adolescent girls has experienced some form of physical violence before turning 20. UNICEF is particularly concerned by the high levels of acceptance of violence against girls. Globally, almost half of girls aged 15 to 19 believe a man is justified in beating his wife or partner under certain circumstances such as refusing to have sex, leaving the house without permission, arguing, neglecting the children or burning the dinner.

One of the key challenges facing girls in Jordan is early marriage. According to UNICEF figures, early marriage continues to be a major obstacle for girls to fulfill their own potential and aspire to a better future. Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married before their 18th birthday. In Jordan, early marriage rates have not gone down in more than five years and there is even a growing trend among Syrian refugees, to turn to early marriage as a coping mechanism.

According to UNICEF Jordan Representative Robert Jenkins, child marriage can have immediate and life-long implications: “Girls that marry before 18 years of age are at increased risk of complications during pregnancy and of being victims of domestic abuse. They have little or no opportunities to continue in school, which means they’ll also have limited economic opportunities, and can be trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty.”

For more information, please contact:

Miraj Pradhan, UNICEF Amman, Tel +962-79-021-4191, [ Click to reveal ]

Samir Badran, UNICEF Amman, Tel +962-79-6926180, [ Click to reveal ]