H.E. Mrs. Basma Mousa Ishaqat, Minister of Social Development; H.E. Jamal AL Fayz, Governor of Karak; H.E. Miles Armitage, Australian Ambassador to Jordan; Mr. Ziad Sheikh, UN Women Jordan Representative  and participants of the centre convened for a group photo. Photo Credit: UN Women/ Lauren Rooney

Taibeh, Karak Governorate. H.E. Mrs. Basma Mousa Ishaqat, Minister of Social Development, in collaboration with UN Women and with the generous support of the Government of Australia, inaugurated the ‘Oasis Center for Resilience and Empowerment of Women and Girls’ in the Community Center located in Taibeh (Governorate of Karak). Since January 2019, the Ministry of Social Development and UN Women have opened ‘Oases’ spaces in eight community centers across five Governorates of Jordan, providing more than 200 vulnerable women with cash for work opportunities. Each center will provide cash for work linked to more secure livelihoods opportunities; prevention and awareness raising on gender-based violence; education services linked to local markets; participation and civic engagement training; and key enabling services such as childcare and transportation. 

Accompanied by H.E. Jamal AL Fayz, Governor of Karak, Her Excellency gained a firsthand insight on the service streams available in the Center, designed to empower vulnerable women in their personal lives, while promoting skills development that translates into sustainable job placements and income generation. Her Excellency also had the chance to meet some of the women benefitting from the services offered in the Center. Of significance is the engagement of young women from rural areas who, for the first-time, access opportunities in both traditional and non-traditional economic sectors, such as home maintenance and poly-tunnel agriculture. 

During the opening ceremony, H.E. Miles Armitage, Australian Ambassador to Jordan, reiterated the importance of strengthening the resilience of vulnerable women in Jordan. “Australia is pleased to provide an additional AU$1.5 million to scale up Oasis centres across Jordan, bringing our total funding to UN Women to AU$5 million,” he affirmed. “Australia’s humanitarian assistance to Jordan is focused on building the long-term resilience of vulnerable communities. Together with the Ministry of Social Development and UN Women, we are proud to support the services, training and facilities this Oasis will provide to women and their families, allowing them to earn an income.” Australia’s support to UN Women is part of a three-year AU$220 million humanitarian response package in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. 

UN Women is working closely with the local community to ensure that all centers provide an enabling working environment that help women to overcome two of the main barriers to women’s economic participation – lack of transportation and child care services. As such, all women receive transportation subsidies and all centers provide child care services for beneficiaries’ children. 

“We trust that the expansion of our Oasis model will contribute to strengthening national services and programming, promoting women’s empowerment, alongside inclusive economic growth, with a specific focus on empowering local communities” affirmed Ziad Sheikh, UN Women Jordan Representative. “As part of this vision, we will establish relationships with the local private sector to facilitate job placements and seed funding for women-led entrepreneurship initiatives” he added. 


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