UN Deputy Secretary-General meets women leaders in Jordan to discuss opportunities to promote gender equality towards 2030

The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) visited the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan from 8-10 December. In collaboration with UN Women, she had the opportunity to meet women leaders and youth activists to discuss challenges and opportunities in advancing gender equality and women's empowerment in Jordan.

Date: Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Ms. Amina Mohammed - the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, accompanied by Mr. Anders Pedersen - United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan and Mr. Ziad Sheikh – UN Women Jordan Representative, participates in an exchange with women leaders in Jordan to discuss their work on advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment. Photo: UN Women/ Lauren 

Amman, 9 December 2019. As part of her official visit to Jordan, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), engaged in an interactive dialogue with six women leaders working on advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in Jordan, including members of civil society organizations, representatives of the private sector and academia, as well as youth activists. From the right to equal pay for equal work to representation, the dialogue organized by UN Women represented an opportunity for the Deputy Secretary-General to discuss priority areas of action and advocacy under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to increase women’s political and economic participation and leadership.


“In order to achieve gender equality in different levels, your voices should be heard, and your stories should be told to inspire other women who look for role model on a national level. The context matters, and you need to keep talking about your work,” Ms. Mohammed addressed women leaders during the meeting.


H.E. Ms. Nisreen Barakat, CEO of To Excel Consulting, shares insights on private sector engagement and financing for gender equality in support Jordan’s inclusive economic growth and sustainable development during a dialogue with the Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. Photo: UN Women/ Lauren Rooney


Recalling national goals and strategies to increase women’s economic empowerment and representation in the labor market, women leaders highlighted join action in promoting financial literacy and legal awareness as key tools to support women’s access to entrepreneurship opportunities, including at the grass root level.  Civil society representatives also referred to the need of continue investing in reliable gender data and statistics to inform planning and policy design, in order to ensure inclusive interventions in favor of the most vulnerable.


"To achieve sustainable development in Jordan we need reliable and relevant data to capture the nexus between SDGs, in order to find solutions to further enhancing all 17 Goals," affirmed Dr. Sawsan Gharaibeh, CEO of Partners for Good.


At the recent SDGs Summit (New York, 24-25 September 2019), world leaders called for a decade of action to deliver the SDGs by 2030. Elaborating on the process of developing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the co-relation between SDGs, the Deputy Secretary-General called upon women leaders in Jordan to support the localization and contextualization of women’s rights priorities and development agendas, including through joint advocacy efforts towards institutional reforms.


Youth activist Ms. Reem Khashman presents opportunities and solutions to support young women’s participation and representation in decision-making engagement in Jordan during a dialogue with the Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed. Photo: UN Women/ Lauren Rooney 


Young women’s voices and representation were also central elements to the discussion: "Women and youth face many challenges, these are also related to social norms and expectations, but what is most intrinsic is the lack of enabling environments to overcome these challenges" the youth activist said Reem Khashman. "Women are agents of change, it is time we give them this space" she added, joining other women leaders in reiterating the importance of considering intergeneration relations to inform national planning processes and strategies.


In concluding, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed emphasized the UN’s commitment to support the work of civil society organizations and women’ rights activists, including through their active participation in international forums. The upcoming 75th anniversary since the establishment of the UN in 2020 will provide additional opportunities of social mobilizations and platforms of dialogue on national-led solutions towards inclusive sustainable development. This will also include forging coalitions of partners that can jointly advocate for the centrality of gender equality and women's empowerment to achieve all SDGs.

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed shares opportunities to accelerate progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment under the SDGs towards 2030 during a dedicated dialogue with women leaders in Jordan organized by the United Nations Country Team in Jordan and UN Women. Photo: UN Women/ Lauren Rooney