The Jordanian National Commission for Women launches the international advocacy campaign ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ under the theme “Break the Silence on Economic Violence”

Date: Sunday, November 24, 2019

Ziad Sheikh, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. addressed participants during the launch of the international advocacy campaign ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ under the theme " Break the Silence on Economic Violence". Photo: UN Women

Amman, Jordan. The Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) and partners on Sunday launched the international advocacy campaign ‘16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence’ under the theme " Break the Silence on Economic Violence".

The campaign launched in partnership with the Shama’a Network - in collaboration with the United Nations in Jordan, Hivos, the European Regional Development and Protection Program (RDPP), Al-Ghad Newspaper and The Danish Center for Research on Women and Gender (KVINFO)- has been commemorated annually since 2007 from 25th November until 10th December to raise awareness on gender-based violence.

On this occasion, JNCW, in cooperation with the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan, launched key findings of a national survey titled "Economic Violence against Women in Jordan", which was carried out with a national sample of 2,000 Jordanian women from all Governorates of the Kingdom in October 2019. The aim of the survey was to define economic violence and its most prevalent types in the various Governorates of the Kingdom, while identifying possible solutions to combat and eradicate it. Indeed, economic violence frequently leads to other forms of abuse, such as verbal, psychological and physical violence. Furthermore, it contributes to the marginalization of women in the economic sphere, exposing them to labor rights violation and or property loss whether consensually or not.

Economic violence takes various forms both within the household as well as in the work place. At the household level, this include deprivation of inheritance rights, unpaid work in family’s businesses, pressure to take loans for the benefit of others, low influence on household expenditure, control over women’s assets and resources, limit their engagement in the labor market or forcing them to work only in certain sectors. At work, economic violence translates into unequal remuneration for single-value work, gender-based discrimination, lack of access to social protection such as social security and health care, or denial labor rights.

The Secretary General of JNCW, Dr. Salma Nims, affirmed that JNCW and its partners will continue to work during the campaign to raise awareness on the most prevalent types of economic violence that women are exposed to, building on the outcomes of the national survey and by focusing on most vulnerable - such as girls who were married early, women working in agriculture and industrial sectors, women living in remote and rural areas. Partners will also raise awareness on the importance of financial literacy as a measure to protect women against economic violence. According to the outcomes of the survey, the most prominent forms of economic violence experienced by women are their inability to decide how to spend their wages (17%), the pressure to take loans or repay loans for another family member (15%), and the deprivation of inheritance rights. According to respondents, 10% of surveyed women did not receive their full shares of their inheritance with two-thirds being unsure of the value of their share. Women were also pressured to give money or property to another family member (13%), and 4 out of 100 were threatened, forced or abused to relinquish their property rights.

Dr. Nims affirmed that the campaign will continue for one year with the aim of establishing a roadmap of strategic interventions that can be implemented in collaboration with civil society organizations to combat women’s economic violence. Furthermore, in 2020 JNCW will also develop a dedicated policy paper on the most prevalent forms of women’s economic violence based on the outcomes of the study.

‘Addressing economic violence against women is critical to achieve economic growth, inclusive and sustainable development. Addressing inequalities is an integral part of any solution. Moreover, research and data are needed to design evidence-based solutions and smart gender policies to reduce gender gaps and end all forms of violence against women – including economic violence.’ Affirmed Ziad Sheikh, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator a.i.

The 16 Days of Activism campaign will be sustained by the dissemination of tailored awareness-raising material for local communities, including infographic videos defining the concepts of economic violence against women within the household and at work. The videos will be also broadcasted on Jordan TV and Ro’ya TV. In addition, radio spots have been produced highlighting key messages to be broadcasted on local radio stations during the campaign. To complement the media campaign, social media assets and advertisements will be utilized to reach a wider audience from the targeted groups. This will include educational series and live testimonies on the various forms of economic violence as well as the importance of supporting women’s economic empowerment.

Furthermore, JNCW will organize a high-level roundtable on the Labor Law and flexible working hours, involving key stakeholders such decision makers, civil society organizations, and the private sector. Parallel to this, awareness sessions targeting local communities will take place in all Governorates addressing economic violence against women from a legal, social and religious prospective.

To commemorate the global campaign, JNCW and its partners will engage social media users during the ‘orange hour’, that will take place on 30th of November 2019 at 8:00pm, calling upon the public to join the conversation using the #16DaysJo and #لأنه_حق_يستحق.

Advocacy efforts will be also sustained by a dedicated street campaign displaying awareness raising messages addressing all age groups and comprising of street billboards, and pedestrian/street bridges placed in all Governorates. Overall, the Commission, in collaboration with the “Shamaa Network” and other partners, will implement 300 activities across all Governorates of Jordan. All activities will be covered and promoted on JNCW and its partners’ media and social media channels. Radio and television interviews will also be conducted by various media partners.

Overview on the 16-days of activism campaign against gender-based violence

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign which takes place each year and runs from 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, to 10th December, Human Rights Day. It was originated by activists at the first Women's Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and is coordinated each year by the Center for Women's Global Leadership. In support of this civil society initiative, the 16 Days of Activism, under the leadership of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign (UNiTE), calls for global action to increase awareness on gender-based violence, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations.

Since 2007, Jordanian civil society organizations, JNCW, UN agencies and members of the international community joined efforts to support social mobilization in the Kingdom through the implementation of several events to raise awareness on gender-based violence. Everyone is invited to join the campaign on social media using the Hashtag #16DaysJo and #لأنه_حق_يستحق.

Overview on the “Shama’a Network”

On 10 December 2007, in conjunction with the 60th anniversary since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and at the end of the 16 Days campaign, the Shama’a Network was established as a national network to eliminate violence against women. In recent years, the Sham’a Network contributed to raise awareness on violence against women and its devastating consequences which not only harm the survivor's personal life but also the safety of families and community. The Sham’a Network is a way to unite the efforts of many individuals and organizations working at the local level to combat violence against women.