Parliamentarians from the Arab States shares experiences, best practices in addressing gender discrimination in the legislation

Date: Monday, December 2, 2019

H.E. Eng. Atef Tarwaneh, Speaker of the House of Representatives addresses parliamentarians from the Arab States and key representatives during the dialogue session on gender discrimination in Jordan. Photo: UN Women/ Lauren Rooney

Amman, Jordan.  Held under the patronage of H.E. Eng. Atef Tarwaneh, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Coalition of Women Members of Parliament from Arab Countries to Combat Violence against Women - in partnership with the Information and Research Center – King Hussein Foundation (IRCKHF) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and with the generous support of the Kingdom of the Netherlands - hosted a regional dialogue on addressing gender discrimination in the legislation and the role of Members of the Parliament.

"The Jordanian Parliament established the Center for Parliamentary Studies, which we consider to be a very important arm, and assisted parliamentarians and the council in taking positions towards critical and important issues in legislation. Today, I hope that this effort that the Information and Research Center at the King Hussein Foundation presented to us today will be added to the important scientific efforts that feed into decision making in the current legislative and supervisory session. ” affirmed H.E. Wafa Bani Mustafa, Representative of the Coalition

The event was held at the Parliament of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to mark the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign. It featured the participation of Members of the Parliament from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia, who shared their countries’ experiences in promoting legislative reforms on women’s empowerment as well as future priority areas of action.

"Members of the Parliament play a key role in promoting forward looking legislation and public policies that ensure greater equality for all. This is critical to achieve sustainable development and economic growth for Jordan. The research presented today helps identify which norms and attitudes foster discrimination and inequalities, providing recommendations on how to address them," affirmed Ziad Sheikh, UN Women Jordan Representative.

During the session, IRCKHF presented the findings of the recently developed research ‘Gender Discrimination in Jordan’, which identifies key socio-economic dynamics and legislative barriers hampering women’s empowerment in Jordan, providing a set of policy recommendations for decision makers, legislators, civil society, and other relevant stakeholders. Building on a complementary presentation by the Musawa Network, the dialogue offered an opportunity for Members of the Parliamentarians to discuss strengthening measures and mechanisms to address persistent inequalities and acceleration action to promote women’s empowerment in all sphere of life.

This assessment has shown us that even though there have been several small successes when it comes to reducing gender discrimination in Jordan, we will only have overall positive changes when we work on policy and social norms in parallel and comprehensively,” affirmed Dr. Aida Essaid, IRCKHF’s Director.

This initiative is part of the project “From principle to practice: understanding stereotypes that discriminate against women and pave the way for policy reform” implemented by IRCKHF in partnership with UN Women with the support of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The project aims at providing evidence and expertise on gender-sensitive policy formulation to national institutions engaged in the design and implementation of national plans, strategies and programme on women’s empowerment, enhancing accountability and impact, while fostering national and regional networks to facilitate the shar best practices.

The inclusion of women, and the promotion of women’s rights and agency lies at the heart of our 200 million euro development cooperation programme in Jordan. We, therefore, applaud our government-partners, parliamentarians and representatives for their effort and openness to work on the Gender Discrimination-project which eloquently provides new findings and unveils areas of possible interventions,” said Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Netherlands, Marc Hasselaar.

He further added, An inclusive approach to the issue of strengthening women’s rights, very much needs to involve men. When women feel supported by the men in their homes, work, schools, communities, and in politics, it enables their advancement in all areas of society. For equality is not zero-sum, but instead a zero-plus game, everybody profits.

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