Date: Monday, August 10, 2020

Amman, Jordan.

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) increased gender-responsive services to assist citizens and respond to the pandemic in partnership with the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and with a specific focus on fostering a gender-sensitive environment at the Governorate level during the lockdown. UN Women also provided stress management sessions to JAF officers from the Royal Medical Services, who are serving as frontline responders during Covid-19. This is part of JAF’s efforts to integrate gender aspects in military operations as well as in capacity building for its personnel under Jordan’s National Jordan’s National Action Plan on the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (JONAP). 

"A Memorandum of Understanding was signed with UN Women in 2019 for the JONAP implementation that supports and enhances the activation of women’s role and participation in peacekeeping operations. Consequently, JAF has increased the number of women participating in peacekeeping missions to 12% at the beginning of 2020. Recently, UN Women provided cooperation and support in light of the COVID-19 crisis, through technical assistance and weekly psychological support sessions, to build the capacity of a number of JAF cadres to find a balance between the nature of their work during the COVID-19 crisis and their family life, as well as how to deal with work stress.’" said Colonel Maha Al-Nasser, Director of the Military Women's Affairs Department at JAF.

The percentage of women in JAF has reached 10% up until 2020. JAF is seeking to increase this percentage in the upcoming years as well, as the goal of increasing this percentage is to open non-traditional fields for women, and to raise the percentage of female participants in peacekeeping operations to reach the desired percentage of 25%, bearing in mind that the percentage of female participants is currently approximately 12%. Towards this end, a Gender Coordination Committee and a Gender Office have been recently established under the JAF Women’s Military Affaires Directorate to serve as internal mechanisms to support gender mainstreaming into policies and procedures, and to support a gender-responsive security sector. With the support of the Governments of Governments of Canada, Finland, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom, 247 male and female officers have been trained to date on issues such as conflict-related gender-based violence, community engagement and gender analysis in military operations. 

“We congratulate the JAF for their leadership and sustained efforts in advancing women’s participation within their military ranks. We have seen with admiration the devotion of Jordanian women officers in the frontlines of the Coronavirus crisis. With their courage and dedication, women JAF officers are an asset and a source of pride to Jordan at home and across the world. Increasing women’s participation and retention in the military and in peacekeeping operation is a guarantee of success.” Her Excellency Ms. Donica Pottie, Ambassador of Canada to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on behalf of the donors.

With the aim of increasing gender-responsiveness and meaningful participation of women in the security sector and in peace operations, JAF is conducting a Gender Impact Assessment to inform the formulation of its first Gender Strategic Plan to be adopted by the end of the year. The objective of the Plan is to enhance the operational effectiveness of military forces, facilitate the entry and retention of women in security sector jobs, and support women’s performance and access to leadership positions.

“JAF is making significant investments to advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda by creating an enabling working environment for women, supporting their meaningful participation and leadership in security and peace operations, in the Kingdom as well as abroad. This approach builds on strong national ownership of and commitment to the JONAP.” said Mr. Ziad Sheikh, UN Women Jordan Representative.

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