A study on the impact of COVID19 on health, violence against women and economy in Jordan from a gender perspective

In partnership with the Economic and Social Council and UN Women

Date: Thursday, January 28, 2021

The Economic and Social Council, in collaboration with UN Women Jordan, launched a study titled "The impact of COVID-19 on health, violence against women and economy in Jordan from a gender perspective" during a virtual conference held under the patronage H.E. Eng. Musa Al-Maaita, the Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs and Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Women’s Empowerment.


This study analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals from a gender perspective during the first months of the lockdown. Covering the period from March to mid-2020, the study was carried out on a representative sample of 1,300 individuals (51% females and 49% males) from all governorates of the Kingdom. The survey was conducted by the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan, with the support of UN Women and the Economic and Social Council. Prepared by six researchers and specialists, the study is divided in three chapters, covering the evolution of the pandemic and its implications.


H.E Eng. Musa Al-Maaita opened the meeting by emphasizing the importance of joint efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a negative impact on several sectors, most notably health and the economy,  in addition to the effects related to the protracted closure of certain sectors, such as schools, to prevent the spread of the epidemic.


His Excellency called for the development of comprehensive solutions to recover from the negative impact of the pandemic, noting that - while it affected all citizens from an economic, psychological and social perspective – women were particularly impacted. This consideration is critical, as the economic development plans under consideration need to benefit all segments of society.


He explained that the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Women’s Empowerment, whose work encompass various aspects related to social protection, held a meeting the previous week to discuss several issues related to the gendered impact of the pandemic. A dedicated sub-committee has been also established to look more closely at issues related to the increased reporting of domestic violence cases, and several measures have been already endorsed to address this issue.


During his opening remarks, the President of the Economic and Social Council, Dr. Mohammed Al-Halayqa, expressed appreciation for the partnership between the Council and UN Women, to further develop researches and analysis on gender-related issues as well as women’s empowerment in the society as a whole. He emphasized that women have borne the brunt of this pandemic, particularly with regards to the issue of distance education, which usually coincides with working hours. The Council hopes that this study will be the beginning of more joint researches that address national priorities related to women’s empowerment.


Social and economic policies and programmes to confront the impact of COVID-19 must be inclusive and transformative, addressing women’s access to livelihood opportunities and services. Through this analysis, we partnered with the Economic and Social Council of Jordan to provide reliable data and statistics to inform these important decisions” said Mr. Ziad Sheikh, Representative, UN Women Jordan.


Dr. Salma Al-Nims, Secretary-General of the Jordanian National Committee for Women's Affairs, added that women in Jordan were at the frontline of the pandemic response, whether through their work in the health sector or by carrying the larger proportion of unpaid work at home. They were also directly involved in supporting their children with distance learning, which created additional burdens for many of them. She noted that this study was developed in the first month of the pandemic, so it served as an opportunity to assess the situation and develop mechanisms to respond to this type of crisis.


At the closing session, the rapporteurs of the three sessions presented key observations made. The President of the Economic and Social Council noted that that the final version of the study will be published soon and will be circulated electronically to all participants.


The launch event was held under the UN Women’s flagship program ‘Women Count, which aims to support the Government of Jordan in improving the production, accessibility and use of gender statistics in order to inform policy and decision-making, including COVID-19 recovery efforts.


Available in Arabic here.