AMMAN — The Jordanian National Commision for Women (JNCW) on Thursday commended the government for the inclusion of women in the new ministerial team headed by Prime Minister-designate Omar Razzaz, pointing out that “the new government has set a new record in the number of female ministers in the history of Jordan".
Razzaz's team, sworn in on Thursday, includes seven women in the 29-strong Cabinet.
"The men’s monopoly has been broken,” the commision celebrated in a statement issued yesterday, noting that the participation of women in the government has exceeded 24 per cent for the first time in the Kingdom.
"The number of female ministers in the new government shows the prime minister's clear position on the increase of the percentage of women in the Cabinet,” JNCW Secretary General Salma Nims told The Jordan Times in a recent interview, adding that “however, we still need to ensure that the Cabinet has a vision and understanding of gender equality and gender mainstreaming within the work of the government".
"Achieving female access to equal citizenship and active participation in the economy requires the new government to adopt policies and laws that support the community’s efforts towards equality and the enhancement of the role of women in the public and private spheres,” the commision pointed out in its statement.
In this regard, the JNCW called for the establishment of an institutional framework aimed at the distribution and integration of roles between all national actors concerned with the promotion of women’s rights.
Despite the progress that Jordan has made over the past year in the field of women’s rights, the Kingdom is still witnessing a decline in the gender equality global indicators according to the Global Gender Gap Report issued by the World Economic Forum in 2017, which ranked Jordan in the 135th position among 144 countries due to a decline in the level of economic and political participation of women.
"Women across Jordan continue to suffer from violence in all its forms, and face multiple challenges in their access to justice and equal opportunities,” the commision warned in its statement, adding that “discrimination towards women is still present in certain laws and regulations concerning nationality, labour or personal status".
"Aware of the challenges facing our dreams and ambitions, we will continue exerting efforts to put women at the heart of the development process, removing all obstacles to their potential to be an effective partner in building this nation,” the statement concluded.
"Progress is not only about attaining a higher percentage of female ministers,” Nims noted, calling on the new Cabinet to “treat gender equality as a cross cutting issue and build a gender-responsive approach within the ministries”.
"The question that remains unanswered after this achievement is what to do about more critical problems that have not been solved yet,” the activist added, drawing attention to issues such as Jordanian women’s ability to pass their nationality onto their children when married to a foreigner, or the need to remove all forms of discrimination towards women.