Gender Inequalities in Jordan

Despite enjoying a reputation of stability and social progress in the Middle East and North Africa region, Jordan has been facing a growing dilemma of gender-rights issues since the mid-2000s. While countries across the region and the world have sought to bolster laws regarding women’s equality, Jordan entered into a sharp decline of global women’s equality in 2006. Facing a number of legal barriers and social norms, the country has found itself ranked among the lowest in the world in terms of female equality in the workplace. With these barriers in mind, it is clear that the civic society of Jordan needs to gain support for community action and legal advocacy to change the course of women’s rights in the country.

Economic Statistics

  • Jordan ranked 138th out of 149 countries in the 2018 Global Gender Gap Report
  • Jordan ranked 174th out of 189 countries in Council on Foreign Relations’ 2018 Women’s Workplace Equity Index
  • Unemployment rates are 15% for men and 30% for women
  • Unemployment rates are higher for uneducated women than for educated women
  • Less than one fifth of Jordanian women are engaged in the workforce

Cultural Norms

  • Women are generally expected to be subordinate to men in relationships
  • Domestic violence is socially tolerated and rarely prosecuted in Jordan
  • Women are forced to rely on financial backing from their husbands or other family members

Legal Issues

  • Absence of a gender discrimination law in the constitution
  • Women have no rights in terms of equal pay
  • Restrictions on what jobs a woman can hold
  • Inability to work night-time hours