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The national roundtable "The Reality of Women's Economic Participation, Challenges and Solutions” took place on August 29 at the Jordanian Parliament under the patronage of H.E. Mr. Atef Tarawneh, the Speaker of the Parliament. It was organised in partnership with the Coalition of Women MPs from the Arab Countries to Combat Violence against Women in the frame of the project “Strengthening access to protection, participation and services for women refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs) and women in the host communities in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq” funded by the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the EU “MADAD” Fund.
The roundtable gathered Members of Parliament and Senators, representatives of relevant ministries, academics and civil society organizations to discuss policies and affirmative actions to improve women´s economic participation. Furthermore, participants addressed discriminatory laws that are barriers for women to enter and stay at the labour market, and discussed the challenges that prevent women from participating in the public and economic spheres. Additionally, ways and means were suggested to improve the work environment and provide supportive services for women.
During the opening session, H.E. Mrs. Maria Hadjtheodosiou, EU Ambassador to Jordan, emphasized “the EU's commitment to support Jordan in improving the legislative framework affecting the lives of women and girls”.
For his part, H.E. Mr. Atef Tarawneh, Speaker of the Parliament affirmed the House of Representatives’ commitment to enhancing women’s economic participation. This commitment was reflected in several amendments adopted by the House of Representatives on many laws and legislation that favor women, such as the inclusion of the concept of gender-based discrimination in wages and the amendment of Article 72 in the Jordanian Labor Law.
The findings of the project's baseline study, that was conducted on 244 Syrian and Jordanian women in Ajloun, Jerash, Deir Ala, Azraq, (the city and the camp) and East Amman, were presented during the roundtable and linked to the challenges that face women’s economic participation in Jordan. Participants discussed and agreed on concrete steps and recommendations towards increasing women’s economic participation and fostering a supportive and harassment-free work environment for women.