2017-22: Sexual and reproductive health and rights in Jordan

The aim of the project “Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Jordan” is to ensure the recognition of reproductive rights with respect to the bodily integrity of all women in Jordan. The approach is to make a law proposal to improve the existing legislation related to SRHR.

JWU and sexual and reproductive health and rights: Facts about the project

Local partner: Jordanian Women’s Union (JWU).

Country: Jordan.

Thematic area: Sexual and reproductive health and rights enhanced through partnerships.

The project is carried out by KVINFOs partner in Jordan: the Jordanian Women’s Union, JWU. They have established four key activities to improve SRHR in Jordan, which is described in detail below.

Background

Within the field of SRHR sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is central, and SGBV is a burning issue in Jordan. This is due to several reasons as the pressure from Syrian refugees, deeply rooted power relations, laws and lack of knowledge:

Early marriage is one of the topics SGBV covers, and early marriages has increased in Jordan since the influx of Syrian refugees, who live under poor conditions and turn to marrying off their children young for economic and security reasons. Early marriages are also spreading to Jordanian host communities, and JWU is working to promote reforms of the law to ensure there are no loopholes to find that allow the early marriages.

Danish-Arab Partnership Programme

KVINFO's programme in the Middle East and North Africa is financed by:

 

SGBV is also mostly treated with secrecy by the people involved, because it is often directly connected to a woman’s reputation and the reputation of her family. It is a question of honor. The deeply rooted unequal power relations between men and women often undermine the health, dignity and security of the victims hurt by SGBV.

Women who experience SGBV often experience that they become isolated and vulnerable. A pertinent causal factor behind this is that the girls and women themselves often lack awareness of their rights. Furthermore, the physical and social barriers women experience, when they try to protect their rights, is also a leading factor for women to feel left out and insecure.

About JWU

KVINFO has supported JWU (Jordanian Women’s Union) since 2008. Currently, through partnerships we work on: legislative reform, gender based violence, equal political participation and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

JWU is a membership organisation founded in 1945. It is built on secular and feminist principles, and has a clear mission to combat the discriminating, dominant, patriarchal culture and promote women’s rights, human rights and democratic participation in Jordan and the Arab world.

Read more about JWU.

Activities

JWU’s work on SRHR in Jordan is structured around four key activities:

  • JWU is working on a study about sexual violence in Jordan and its effects on the women’s participation in the workforce. JWU already has experience as an organization since 1945, however, the study work as an even more solid fundament for knowledge to strengthen other and future activities by the organization regarding SRHR:
  • The findings of the study will be published online and furthermore presented at a conference as a launch event. All relevant stakeholders will be invited.
  • JWU also work with capacity building: 25 staff-members from JWU who serve the organization’s telephone hotline will be provided with specialist training on how to recognize signs of sexual assault and how to treat the victims in a manner that respects their bodily integrity. The hotline is open for everyone to call, if they experience any kind of violence, threats or the like. Furthermore, JWU will provide trainings for women and men in all of Jordan’s 12 governorates in reproductive health and women’s rights.
  • JWU furthermore works with advocacy and awareness raising that targets ministries and local administration and the population at large.