2017-22: Promoting political participation in public life in Jordan

The aim of the project “Promoting political participation in public life in Jordan” is to eliminate all kinds of discrimination to achieve equal citizenship and democratic rights for all Jordanians.

JWU and political participation: Facts about the project

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

Country: Jordan.

Thematic area: Equal participation of men and women in politics improved through partnerships.

The project is carried out by KVINFOs partner organization the Jordanian Women’s Union (JWU). The focus of the project is to create and promote a new democratic electoral law that ensures equal representation in politics in Jordan – with equal political participation by women and men.

Background

Jordanian society is heavily built and reliant on extended family relations, which is reflected in several ways.

First of all, it is reflected in their voting at elections that are most often based on their tribal affiliations and not necessarily on the policy of the candidate.

Secondly, women in Jordan face more pressure from the male family members to follow their choices.

Danish-Arab Partnership Programme

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

 

Thirdly, the roles of parliament and municipally and the differences between the two are not clear for the public and sometimes to the candidates themselves. And this means they will start to include demands for their tribes, their families, in their programs instead of representing political institutions and parties.

Furthermore, current Jordanian electoral law affects the marginalized groups such as women, religious and ethnic minorities and handicapped. This is done by imposing quotas on their representation, which delimitates their rights as equal citizens, according to JWU.

JWU works to amend such legislation.

The focus of JWU is to ensure that every group living in Jordan is able to participate effectively and equally in public life. For JWU raising awareness in the public is very important – lack of clarity on choosing the candidates is related to the lack of awareness on the role of parliament and the discrimination within the law for the voters and the candidates themselves.

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 for promoting political participation in public life in Jordan is organized through three key activities:

  • Drafting of the new law: JWU has a legal committee with 30 legal experts that will prepare a draft law for the electoral legal framework in Jordan. The overall aim is to ensure that electoral lists put a woman at least in the second position, but it is not the wish to push for direct quotas.
  • Promotion and advocacy: JWU will arrange and facilitate a conference to promote the law for the government and parliament in Jordan.
  • Capacity building: To strengthen the law JWU is also focusing on the implementation phase and focus on training in two ways:
    • JWU will do training of trainers (TOTs) where they will focus on creating awareness among lawyers.
    • WU will provide training for women in all of Jordan’s 12 governorates on the concept and purpose of democratic elections.