Jordan Labor Watch (JLW) has recommended reviewing various strategies and programs aimed at strengthening the women role in the Kingdom’s economic life and the labor market, whether issued by the relevant government, or civil society institutions, targeting women protection in the labor market.
In a position paper issued on the occasion of International Women’s Day, in cooperation with the German Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), which falls on March 8, the JLW of the Phenix Center for Economics & Informatics Studies said women have paid a “greater” price in comparison to men in the labor market due to the Covid-19 pandemic as the unemployment rate among them increased by 6.1%, compared to 4.1% among men.
Unemployment rates among women reached 33.6% during the third quarter of 2020, compared to 21.2% among males, warning this situation would lead to their poverty more than men, and thus the spread of the phenomenon of “feminization of poverty,” per the study.
The paper showed that Jordan ranks 140 out of 142 countries on the global indicator of women’s economic participation, and the high unemployment rates for women in Jordan are associated with a very low economic engagement rate of 14.9%.
There is still a gap between men and women in choosing specializations in education, and that the majority of women in Jordan tend to choose educational and health majors, unlike men, the paper showed.
According to the paper, the job opportunities for women created by the Jordanian economy prior to the Covid-19 pandemic are close to a third of all job opportunities provided by the economy, as 2019 survey data issued by the Department of Statistics (DOS) indicate that the percentage of job opportunities provided to women amounted to 35.3% of the total jobs compared to 64.7% for males, and that the percentage of subscribers in the social security umbrella was about 28.2% in 2019.
With regard to the wage gap between females and males, the paper indicated that this gap is still widening in favor of males, as the latest DOS figures for 2018 indicated that the average monthly pay for male workers are JD514, while the average wages of working women are JD467, a difference of JD47 in favor of males, with a wage gap of 9.1%.
The paper also called for improving women’s working conditions to become more attractive, at the level of policies and practices, and to enable all workers in Jordan to enjoy decent work standards in all their dimensions.
To ensure better empowerment, the paper called for reviewing amendments made during the past year to the labor and social security laws to improve working conditions, strengthen and expand social protection systems, in addition to providing adequate protection for female workers in Article 29 of the Labor Law to prevent all forms of work-related violence and harassment.
The paper also called for abolishing all forms of discrimination in labor legislation and policies that deepened the gap between the public and private sectors, which have made the latter more attractive to workers, especially women.