Workshop: Syrian and Jordanian women’s economic participation since the Jordan Compact

The workshop, organised by the ILO, Fafo, the University of Bath, and the Yarmouk University, will provide an opportunity to discuss the initial findings of a study exploring the challenges and opportunities facing women’s labour market participation in Jordan.

The International Labour Organization, together the Institute for Labour and Social Research (Fafo), the University of Bath, and the Yarmouk University in Jordan will hold a one-day workshop to discuss the initial findings of a study exploring challenges and opportunities facing women’s labour market participation in Jordan.

Entitled ‘Syrian and Jordanian women’s economic participation five years after the Jordan Compact – where to go from here?’ the workshop will explore efforts to enhance Syrian and Jordanian women’s economic participation in the wake of the Jordan Compact, and discuss ways forward. It will also look at the impact of COVID-19 on women’s employment in Jordan.

In 2016, Jordan became the first country in the Arab region to facilitate Syrian refugees’ access to the labour market. This milestone was achieved through the signing of the Jordan Compact, which reduced barriers to the legal employment of refugees in the kingdom. Since the signing of the Jordan Compact, more than 230,000 work permits have been issued to Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Discussions will focus on four key initiatives:
  • Home-based work and home-based businesses and the challenges of informality; 

  • Cash-for-Work and how to ensure sustainability and transition into stable work; 

  • Factory work, including working hours, transportation, childcare, among other key issues; and
  • Training and skills needed by women and ways to ensure their access to women.
The event will bring together a wide spectrum of participants, including worker, employer and government representatives, academics, other UN agencies and international organizations.

The final report, which is based on a sample of 1,500 women, is expected to be published late 2021.

The event will also be an opportunity to discuss the findings of a recently launched report which analyses the impact of changes in work permit regulations on decent working conditions for Syrian refugees employed in Jordan. The report, conducted by the ILO and FAFO, investigates how work permits affect the employment of Syrian workers and analyses gender-specific outcomes.