Fair wages and childcare: promoting dignity and equality by empowering workers in the private sector in Jordan

The project aims to improve working conditions for women in Jordan’s private sector by strengthening their negotiation skills to campaign for their right to pay equity and childcare.

© Jared J. Kohler/ILO

Approximately 40% of working women in Jordan are employed in the education sector and suffer from low wages and poor working conditions. According to a study by the ILO and National Committee for Pay Equity (NCPE) published in 2013, there is an average gender pay gap of 41% in the private education sector, with 27% of female teachers receiving a monthly wage that is less than the national minimum wage, which is currently set at 190 Jordanian dinars (about $US 268).  The NCPE was created in 2011 with the support of a Norwegian-funded ILO initiative, the Ministry of Labour and the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) to promote fairer working conditions and women’s economic empowerment. This project will continue to build on these efforts. It will also work towards encouraging access to daycare facilities for working parents, as stipulated by Article 72 of the Labour Code, which requires companies and organizations with over 20 female employees to establish child care facilities within their offices on the condition that the service caters to at least 10 children under the age of four. 

Objectives

  • Adopt fair remuneration systems and non-discrimination policies in private schools in Amman and Irbid; and
  • increase access to daycare facilities for working parents in private educational institutions that employ at least 100 workers. 

Main Activities

For the objective on adopting fair remuneration systems and non-discrimination policies in private schools, activities include:

  • Selecting private schools to be targeted in the campaign;
  • conducting baseline on salaries and remuneration practices in selected private schools;
  • building two new core teams of trainers to deliver training on community organizing, women’s rights at the workplace and on organizational, communication negotiation and leadership skills;
  • empowering  women working in the private education sector to campaign, negotiate for their rights and transfer knowledge on gender equality to students;
  • launching “Fair wages for dignity and equality” campaign in the private education sector in two new governorates;
  • training Ministry of Labour staff and other partners on handling complaining mechanisms, including hotlines; and
  • raising awareness through social media.  


For the objective on
increasing access to daycare facilities for working parents in private educational institutions, activities include:  

  • Training government officials from the Ministry of Social Development, Ministry of Labour and municipalities to effectively facilitate the registration process of daycare facilities in the workplace;

  • establishing coordination framework for registration of daycare facilities with main stakeholders in coordination with the Ministry of Social Development; conducting research on the benefits of establishing daycares in the workplace; promoting results of research with legislators to amend Article 72 of the labour law; promoting results of research with business owners to encourage the establishment of daycare facilities in the workplace; identifying and selecting private institutions for promotion of day care facilities including private schools; establishing teams of parents and conducting pilot visits targeting selected private institutions; conducting workshops with private institutions including private schools on the importance of Article 72; recommending potential private institutions with interest in establishing daycare facilities to the National Council for Family Affairs for financial support; and providing technical support to private institutions to establish daycare facilities in line with the Ministry of Social Development guidelines.  

Outcomes

  • Community organized campaign to advance women’s rights at the workplace strengthened in Irbid and expanded to two additional governorates;
  • employers and human resource managers in selected private schools capacitated to design and apply gender sensitive remuneration systems and human resource policies;
  • gender sensitive and inclusive agreements for fair wages negotiated between women working in private schools and their employers;
  • government entities trained to effectively facilitate the registration process of daycare facilities in the workplace;
  • business case for the benefits of establishing a daycare facility in the workplace built and promoted among legislators and employers; and
  • commitment secured from ten private educational institutions to comply with Article 72 of the labour law (by establishing day care facilities in the workplace).