04 June 2013
The recent Arab uprisings have exposed the gaping decent work deficits in Arab labour markets, including the exclusion of women. Despite being increasingly educated,
most women are either jobless or invisible in the Arab workforce.
The Jordanian government has prioritized the economic participation of women and
adopted a host of women-friendly policies in recent decades. These policies have
aimed to expand access to education, promote healthcare and strengthen institutional
reform through legislation. But despite these advances, women’s role in the labour
market remains minimal. This is reflected in the persisting gap between males and
females in the workforce, rising women’s unemployment rates and declining wages in
occupations dominated by women such as education, manufacturing and health. This
underscores the serious obstacles to implementing comprehensive measures aimed
at guaranteeing non-discrimination between men and women in the labour market.
Discrimination against women in the workplace remains enshrined in national laws,
regulations and procedures across the region – and widely practiced social and cultural