Norway funds ILO project to improve working conditions for women in Jordan

Norwegian-funded project seeks to empower women working in private companies and private schools to negotiate for better working conditions in terms of fairer remuneration; human resource policies and child care facilities.

Press release | 14 December 2015

Amman, Jordan (ILO News) - The ILO has launched a new Norwegian-funded project that aims to improve working conditions for women in Jordan’s private sector by strengthening their negotiation skills to help them secure pay equity and childcare.


The objective of the project is to increase wages of teachers and reduce common discriminatory practices that have been documented in the private education sector. Another core objective is to implement Article 72 of the Labour Law (2010), which relates to the provision of childcare facilities for workers with family responsibilities.


"The project will build on the long-standing efforts of the ILO and its partners to promote fair working conditions for women, including better wages and access to day care, which will eventually lead to increased participation of women in the labour market,’’ said Emanuela Pozzan, ILO Senior Specialist on Gender Equality. “The project will work in tandem to ensure that a holistic approach to gender equality at work is delivered.”


The project, entitled Fair wages and child care: promoting dignity and equality by empowering workers in the private sector in Jordan, will be implemented in partnership with SADAQA, a Jordanian non-governmental organization which seeks to promote friendlier working environments for working parents through the provision of daycare centers.


Jordan has ratified the ILO Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) and the ILO Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111). The ILO has been supporting the National Committee for Pay Equity (NCPE) chaired by the Ministry of Labour and the Jordanian National Commission for Women to tackle gender-based discrimination and to look into the main barriers that impede women from entering and remaining in the labour force. 

Fair remuneration

The project will promote fair remuneration systems and non-discrimination policies in ten private schools in Amman and Irbid, where efforts are already in place to empower private school teachers to negotiate for better working conditions. In Irbid, a community organizing campaign was recently launched to make teachers aware of the legislation and sectoral agreements that guarantee their rights in the workplace.


A core team of campaign leaders recruited through the help of the Ministry of Labour, the Union of Workers in Private Schools, the Teachers Syndicate, and other relevant stakeholders, will be trained on community organizing by ILO’s partner Ahel, a Jordanian organization that specializes in community organizing and campaign training, to be able to empower other teachers to claim their rights as workers. Owners of selected private schools and their human resource managers will also be trained on ways to improve their understanding and application of gender-sensitive human resource policies and remuneration systems.


These efforts are based on an ILO-NCPE study published in 2013. It found that 27 percent of female teachers received a monthly wage that is less than the current national minimum wage of JD 190 (about $US 268), and 37 percent receive 190 dinars. The study also found other forms of non-wage discrimination between women and men in the private education sector.  

Day care facilities

The project will advocate for access to day care facilities for working parents in private institutions. The capacity of government entities will be built-up to better facilitate the registration of establishing day care facilities for working parents, while ensuring that the private sector is aware of the requirements under Article 72 and is provided with the legal instructions to apply it.


‘’While Jordan enacted Article 72 of the labour code, the lack of enforcement, awareness, or simple non-compliance forces the majority of working mothers to leave their professional pursuits in order to take care of their children. Through this project, SADAQA, the ILO partner organization, will work to increase awareness of the benefits related to improving child-friendly care solutions in the workplace, hence providing solutions to workers with family responsibilities,” said Pozzan.


Through the ‘Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the World of Work’ component of the ILO-Norway Partnership Agreement, the ILO works with governments and social partners to develop the knowledge base on gender equality in the workplace; promote representation, advocacy and voice for women workers; and build the capacity of constituents to promote gender equality.