Murad Kharabsheh

ActionAid in the Arab Region

ActionAid in the Arab Region is campaigning with partners in Jordan to end violence against women and girls in the world of work, here's how they're making an impact. 

Attendees discuss violence at work at the launch event of the Justice Deficit for Women and Girls Affected by Violence Report. Marah Khaled/ActionAid
Attendees discuss violence at work at the launch event of the Justice Deficit for Women and Girls Affected by Violence Report. Marah Khaled/ActionAid

Today, on International Human Rights Day and as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, I want to share with you the progress my team and our allies in Jordan have made in our campaign to end violence against women in the world of work.

Violence against women in the world of work is widespread in Jordan. ActionAid research with allies in 2019 found that one in five women in Jordan had experienced harassment or violence in the world of work. Forty per cent of the time this took place on the way to or from their workplace. Nearly a third of women (29%) surveyed said they kept silent about the harassment and violence they experienced.

Last year, many thousands of people in Britain joined ActionAid UK to stand in solidarity with women lawyers and activists fighting for justice for women who have experienced violence and harassment. Thank you to everyone who was part of this nationwide effort – your support helps us to carry out our work.

Our team in Jordan here has been working with a wide coalition of women lawyers and Trade Unions to persuade companies to introduce Codes of Conduct to end violence and harassment in the workplace. Here are just some of the ways we are making an impact: 

1. Reporting violence in the world of work

Almost one year ago we produced a report with ActionAid UK studying the violence and harassment experienced by women working in factories in Jordan.

2. Working with companies to improve their Codes of Conduct 

Since then, we have worked with two companies in Jordan – Al-Ghazal and Electricity of Jordan – who committed to introducing Codes of Conduct, reporting mechanisms and disciplinary measures to end harassment in the workplace. We hope that more companies will soon follow suit.

3. Providing training to companies and journalists 

We have also run workshops with five Trade Unions covering 17 industries, as well as with companies and journalists, all to raise awareness of how to spot violence and harassment at work and what to do about it.

4. Encouraging the government to strengthen national legislation

During the last two weeks we have met with the Ministry of Labour about strengthening national labour laws, and we have been interviewed by national media.  

5. Supporting the next generation

We are training young people to spot and report harassment and violence, in order to by creating safe workplaces and public spaces for women. During the 16 Days of Activism in 2020, our humanitarian team are preparing awareness-raising and art sessions on harassment and violence with 1,000 young people at the community level. 

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 ActionAid Arab Region stands with women against violence and poverty. While we have made progress in Jordan, there is still some way to go.

We will need to remain strong and steadfast, supporting women’s rights by strengthening the participation of women in all sectors of local and national development. Your support helps us to go even further – thank you. 

How you can help

All over the world women and girls have less money, less access to education, and less political representation than men. But in every country, women are standing up and working together to claim back their rights.

To find out more about how you can join them sign up for our campaign alerts.

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