What a Shame!

By: Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Wed 27 July / Jul 2016. 12:00 AM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

For a variety of factors, the gender gap, between women and men, in Jordan keeps expanding. In recent years, we have cited setbacks in this sphere, compared to years before; numbers published by the World Economic Forum on this index show Jordan in 2016 did better, then, than it did in the year after. Jordan ranked 134th on a scale of 142 countries included in the global gender gap monitor in 2014, and fell to the 140th place out of 145 countries in 2015. Which either way says Jordan is in the tail of the scale, globally, and unfortunately, among the least progressive countries in shrinking male-female gap and gender equality, according to sub-indices including economic contribution, political empowerment, healthcare, an education.

Typically, the index ranges from one subcategory to another. For example, Jordan, in 2015, has established an excellent rank in fields like education and healthcare. In the previous, Jordan has ranked first in the criteria of secondary and university education with a 100:100 male-female enrolment rate.

Undoubtedly, equality in education is paramount, it reflects societal awareness in the importance of the issue and appreciation of education for both genders.

In the healthcare sector, as well, there seems to be a fairly secured sense of justice. Indicative of that, is life expectancy at birth, outranked by females over males, which says that women are more cared for than mean; a positive aspect not to be taken lightly.

However, there still shows an enormous gap between the level of services provided to women on one hand, and the environment in which they live on the other. A gap reflective of the mentality that runs the show, way beyond equal provision of services to the male and female counterparts of our society.

In here lies, and is therefore exposed, clearly; the shorts and gaps in the political and economic plies of the gender situation in Jordan. Political empowerment for women remains weak. Even the women’s quota for elected Houses and commissions, in implementation for over 2 decades, has failed in transforming the stereotypical image of women in Parliament, for example, to attain higher presence under the dome. Female participation in government remains, so far, a matter of relative approximation, varying from one premier to another, even though our recent history has seen many women leading important ministries, efficiently, proficiently, as opposed to very few whom have failed.

Figures in the World Gender Gap report says that for every 100 males in our parliament, there are 14 women, and that for every 100 male ministers, we have had only 13.

More so, the greater catastrophe here, lies in the economic contribution of women in Jordan. With proof, all Arab country outdo Jordan in this regard, and that is enough to say we are down quite a mile. Out of 145 countries monitored, we ranked 142nd, at a frustrating and really shameful place! So why are women being educated?! So that they may sit and do nothing with the education they received?!

Inequality and discrimination is not exclusive to whether or not females receive a job opportunity or not. It extends to comparative wage gaps, where the scary injustice lies. The Forum’s report cites women receive JOD18 for every JOD100 men receive in wages! This is a suspension of female economic contribution that costs the national economy in total, according to the report, about JOD11 billion annually. In the end everybody’s losing off this shortcoming in addressing the humility of female contribution to Jordan’s economy.

The recession of the situation of Jordan women is not in isolation of the general status. But their predicaments emboss in light of what they have already been going through. In the end, it is really a shame, what is happening to Jordanian women in general, as they fall from bad to worse!