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A Study: Scarcity of Opportunities and Discrimination at Work as Barriers to Women's Work

2019-09-02

Rania Al Sarayra

Amman- A specialized study confirmed that "the most frequent obstacles to women's paid work is the scarcity of job opportunities"; of the 349 women surveyed, only 166 women were employed, 37.8%, compared to 273 unemployed women (62.2%), of whom 192 are Syrian (70.3%) of the total number of unemployed women. The study, issued by the Arab Organization for Democracy and Development (ARD) entitled: "Overcoming Obstacles to Women's Economic Participation in Jordan," said that "Large numbers of women resort to informal work (i. e, unregistered or officially unlicensed work). In addition, the proportion of self-employed women who are self-employed "has increased in previous studies, which strongly suggests that women are the most vulnerable in society". The results of the study show that what stands behind the bulk of this unpaid informal work is the "gender-based vocational training" implemented by NGOs, which encourages women to rely on home-based projects that do not represent a secure financial resource for the work done".

work characterized by inequity and inequality. In addition, there are countless obstacles to women's paid work, including: the lack of employment opportunities in general, workplace discrimination, and social policies (such as maternity leaves which do not satisfy their aims and lack of kindergartens). and of course harassment". Although the "ARD" study showed that low wages play a crucial role for Jordanian women and Syrian refugees, "this factor is severer for Syrian women who take lower wages than their Jordanian counterparts". The study found that the inability to obtain work permits "is not an urgent issue for Syrian women refugees, since the sectors open to work for non-Jordanians are not the sectors in which Syrian women refugees usually work (such as construction, agriculture, industry) while the sectors in which women work are usually closed in their faces (such as education, beautification, and administrative work). The results of the study also show that many women leave work after childbirth, a tendency that may be affected by the relative shortness of maternity leave provided for in Article 70 of the Jordanian Labour Code, as well as the shortcomings of article 72 of the same law. The results point out that some employers are employing Syrian refugees in what are supposed to be closed sectors to non-Jordanians under the legislation related to work permits, which indicates that the closure of some sectors to non-Jordanians does not increase the employment opportunities of Jordanians in a way that increases the difficulties and vulnerability of the Syrian refugees.