In the factories of Zarqaa, one of the most important industrial hubs in Jordan, female workers endure difficult situations and various forms of discrimination, some are also victims of sexual harassment. According to diagnosis by the Jordan Forum for Business and Professional Women (JFBPW), female workers also lack training and professional development opportunities, which reduces their chances of having access to senior positions or even promotion. The diagnosis also revealed that female workers aren’t aware of their rights and duties as stipulated in Jordanian labour laws and legislations.
To improve female workers conditions and empower them, in 2018 the JFBPW concluded a project through which 60 female workers from 4 food and garment factories received several trainings on labour rights and duties, communication and negotiation skills. Following the trainings, several workers were mobilized to claim better working conditions. With the support of representatives from the JFBPW, the Jordanian Trade Union and the Women’s study Centre, 13 female workers signed a petition demainding a reschedule of their working hours and an extra day off.
Awareness-raising events targeting the local community and meetings with factory owners were also organized to encourage them to pay attention to their workers’ needs and rights, and to improve the health and safety measures they have in place, and ensure an appropriate and safe work environment for female workers. Factory owners were also encouraged to look into facilitating nurseries for working mothers.
The project involved decision makers and local actors such as the Ministry of Labour,
Zarqaa’s Chamber of Industry, the Jordanian National Forum for Women, the General Federation of Jordanian Trade Unions and the National Center for Human Rights who will ensure follow-up with employers in the future. The project was also disseminated by several local and national media such as Al Rai Newspaper and Al Madenah News, and Jordan News Agency.
This initiative is part of the field projects developed by the local clusters of gender equality actors© set up by the Euro-Mediterranean Women’s Foundation since 2015. It is part of the "Reinforcing the capacity of equality actors" project, funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs (MEAE) and coordinated by the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed). This action is also part of the project "Developing women’s empowerment", labeled by the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM).
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.