Jordan’s Gender Equality Campaign

Yesterday I got the chance to join Gender Equality campaigners in Al-Wakalat Street as they walked around talking to people on the street about the campaign, asking them questions about equality and handing out stickers, posters and pins. I even got to walk around with my very own writing board and talk to some people. This campaign was started by a group of young Jordanians to raise awareness about women’s rights.

Here’s what I noticed. Equality is such a broad subject, and the term itself has a different meaning for each person. For some it may mean having equal opportunities as to education and work, while for others it means women being able to do whatever they want without society pressing down on them. While most of the people I talked to agreed that we need to have equality in general, when you ask specific questions, like does your husband help you in household chores, or do you allow your wife to work late, they would say no.

So my thoughts would be to focus on one side of the argument, for example the injustice against women in the constitution itself, like the citizenship law or punishment for honor crimes. Because to change laws you need to change mentalities, and this is how we can start.

Bravo to all you campaigners for taking matters into your own hands and raising awareness about a very important subject! They saw something, didn’t like it, and decided to do something about it. You have restored my faith in our youth. And special kudos to Dina Liddawi and Lulwa Kilani, organizers of the campaign. Join the facebook group for news and updates on upcoming events.

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7 responses to “Jordan’s Gender Equality Campaign

  1. Good job folks! I really would like to join this campaign too and go out on the street and share with “sha3b el gordon” some of my thoughts on equality too.I’ll leave the honor crimes stuff to you and others, and will focus on other areas that have been of interest to me lately. Mainly marriage stuff.For instance, take the issue of mhoor. If we really want to be equal, then I (Man) should either not have to pay “moqaddam maher” and pledge JD10,000 as its “mo2akhar” to my wife (Woman), or at least receive the same from her in return (which wouldn’t make sense then), right? Also, I should either not have to buy her a “shabkeh” worth thousands of dinars and that nice diamond ring, or at least receive the same in return (which also wouldn’t make sense then). Also, this rule that the engagement party has to be smaller than the wedding needs to be removed. Lets have two big parties and invite a thousand people to both!!! How about we both buy the house or apartment? How about we take turns in going to da2ert el sair to pay the tickets instead of the guy always having to go there and do it?My list goes on and on, but I think it’s necessary and essential to this “equality” campaign!

  2. man, what about we make an enterprise and who has the biggest shares would have more rights? if a woman was a hard worker, powerful, successful, had her money to buy herself everything she wants. wasn’t daddy’s little treasure, she has her own house, her own car, her own career, her bank account. she travels, she is educated, she is independent. would you marry her? or is she more than what you can handle? why do you think families ask for 5 digit moqaddam and mo2akhar? because a woman in this society is not the above!let her be for God’s sake!!men are mujremeen !!

  3. nice! i wanted to be there but unfortunately i couldn’t make it. save me a button and a stick if there are any left! 😀

  4. Man and Woman, you guys cracked me up! I agree with you completely about shared responsibilities when it comes to marriage, but in our society such payments, as derogatory as they seem, are to secure a woman’s status if you think about it, especially if she’s not accomplished like Woman said. If it wasn’t for al mo2akhar, divorce rates would plummet through the roof, trust me.Nas, will do!

  5. Nas, okay I just realised that you you meant a sticker!! That makes more sense, like why would we be handing out sticks. Moving on.

  6. Woman, you have to face it: while all women want to be what you described, all of them will refuse to give up the benefits and securities that I mentioned.In other words, most women don’t really think in equal terms when they ask for “equality,” they just think of MORE!Anyway, trust me there’s no one who’s for equality between men and women as much as I am for it, but from my own experience in both the US and Jordan, women in general can’t handle being treated as equals. There are always these little situations where women want to be treated differently and more favorably because they’re just women.

  7. Thanks Farah for a really nice post.Just wanted to add my two cents…An equality campaign is not something to be targeted on men and by women. On the contrary, Jordanian women are just as likely to be sexist as their men counterpart. Actually, Jordanian men and women have similar mentalities. They were raised in the same society under the same notion of right and wrong. Hence, women need just as much awareness on equality issues as men do.Also, I believe equality will benefit both men and women. It is not something that should be threatening to the men at all. Everyone will be happier in a more equal society. Not to mention, the economical benefits we will gain by increasing the women in the workforce.So, in a sense I understand what Man is trying to say. Jordanian women do need awareness when it comes to equality. But, you’re missing a big part of the equation. The current securities and benefits you’re talking about are nothing compared to the disadvantages they have to deal with.Man, I really think that if women had equal opportunities as men and equal independent economic status they wouldn’t want (or need) a mo2adam nor a mo2akhar nor a shabkeh. And they will be happy to go to da2eret el sair. I, for one, got married last year and didn’t have (nor want) any of that. I don’t live in Jordan so I never needed to go to da2ert el sair. But, I sure do an equal amount of mo3amalat as my husband does. We also both do an equal amount of house chores and both have full-time jobs. We go out a lot and spend all our time together. I really can’t think of a single thing that is unequal between us. And we’re more than happy together.

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