“Breaking the Cycle: Women’s Economic Empowerment and the Impact on Reproductive Health and Maternity Protection in Jordan.”

2023-05-29 23:43:50

life (a pseudonym), a 27-year-old married mother of four, says: “I had a miscarriage 4 times because I didn’t want to have children anymore. Poverty, hunger, and a lot of leftovers!” my children I can’t feed them; My husband has not been working since Corona, he is sitting at home.

I used to work as an escort for students on a school bus from 6 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon, for a monthly fee of 200 dinars. My husband took 100 dinars from them, and we lived with the rest. The last time I had an abortion, “the bleeding was my trick.”

I went to the (governmental) health center. He wrote me medicines and vitamins, and he asked me for tests. I couldn’t do them because I don’t have money even though the amount is not large. Frankly, “my children’s bread is more important” because my husband refuses to treat me or help me with the household expenses and tells me, “Take care of yourself.”

I got tired again and stopped being able to work with the students and the school owners dispensed with my services and I went back to the house because of the problems with my husband and the beatings. I have anemia and my blood ratio is eight, my iron stock is zero, a constant headache, dizziness and exhaustion.

The doctor of the health center warned me against not adhering to the treatment, conducting examinations, and the process of cleaning and dilatation and curettage, because I have constant pain in my back, abdomen, and lower pelvis, and this condition worsened after my husband hit me when I left work.

economic violence (Economic abuse)

Depriving women of disposing of economic resources or participating in making financial decisions that concern them and affect their future and that make them completely dependent on others. It includes depriving her of disposing of her property, spending on her basic needs, depriving her of inheritance or ownership, and exposing her to economic exploitation.

Data and numbers.

Survey data issued by the Department of Statistics for the year 2019 indicate that the job opportunities created for women constitute about a third of the job opportunities created, as the percentage of opportunities created for women compared to men reached 35.3% of the total opportunities compared to 64.7% for males, and that the percentage of female participants in the social security umbrella reached In 2019, about 28.2%.

According to World Bank statistics for 2019, the rate of women’s participation in the Jordanian labor market is the fifth lowest in the world, and Jordan was ranked 140 out of 142 countries on the global index of women’s economic participation.

Organic connection?

Human rights expert, Dr. Nahla Al-Momani, confirmed the existence of a link and an organic relationship between women’s economic empowerment and their access to appropriate health care. The more there is a correct application, development of legislation and effective oversight, the more women will be able to obtain the highest level of necessary health services, especially in the periods of pregnancy, childbirth and childbearing through their participation. In economic life as part of its rights resulting from this participation.

She pointed out that the economic and health empowerment of women is one of the obligations imposed on the state under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and in order for women to be part of economic life, there are rights that they must enjoy, including health insurance and health care in all cases, including childbearing. All legislative, administrative and judicial measures that guarantee this.

Exhausting motherhood!

hope (a pseudonym), a 30-year-old mother of eight children, says that before I got married, I used to work in the farms in the Jordan Valley with my family, and after marriage I continued to work (without pay), but with more responsibilities I had children, a house and a husband. Repeated pregnancy and childbirth within close periods weakened my body and I was always tired and stressful.

In one of the births, the delivery was difficult and the fetus died. I began to suffer from continuous pain in my lower abdomen and back, and frequent bleeding. My husband refused to let me stop having children or use contraceptives, despite the warnings of the health center doctor that I might die if I continued to have children under my current circumstances.

After a while I got pregnant and was working in the farms, I felt very tired, but “my husband refused to leave the job because he could not spend on the house on his own.” And one day, when I was in the seventh month, I fell on the ground and passed out, and I had severe bleeding.

After the examination, the doctor told us about uterine ruptures and the loss of the fetus. After two weeks, I went back to work because our financial situation did not allow it, and I had to help my husband, especially after I lost the ability to have children.

Article (59) of the Jordanian Personal Status Law No. (15) of 2019:

a. The maintenance of every person is in his money, except for the wife, who spent it on her husband, even if she was well off.

B. The wife’s alimony includes food, clothing, housing, medical treatment to the extent known, and serving the wife, who has servants like her.

Unpaid work?

The Association of Women’s Solidarity Institute “Tadamun” affirmed that unpaid work constitutes a serious obstacle to women doing paid work and constitutes economic violence against them.

“Solidarity” stated in a previous statement that the greatest burden of unpaid work falls unfairly on women, including domestic work and care work, and they often compensate for the shortfall in public spending on social services and infrastructure, and support the economy, even if they are in reality They constitute a transfer of resources from women to others in the economy.

economy effect?

A study prepared by the Higher Population Council on access to family planning information and services in Jordan in 2021 following the Corona pandemic showed that, with regard to the impact of the pandemic on reproductive preferences, (25.4%) of women were affected by the pandemic (Corona) with regard to the desire to postpone pregnancy, as the pandemic affected The desire to space pregnancies (28.6%), and the desired number of children decreased (23.6%). Women attributed this change in childbearing preferences to the economic situation due to the pandemic (44.2%).

Maternity protection!

Social protection expert, Hamada Abu Najma, emphasized that maternity protection is a key factor in achieving gender-based equality at work by protecting the work and wages of working mothers, while at the same time reducing poverty and promoting decent work.

He pointed out that studies on the reality of women’s work indicate that we need to develop a comprehensive system for maternity protection, and that this system includes the necessary protections to maintain the nutritional and health needs of mothers and their children, given that maternity protection is essential in achieving equality in work on the basis of gender, which includes Protecting jobs and wages for working mothers, promoting decent work, reducing poverty, and balancing work and family obligations.

The United Nations says…

UN Women confirms that only 20.5% of women in the Middle East and North Africa region are in the labor force, and that 33% of women in the region participate in vulnerable employment, compared to 23% for men. Women are overrepresented in low-paid occupations.

The United Nations attributes this to discriminatory legal frameworks, limited access to appropriate training, unpaid and unrecognized care work (high cost of childcare, domestic chores), and poor working conditions including low wages, often combined with a lack of coverage. For social security, social and cultural discriminatory rules.

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