CEDAW and the Case in Jordan

CEDAW and the Case in Jordan


The effort to eradicate discrimination against women has had varying degrees of success in different periods and regions. Regions like Africa and MENA are often thought of as having strongly patriarchal and oppressive societies. Progress in women’s rights and freedoms is taking place at a painstakingly slow pace, even though the situation is different from a decade ago. (At least this is the case in most of these countries, even though some have seen a reverse development). For the issue of women’s rights, a bill of rights for women was established by the UN general assembly in 1979 called CEDAW, which stands for The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The convention is essential because it establishes an international agreement on women’s rights and recognizes that women are indeed discriminated against. The convention’s goal is to eliminate discrimination against women by holding countries responsible for how women are treated within their territories. The convention explains what discrimination against women means and what needs to be done, which is foundational for making a change and achieving gender equality. Thus, CEDAW helps governments understand issues of women’s rights and help them establish policy solutions.


Jordan signed CEDAW in 1992 with three reservations to the 16 articles, one of which has been lifted. The convention has brought positive changes towards gender equality and women’s general situation. The Jordanian government, the private sector, and civil society have all taken action to implement CEDAW at different levels of society. The focus has been on achieving women’s participation in public life to join in developing their country and be fully active in their citizenship. The effort has involved changing national legislation, policy, strategy, and planning. The regional differences are considered to be the differences between urban, desert, rural, and refugee women. Thanks to the effort, the gender gap in health and education sectors has been closed. Still, more work needs to be done to promote economic empowerment and political participation. CEDAW has been foundational for making national interpretations and for international accountability. However, women are still discriminated against legally at work and in family life. There are still discriminatory laws such as marital rape that are not criminalized, and Jordanian women cannot give Jordanian citizenship to their children if their husbands are foreigners. Another vital factor that must change is the general mentality of society, which often views women as weak, incapable, and unwanted in certain positions of society. This negative mentality can only change if all levels of society decide to make a change. Thus, education and upbringing are vital, as is encouraging women to pursue their education and enter the labor market.


Achieving gender equality and fighting discrimination against women is not an easy task, but progress is being made each day. More effective measures must be taken at all levels of society. First and foremost, the negative mentality about women must change, which happens inside individuals' minds and through awareness and education. Women and men must change, and then they can speak up against discrimination in their homes, at their jobs, and elsewhere. Also, women who have been taught that they are weak and incapable must hear the truth and receive encouragement.
Take action, speak up against discrimination, and encourage the girls and women around you for a better future for all.


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