Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development

Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development

Gender Gap Report 2018 Highlights Need for More Economic Opportunity for Women in Jordan


Many significant changes have taken place in Jordan between the years 2006 and 2018. In the 12-year period, immigration rates of refugees and displaced people have grown exponentially. Climate change and increased demand on resources have greatly affected the country’s economy. A recent report however highlights a further challenge that Jordan faces. Since 2006, Jordan has dropped 56 places in the global rankings of gender equality.


This information comes from the World Economic Forum, which has now released its official Global Gender Gap Report for 2018. This report records the gap in representation between men and women in terms of education, economic and political participation. It is published each year to raise awareness of the struggles that women face internationally and provide indicators for societies to use in their work towards equality.


In this report, Jordan ranked 138th of 149 countries and scored 0.605 on the parity scale. These gaps between men and women are measured mainly in research conducted in areas such as economic participation and opportunity, health and survival, and political empowerment. Perhaps the most noticeable trend is a huge decline in Jordan’s rank between the year 2006 and 2018. In 2006 Jordan ranked 93 with a score of 0.611, dropping in the WEF’s newest set of rankings by almost 40%.


Even though Jordanian women have more college degrees than men, as well as being one of the most highly educated women in the MENA region, female presence in the work force and political representation is extremely low. A prominent example of this is shown clearly in the recent elections for the Chamber of Commerce where among 202 candidates only 2 were women and neither of them was elected.


There are some highlights for Jordan in recent studies that show hope for the country’s workforce in the future. Jordan ranked 45th in the overall country rankings for educational attainment for men and women, surpassing Sweden, Switzerland and the United States. What is clear from this is that there is a discrepancy between ability for women to access resources early on in their life for future opportunities and their lack of ability to engage in the workforce or maintain the same levels of legal, financial or political standing as men later on in their lives.


While the last decade has unfortunately shown Jordan’s inability to keep up with the rest of the world in this particular area, ARDD’s work is dedicated to making sure the next decade won’t prove to be the same. ARDD has conducted research to help identify root causes regarding the gap in economic and legal empowerment, alongside the Ford Foundation as well has helping to increase women’s participation in the paid labor market. With the issues of a vastly different population from 2006, along with concerns for resources, ARDD is invested in Jordan allowing women to help contribute in building a stronger future.