Women worldwide face risks, including limited access to education, inadequate health services and coverage, gender-based discrimination, unpaid care work, high poverty rates, and increased vulnerability in old age due to the absence of adequate social protection systems. Social protection programs can be an effective tool to mitigate and address these risks. Social protection can be generally defined as “the set of policies and programs aimed at preventing or protecting all people against poverty, vulnerability, and social exclusion throughout their life course”.
Social protection and women in Jordan face a double challenge. On the one hand, the understanding of social protection in Jordan remains anchored in a charity paradigm, rather than a rights-based approach based on universal minimum guarantees. International development partners perpetuate this charity paradigm through the implementation of piecemeal poverty-targeting approaches in their programs. On the other hand, except perhaps for the field of education, where women are arguably outperforming their male counterparts, women in Jordan remain at the margins in benefiting from social protection guarantees such as health and income security throughout the life cycle.
This policy memo, conducted in the framework of ARDD´s Al-Nahda Center´s Inclusive Social Protection Theme, looks at Jordan’s social protection systems including looks at social protection systems in Jordan, including social security, legal frameworks, aid and zakat funds, health care, the challenges associated with COVID-19 among other issues.
It recommends the adoption and adaptation of internationally recognized best practices toward more gender-sensitive social protection policies. Some of the recommendations for a way forward are as follows:
- Move beyond narrow approaches to social protection by embedding basic transfers in a broader social and economic policy package aimed at creating more and better jobs for women and reducing and redistributing unpaid care and domestic work.
- Build on targeted programs to create universal schemes that are more likely to prevent exclusion errors and stigma, especially for women from poor and marginalized groups.
- Avoid tying cash transfers to conditionalities that add to women’s unpaid care burdens and integrate gender-responsive elements, such as feasible daycare for children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities (whose care is mostly the responsibility of working-age women)
- Conduct assessments that analyze the factors that drive women’s exclusion and disadvantage in existing social protection schemes.
For more read the below Policy Memo