Jordan has enacted a number of care policies into legislation that addresses the expansion of early childhood care and education, the provision of stronger care systems for the elderly, and the reform of care leave policies. However, there have been concerns raised by activists about the efficacy of current care policies in relation to the disproportionate amount of time that women in Jordan spend on care work.
Gender inequalities in unpaid care work and the labor force are interconnected. In order to increase women’s participation in the workforce, inequalities in unpaid care work must be “tackled through the effective recognition, reduction, and redistribution of unpaid care work between families and the State.” The State can allocate resources to reduce and redistribute unpaid care services in the form of money, services, and time through care policies. Such care policies include the direct provision of childcare and eldercare services, care-related social protection transfers and benefits distributed to workers who have care responsibilities, and labor regulations such as leave policies and “other family-friendly working arrangements, which enable a better balance between paid employment and unpaid care work.”
This brief highlights key findings from a small-scale time-use survey conducted by ARDD in April 2021 that address how women in Jordan perform care work, how they feel about it, and their perspectives and recommendations on how the burden of care work can be redistributed through social protection mechanisms and other policies.
The main recommendations suggested:
- Offer cash transfers or subsidies to caregivers who have dependents to offset some of the burden associated with caring for them.
- Provide publicly subsidized ECCE services (such as childcare) for children dependents, and nursing services for dependents with disabilities, dependents with severe chronic illnesses, and elderly dependents
- Reform the current leave policies to include “equal, fully paid, non-transferable parental leave for all parents
- Include systematic measurements of women’s unpaid care work (direct and indirect) into national statistics and quantify their work in terms of contributions to the gross domestic product (GDP).
This brief comes as part of a series of Women Advocacy Issues policy briefs ARDD is producing within the framework of the project “Strengthening the Capacities of Women-led CSOs in Evidence Based Advocacy and Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Agenda” supported by UN Women with the generous funding of the governments of Canada, Finland, Norway, Spain, and the United Kingdom. ARDD acknowledges the support of the women-led civil society partners involved in the project implementation and thanks the representatives of the organizations for their meaningful contribution.