World Bank to help improve conditions for Jordanian female workers

clothes and textile factory in Jordan
(File photo: Jordan News)

AMMAN – On Monday, Al-Mamlaka TV reported that the World Bank is currently considering a new program aimed at bolstering economic opportunities for women in Jordan.

This initiative seeks to dismantle the barriers hindering women's active participation in the workforce. By enhancing workplace conditions, improving financial inclusion, expanding transportation options, and increasing access to affordable childcare, the program aligns closely with Jordan's Economic Modernization Vision (EMV), which aims to double women's economic engagement.

Currently, women's participation in Jordan's labor market remains among the lowest globally, at 14 percent, compared to 65 percent for men (aged 15 to 64, according to the World Development Indicators (WDI)). A quarter of women in the workforce are unemployed, and nearly half of employed women work in the public sector (48 percent, according to the Department of Statistics in 2022).

Recognizing the potential contribution of women's economic activity to comprehensive economic growth, the government has set an ambitious goal to increase women's participation in the workforce to 28 percent by 2033 as part of the EMV.

The proposed program, slated for implementation from 2028 to 2024, aims to tackle these challenges head-on. It encompasses four key areas of focus:

  1. Better workplace conditions for women (AR1): Prioritizing economic empowerment and work-life balance, the program seeks to foster gender equality within the private sector.
  2. Financial inclusion and entrepreneurship (AR2): By providing financial programs, training, and accessible loans, the initiative empowers women entrepreneurs and supports the growth of women-owned businesses.
  3. Safe and affordable public transportation (AR3): Improving transportation options is crucial for encouraging more women to join the workforce. The program aims to enhance safety and affordability, thereby facilitating increased participation.
  4. Expanding high-quality childcare services (AR4): Access to quality childcare is essential for enabling mothers to confidently pursue employment opportunities. The program focuses on expanding childcare services to meet this need.
اضافة اعلان

Additionally, the program aims to enhance financial inclusion and entrepreneurship for women by supporting the implementation of the new National Financial Inclusion Strategy (2023-2027) by the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ). This includes increasing the number of basic bank accounts for women, promoting electronic banking, and expanding access to bank loans for women.

The program also seeks to improve safety in public transportation and its surroundings. This area involves developing and adopting a national action plan to enhance women's access to and use of public transportation.

Furthermore, the program aims to expand access to high-quality, affordable childcare services for mothers with young children. It focuses on improving the quality of childcare workers and expanding supply and demand in home-based and other childcare centers, offering both fee-based and free options.

To facilitate the successful implementation of the program, the government plans to establish a dedicated working team to coordinate technical assistance, manage implementation and monitoring, and support the expansion of high-quality childcare services.

By addressing these critical areas, the proposed program endeavors to catalyze tangible improvements in women's economic opportunities and contribute to broader economic growth and development in Jordan.

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