Study brings to focus violence against women in leadership, political posts

[15-06-2022 10:06 AM]

Ammon News - Over 60 per cent of women who are assuming leadership and political posts in Jordan reported being subjected to political and cyber violence, a local study revealed on Tuesday.

The study, titled “Violence against women in the Political and Public Sphere”, was prepared by the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW).

The respondents consisted of 287 women from various governorates who assumed public and government posts.

Around 64.9 per cent stated that they were subjected to some form of violence either while serving in office or during their candidacy campaigns.

The study indicated that 28.4 per cent of the respondents reported that their family members were subjected to cyber and political violence.

The top three governorates that reported cyber and political violence were Mafraq with 87 per cent, Irbid 69 per cent and Amman at 60 per cent, according to the study.

Some 55 per cent of the surveyed said that they were subjected to cyber bullying, the study stated.

Meanwhile, 68.8 per cent of the respondents attributed the violence against women in the public and political sphere to “the influence of cultures and traditions, which encourages and justifies violence against women in the public life”, according to the study.

Minister of State for Legal Affairs Wafa Bani Mustafa, who acted as patron to the event, reflected on the study’s outcomes saying that “it was a clear proof that it is a local and not a foreign problem”.

“Many in the past claimed that such kind of harassment did not exist in Jordan, but this study as well as testimonies by various women should be a wake-up call for us to adopt better measures to safeguard the wellbeing of women in our society,” Bani Mustafa told the gathering.

That is why, “we have to constantly address this problem by involving men, youth and political parties in the change process, be it legal, social, cultural or political”, Bani Mustafa added.

The government is keen to increase women’s political and public participation, so it is important to ensure their safety by involving men and the youth in this process, Bani Mustafa stressed.

Also addressing the gathering was JNCW Secretary General Salma Nims who stressed the importance of conducting the study to “introduce the necessary recommendations that would further boost women’s participation in the public and private sphere”.

“Our aim is also to explore with all parties and entities such as government agencies, local NGOs, political parties, legislators and the media, the best means to secure the safety and privacy of women in the public and private sphere,” Nims stressed.

Some of the study’s recommendations included period documentation of the violence that women are subjected to in the private and public spheres, and raising awareness among the government and the community.

There is also a need to develop a safe space for women to report any kind of political abuse they are subjected to and follow up on their cases until the end, according to the study.

Another recommendation focused on introducing new legislation that identifies what political violence is and introduces stiff penalties.

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