Positive developments for women’s empowerment and gender equality in Jordan – Executive Director

Speech by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, during the a ceremony to announce Jordan's COMMITment, in Amman, 20 February 2014.


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Hello, I am so pleased to be here with you today in Jordan. 

I arrived late last night and have had the opportunity to meet with several Ministers and we discussed women’s rights, empowerment and gender equality.

I have just had a very constructive meeting with Ms. Asma Khader, Secretary-General, Jordanian National Commission for Women.

I am very happy that UN Women has signed a cooperation agreement between the UN Women country office and the Jordanian National Commission for Women. We aim to further strengthen our partnership and deepen the cooperation between our two organizations.

Today I commend the Government of Jordan for its commitment to ending violence against women through many measures including:

• legislative reforms to improve the legal and judicial responses to violence against women;

• rolling out a national strategy to combat violence against women;

• increasing the availability of data on violence against women, to name a few advances.

Jordan has joined more than 60 other nations in UN Women’s COMMIT Initiative to end violence against women and girls.

I also commend Jordan for taking steps forward, embarking on political reforms, including amendments to the Constitution, and increasing the quota of women in parliament.

I encourage the Government to undertake further legislative reforms to improve the family laws and legal response to violence against women, specifically the abolishment of article 308 of the Penal Code that allows perpetrators to be pardoned if they marry the victim and stay with them for five years.

I congratulate the Government on its recent election to the United Nations Security Council. The next two years are very important and we count on Jordan to advance the women, peace and security agenda. Security Council resolution 2122, adopted last year requests that all reports and briefings to the Council include information on the impact of the conflict on women and what is being done to increase women's participation in all areas of conflict resolution and recovery.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to Jordan’s immense contribution of humanitarian support to Syria and previously to other crises in neighboring countries. Jordan plays a leading role in peacebuilding in the region and in the international humanitarian response.

UN Women remains committed to supporting women’s rights, empowerment and equality in Jordan and all countries worldwide.

Thank you.