While only 6% of parliamentary seats are held by women, the Queen of Jordan has used her position and subsequent power to actively support the women's rights.
As Queen of Jordan, Rania has fought for a wide range of causes, including women’s rights, access to education, environmental concerns, and the development of strong Jordanian communities. In March 2008, Rania launched a video blog as part of her efforts to deconstruct stereotypes about Arabs and promote dialogue with the West.
With a female literacy rate of 85.9%, Jordan has the highest female literacy rate in the Middle East.So, while the majority of Jordanian women are both literate and well educated, the differences in career expectations based on gender stem from cultural practices and not the fact that women are not as capable as men.The JNCW has become a quasi-governmental institution accountable in large part for drafting national policies regarding women’s rights and economic advancement.There are constitutional provisions that affirm Jordanian citizens’ basic rights to education.In addition, there are no provisions under the Labor or Penal Codes to protect women against sexual harassment.
This lack of legislation explicitly protecting women exposes them to harassment both at home and in the workplace.
For example, Article 22 states that each Jordanian has equal opportunity to be appointed to and serve in public office as such appointments “shall be made on the basis of merit and qualifications.” An amendment on January 28, 2003 implemented the quota system in Jordanian parliament, and while a religious precedent exists for parliamentary seats in the constitution, allocating seats for women is new and shows that the government recognizes and is trying to break down the various barriers women face running for office.
The Provisional Penal Code reduces sentencing for men who commit violent acts against women in the “honor” context. While the original code allowed men to implement the law themselves, the new amendment leaves punishment and sentencing to the judicial system of the state.
The Jordanian government spends more than 5% on education every year and has had positive results.
Since 1980, the literacy rate in Jordan has increased from 69.2% to 91% in 2002.
Women in Jordan, however, did not receive the right to vote until 1974.