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The introduction of the women’s quota in Jordanian electoral law in 2003 was a significant step forward for women’s rights in Jordan and the Middle East in general. Gender quotas were first introduced with 6 seats reserved for women in parliament in 2003, 12 seats in 2010, and then 14 seats in 2013. The 30% reservation of seats for women in 2011 for municipal council seats was also another boost for women’s poli2cal participation in country which remains conservative and largely tribal.

However many women's rights groups feel that the Jordanian government is not heavily invested in promo2ng women's rights, as honour crimes, violence, rape and other core issues are stilll taken lightly in law and practice.

Although the quota has helped increase par2cipa2on in parliament and municipal councils, the representa2on of women in executive and judicial branches remains low. Low labour force participation of women is also a key challenge to women’s empowerment, despite the fact that 55% of graduates over the past decade are female.

Despite improvement in women's rights in Jordan, legal restrictions and social norms remain a very important barrier to women's full participation in public life. Personal and family life are governed with complicated legal provisions and restrictions that are often in favour of men like marriage, divorce procedures, inheritance, the need for women to have male guardians to conduct basic transactions, etc. Tribal culture and patriarchy affect women in particular, as they are relegated to second-class citizens and makes it difficult for them to enter politics independently.


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