Planning and International Cooperation Minister Suhair Al-Ali, said on Thursday, September 8, 2005 that the Women in Action conference "represents a significant opportunity for professionals and experts working in the promotion of women's rights to interact and exchange views on means of how to empower women and increase their participation in life's social, economic and political domains."
The Minister added upon speaking at the inauguration ceremenony, held under the patronage of H.R.H. Princess Alia Al-Faisal and initiated by Better Solutions Company, that the government has promoted economic opportunities for the Jordanian suburban and Bedouin women towards achieving self sufficiency through developing vocational training programs, introducing income generating opportunities and establishing numerous economic projects.
She noted that the Enhanced Social Productivity program, implemented via MoPIC, focuses on integrating Jordanian women in local development decision making and promotes women's participation in local committees to assume their role in decision making and implementation of development projects. Mrs. Al-Ali said that the program through the IRADA initiative program provides consultation services, specialized training courses and feasibility studies for small and medium enterprises. The ESP program has also contributed to the establishment of four micro-funding corporations where the larger number of beneficiaries are women.
"As a result of these efforts," Al-Ali further added," women's economic participation has noticeably increased reching 12 per cent, not taking into consideration their participation in the security and agriculture sector where participation stands at 20 per cent. In addition, political and administrative participation also increased by 8 per cent."
The Minister said that despite these promising percentages, women's participation continues to be below expectation due to several reasons related to social obstacles and women's preference to work in service sectors such as health and education rather than other sectors as industry or trade. Wage and privilege discrimination continues to pose another problem that hinders women's full participation in Jordan' development process.
In concluding her remarks, Al-Ali hoped that this conference would present practical recommendations that would enable Jordanian women's full participation in the economic arena, which will ultimately lead to the improvement in income and standards of living, enhance economic growth rates and thus contribute to the improvement of all Jordanians' quality of life.