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Texas A&M University

Publication Date

Spring 2014

Program Name

Jordan: Modernization and Social Change

Abstract

Understanding the unique Parliamentary situation in Jordan and the potential possessed by the quota for women in Jordanian Parliament as a measure to empower women politically and introduce their presence in an otherwise male dominated sphere has enormous implications. Undoubtedly a feminist measure, it merits understanding if the quota has similarly feminist outcomes. This study seeks to evaluate the women elected through the quota, examining how effective the women members of Parliament (henceforth MPs) are, to see if they really are capable of initiating major societal change or if instead they simply perpetuate the patriarchal and tribalism based systems. Through the interview of male and female Parliamentarians, experts on the women’s movement in Jordan, the survey of constituents, and the examination of material culture, this study seeks to establish the type and impact of barriers to full participation in Parliament and examine the women MPs on multiple factors to gauge the change they create. This study found patriarchy, tribalism, familial responsibilities, travel requirements, and public pressures to be key barriers and obstacles to women’s participation, however women’s organizations and NGOs provide invaluable services to the women and help alleviate some of this burden. Overall, women MPs are effective and active in handling women’s issues, but their main shortcomings are the lack in formal discussion of women’s issues through speeches. Women’s rights in Jordan have and will benefit further from the women elected through the quota.

Disciplines

Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Inequality and Stratification | Political Science | Politics and Social Change

 

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