Understanding Street Harassment in Jordan: A Comparative Analysis of Syrian Refugees’ and Jordanian Citizens’ Experiences of Street Harassment in Jordanian Host Communities
Jordan: Health and Community Development
A variety of United Nations and non-governmental organization reports have illustrated that Syrian refugees are increasingly vulnerable to street harassment in host communities. Because there have been no official statistical studies on the prevalence of street harassment in Jordan, there is no evidence that the rate of street harassment experienced by Syrian refugee women in Jordanian cities is any different than the rate of harassment experienced by Jordanian women in Jordanian cities. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of street harassment experienced by both Syrian and Jordanian women in Jordan. The hypothesis guiding the study was that the rate of street harassment would be higher for Syrian refugee women because of their unique vulnerabilities as refugees, and that Syrian refugee women would be more negatively affected than Jordanian women by experiences of street harassment due to their potential former experiences of sexual violence in Syria. The hypothesis was investigated by surveying a convenience sample of 13 Syrian women and 12 Jordanian women, and by interviewing two Syrian women and two Jordanian women. The respondents came from Save the Children program sites in Karak and Amman. The results showed that 72% of women surveyed had experienced street harassment at least once in the past year. There was no statistically significant difference in how many respondents from each nationality had experienced street harassment in the past year, how many feared street harassment in their community, or how many were prevented from leaving their homes because of fear of street harassment. Although both parts of the researcher’s hypothesis were disproven, further research is necessary, as the results from such a small sample size are not generalizable.