Home Institution

Washington University in St. Louis

Publication Date

Spring 2016

Program Name

Jordan: Modernization and Social Change


The purpose of this study is to compare access and quality of women’s health care in Amman for non-Syrian refugee women and women’s health care in Syrian refugee camps. I also sought to understand how women’s health care could be improved in both Amman and in Syrian refugee camps. I hypothesized that Syrian refugee women in camps will have less access and lower quality women’s health care since refugee camps’ funding is limited, making medical equipment and women’s health care providers short. Since women in Amman often have more stable family situations and jobs, I thought they would have more access to high quality women’s health care. I started by researching the most pressing women’s health care issues in Jordan, such as lack of postpartum care for new mothers. I interviewed women’s health care providers and patients in Amman, as well as women’s health care providers and patients in Zaatari and Azraq Camp. I also interviewed a staff member at the National Women’s Health Care Center in Amman to obtain an overview women’s health care in Jordan as a whole. I found that there are many aspects of women’s health care, such as newborn education and access to contraceptives, that Amman excels in more so than in the refugee camps. However, there are other areas of women’s health where women in refugee camps are actually roughly the same or slightly better off than some groups of women in Amman, such as breastfeeding education. Thus my findings were different from my hypothesis, since women’s health care was not always more limited in Syrian refugee camps than in Amman.Women’s health care is incredibly important to a woman’s physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing, and when women’s health care is inadequate, it disempowers women. Thus, I wanted to understand the state of women’s health care in two different Jordanian settings to see what can be done in terms of improvement, which would better the lives of women living in both settings.


Family, Life Course, and Society | Inequality and Stratification | Maternal and Child Health | Near and Middle Eastern Studies | Obstetrics and Gynecology | Place and Environment | Public Health | Race and Ethnicity | Women's Health