Tracking the Participation of Women in Jordanian Elections

November 3, 2016

WLP’s Jordan partner Sisterhood Is Global Institute/Jordan (SIGI/J) organized forty-six NGOs and networks to monitor women's roles and participation in the September 2016 parliamentary elections. Over 1,000 volunteers, 60 percent of which were female, attended trainings and received guidance from SIGI/J. Volunteers monitored election committees, candidates, and campaigns with a gender-sensitive perspective, tracking the involvement of women at every level. 

Leading up to the elections SIGI/J held several workshops for observers and media professionals on international standards for fair and unbiased elections and the importance of gender equality in elections.

Participants in a workshop for gender monitoring of elections hosted by WLP Jordan/SIGI/J

Asma Khader, a human rights lawyer and CEO of SIGI/J said that the initiative allowed SIGI/J to elevate gender issues in the public agenda, including with the media and other observing missions from Europe, the U.S., and other Arab countries.

The initiative was featured in over 300 media articles and interviews worldwide aand also garnered widespread support among Jordanians.

According to a report in The Guardian, 252 female candidates participated in the election, the highest number to date. The parliamentary elections resulted in 20 women being elected into office -- 15 through legislated quotas and five to open seats. 

Despite these gains, however, female representation in the Jordanian parliament still lags behind globally. According to data compiled by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Jordan ranks 131st out of 193 countries. 

SIGI/J has decided to continue the initiative as a permanent project and expand it in upcoming elections to include the municipal and governorate levels. 

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