Geneva – In an oral statement before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Tuesday, 29 September, 2020, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said it documented an increase in violence and discrimination against women in the MENA region, calling on Arab states to ensure effective application of policies that could narrow gender gaps.
In a joint statement with the Global Institute for Water, Environment and Health (GIWEH) during the 45th session of UNHRC, Euro-Med Monitor highlighted a report documenting various forms of discrimination and violations against women in Jordan caused by poor economic conditions and lack of awareness. Meanwhile, the state’s efforts to fight these violations are still significantly inadequate.
Rawane Matene, a legal researcher at Euro-Med Monitor, noted in the statement that in 2019, Jordan recorded 21 cases of female murders – a three-time increase compared to 2018.
The social reality in Jordan forces battered women to stay silent, believing that reporting won’t help them and may only add fuel to the fire that threatens their safety and rights, as a result they remain in this vicious circle of abuse. While 6,965 women fell victim to violence, 810 were able to get aid from the five battered women shelters in the kingdom, while the rest, especially those who live in remote areas, were marginalized and consequently left to face more violence.
The statement called on the UN Human Rights Council and other relevant entities of the United Nations to increase and intensify their efforts to combat violence against women in Jordan.
This should be done not only through awareness raising campaigns, aid to women in remote areas, advising and pressuring the government to play a more active role, but also, and perhaps more importantly, through including notable Jordanian women activists in the mechanisms and entities of the UN, and integrating the perspectives and lived experiences of Jordanian women who fall victim to violence, to hear from them rather than about them.
In September 2020, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor produced a report entitled ‘Women in Jordan: Continuing Violence and Absent Protection,’ which documented the increase of violence against women in Jordan, presented battered women’s testimonies, and the shortcomings of the government’s mechanisms and laws to fight violence against them. It also offered recommendations to relevant authorities to enhance the protection of women, curbing the significant number of acts of violence against them.