Women’s Rights in the Balance: Upcoming Constitutional Reforms in Jordan and an Appeal by WLP Partner Asma Khader

Posted on 27 May 2011 by

In Jordan, where women have been highly visible in recent street demonstrations by democracy activists, a special constitutional reform commission has just promised the head of WLP’s partner organization, Sisterhood Is Global Institute/Jordan (SIGI/J) and two other women leaders that their list of women’s demands will be very seriously considered.

Asma Khader, General Coordinator of WLP Jordan/SIGI/J

Asma Khader, former Minister of Culture and General Coordinator of SIGI/Jordan, said in a telephone conversation Thursday that she was confident the Royal Commission would meet the demands that women’s non-governmental organizations and activists have drafted in a series of recent meetings. One top demand: put some women on the all-male ten-member commission!

Khader, Senator Leila Sharaf and Representative Abla Abu-Elbeh met Wednesday with the head of the Royal Commission that King Abdullah named in April to review the constitution and consider amendments. They expressed disappointment in the commission’s makeup and outlined measures needed to bring equality to Jordan’s women. The commission head asked them to submit the proposal formally and promised a comprehensive review.

The women’s proposal will examine each article of the constitution, recommending necessary amendments such as protections against domestic violence, guarantees of economic and political participation, and other social justice and democracy provisions such as social security, separation of powers and environmental conservation.

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