In Jordan to address gender violence and disability | Aidos

We are implementing a project to address gender based violence and disability in Jordan, specifically in the Governorates of Amman and Mafraq. The objective is ambitious, as it aims to concretely improve the quality of life of women and girls at risk and/or survivors of gender based violence, with particular attention to those living with disabilities in vulnerable Jordanian communities and among Syrian refugees of urban areas and informal settlements. It is indeed increasingly necessary and urgent to adopt an intersectional approach that takes into consideration a series of variables that define gender based violence in its complexity.


For the first time, we are working in shelters to increase the awareness of those who live and work there, as well as the fundamental awareness of the institutions involved, to initiate a broad and comprehensive societal change in addressing gender based violence. We proposed training programmes that primarily address one of the root causes holding back women to conditions of oppression and violence, namely economic violence. To escape gender based violence and rebuild one’s life, material conditions are crucial, as a pathway of empowerment that leads to effective and lasting autonomy is necessary. The courses are designed considering the Jordanian reality and in collaboration with local partners, who helped us understand the importance of creating entrepreneurial activities from home to imagine and actualize possibilities of livelihood. We have organized business management courses, increasing and strengthening professional skills, professionalizing courses in photography, sewing, cooking and aesthetics. At the end of the programme, immediately usable and impactful technical kits were distributed to start entrepreneurial activities, thus allowing the launch of a business in the shortest time possible.

We must not forget that Jordan has been welcoming many Syrian refugees for years now. Just over 17% live in formal refugee camps, while the majority are based in Jordanian host communities. This influx has created significant socio-economic pressure in the country which has further deteriorated the government’s ability to guarantee primary services, a situation exacerbated by the pandemic emergency as well. All this resulted in an increase in the percentage of the Jordanian and refugee population living below the poverty line. Women and girls have lost jobs and income opportunities and those who experience a situation of vulnerability, such as women with disabilities and Syrian refugees, are more exposed to the risk of gender based violence.


The project also includes structural improvements to the shelters to make them accessible to people with disabilities. According to national standards, they currently require an architectural review, specialized personnel, and adequate equipment. The shelters were established by the Ministry of Social Development and are essential places, as they provide an alternative to the practice of forced protective detention, to which women and girls whose lives are considered in danger are often subjected to. In addition to being a refuge and a safe place, thanks to projects like the one we are carrying out, the shelter can become a place designed to give opportunities, to imagine a new beginning.


The project and the activities carried out have, in fact, an impact on the lives of the women we have met; some have shared their experiences with us through testimonies.


The training was a wonderful, useful and beautiful experience for me. I had a lot of fun, especially because I saw what was a hobby transformed into the possibility of having a profession that I’m passionate about. The Lord gave me this talent in knowing how to draw, which supports me in my make-up and beauty techniques… Taking a practical course motivated me and increased my self-confidence, it made me feel that I can grow as person and feel proud of myself and everything I may be capable of achieving in the future.




The No Woman Left Behind project. Gender Violence and Disability: Transforming Vulnerabilities into Skills is realized in partnership with: Vento di Terra, two Jordanian NGOs Durrat al Manal for Development and Training and the Arab Women Organization and in collaboration with the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Ministry of Social Development, as part of the emergency program AID 11731.03 financed by AICS Amman.