Women in Jordan, as their sisters around the world, are victims of violence in the home and in public life. The causes of violence against women in Jordan are, broadly, economic and cultural. Poverty and the lack of financial independence make women vulnerable to exploitation and violence — particularly within the family. A conservative and traditional culture, particularly in rural communities, promotes women as dependent on men and submissive to family and tribal decisions.
A culture inured to various forms of violence against women has crucial repercussions for women’s participation in public life, particularly politics and elections. As voters, many women are coerced and intimidated to make choices dictated by their fathers, brothers or husbands. Threats of divorce, public shaming or physical violence prevent some women from making informed and independent decisions in elections. As candidates, women face public derision, threats and pressure to withdraw from election contests. The lack of financial independence presents female candidates with unique challenges in financing campaign activities on an equal basis with their male counterparts.
With the support of BCI and its senior gender expert, Francesca Binda, this study conducted by Karak Castle Center in Jordan in partnership with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Office in Jordan and Iraq to understand the experiences of women engaged in Jordanian electoral processes.