Jordan is currently hosting 655,000 Syrian refugees, which has increased competition over resources, placed additional strain on social services and heightened community tensions in some areas with unintended consequences, including greater restrictions on women’s mobility. The curfews due to COVID-19 have exacerbated this situation.
While existing programs that provided food and unconditional cash assistance were instrumental in responding to the immediate humanitarian crisis, they were not designed for long-term outcomes. As the government of Jordan opened the labor market for refugees with work permits, targeted efforts were needed to empower female refugees to harness income-generating activities. These efforts must also support the government in meeting its commitment to increase overall female participation in the workforce.
Eid bi Eid is a multi-year initiative to support the government of Jordan to address issues of employment and gender inequality, exacerbated by the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis. The project began in 2015 to support the immediate needs of refugee women and vulnerable Jordanian women affected by the crisis. The second phase, which began in 2017, utilizes a resilience framework for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment goals. This is done through the provision of livelihoods opportunities and protection support for refugee women living in camp and non-camp settings, as well as Jordanian women living in host communities.
How Zonta helps
From 2018 to 2020, Zonta International committed US$1,000,000 to UN Women to improve Syrian refugee and Jordanian women’s access to sustainable and decent employment, coupled with protection services and community leadership/engagement, to enable greater equality and reduced violence against women.
As of December 2018, more than 50,000 beneficiaries were reached directly and more than 800 professionals were trained.
Women in camp settings and host communities are empowered through money for work and increased access to longer term economic recovery and livelihood opportunities.
- Women’s protection and access to justice is promoted to enable accountability and support them to serve as active members of their community.
- Women participate in and inform community decision-making processes.
- Duty-bearers are supported to create a greater enabling environment for women’s economic participation.
Read a detailed project description to find out more about this exciting partnership between Zonta International and UN Women.
Read blog posts with updates, thoughts and reflections from a July 2019 visit to Eid bi Eid project sites in northwestern Jordan.