Article excerpt


The paper addresses the factors that hinder women's participation in the private sector in Jordan, through assessing the basic factors that hinder women's empowerment and the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Jordan in order to achieve the following objectives: explore the meaning of 'Women empowerment' concept and how to integrate her in development and its relation to Gender concept; explore the factors empower the Jordanian women; and suggest more factors that have better influence on women empowerment and participation in labor force. The paper reached some findings for empowering women in Jordan such as: Political authority as a main contributor to the advancement of women role in the society in Jordan and changing cultural norms and religious interpretations that aggravate gender inequalities is a must.

Key words: Women; Participation; SMEs; Empowerment; Inequalities


Ce travail s'adresse aux facteurs empêchant la participation des femmes dans le secteur privé en Jordanie. Il estime les facteurs de base qui empêche l'habilitation des femmes et le rôle des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises (PME) en Jordanie, en ayant pour objectif: d'explorer le concept d' «habilitation des femmes» et comment l'intégrer dans le développement et ses relations par rapport à la notion de parité; d'explorer les facteurs habilitant les femmes jordaniennes; de proposer d'autres facteurs ayant plus d'influence sur l'habilitation des femmes et la participation de la population active. Cet article montre certains résultats pouvant habiliter les femmes jordaniennes tels que: le pouvoir politique est le principal contributeur à l'avancement des femmes dans la société jordanienne; il faut faire évoluer certaines normes culturelles et interprétations religieuses qui aggravent l'inégalité de genre.

Mots Clés: Femmes; Participation; PME; Habilitation; Inégalité


A critical aspect of promoting gender equality is the issue of women empowerment, with a focus on identifying and restoring power imbalances and giving women more autonomy to manage their own lives. Women's empowerment is vital to sustainable development and the realization of human rights for all.

The term "Gender equality" refers to a society where men and women have the same rights, obligations, and opportunities, in all aspects of life1. Hence, gender equality exists when men and women are able to equally share the distribution of power and influence; equal opportunities for financial independence through work; enjoy equal access to education and the opportunity to develop personal ambitions.

Jordanian women accomplished ahead start toward public participation in various development aspects, but their share still behind the targeted objectives. Therefore, development polices and mechanisms of the Jordan national and local development plans tend to be more aggressive towards better enrolment of women in the labor force.

The paper at hand is to shed some light on the issues regarding the gender issue globally, the status of women in Jordan, challenges of women's empowerment and recent developments in the country, and finally identifies the main factors affecting women's participation in the labor market. In an attempt to address the position of women in development analysis and policy, the research will stand back from much of the literature to look more closely at gender relations from an historical perspective.


The paper's main focus is to explore the factors that hinder women's participation in the private sector in Jordan. Therefore, this paper tries to assess the basic factors that hinder women's empowerment and the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Jordan.


This paper is based on a desk review of primary and secondary sources and on the conducting assessment interviews with various stakeholders. …


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