In November 2018, World of Letters, the WPP implementing partner in Jordan, started an advocacy Campaign with the hashtag #عشان_نتوظف ("so we can get hired"), with various partners with the goal of, in the long run, changing the mindsets of the general population towards women in the workplace. In addition, a second goal was to create an environment conducive to advocate for amendments in the labor law to improve protection of women from sexual harassment in the workplace. A coalition of four Jordanian lawyers headed by WPP’s Mayyada Abu Jaber assessed labor law articles 69 and 29 and 55 that discriminate against women in the workplace in Jordan, and documented four stories of workplace harassment. This analysis will be used to influence policy change in the Jordanian Ministry of Labor. In November 2018 at a civil society roundtable discussion, the coalition was invited to meet with Jordanian Prime Minister H.E. Omar Al-Razzaz. There, they mentioned the discriminatory language of labor law article 69 that limits women’s access to eleven occupational fields such as geology and construction, in addition to legally constraining the hours in which women are allowed to work. Article 69 was placed into labor law under the societal impression that it would protect women from harassment and provide safety [when, in reality, it only limits women’s upward mobility in the workforce and imposes on them a glass ceiling]. The coalition also collaborated with the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) on the public advocacy campaign regarding workplace harassment and labor law article 29.
World of Letters held an interactive play titled Tawazon (“Balance”), a one-act play about challenging gender roles and stereotypes in a fun and humorous yet provocative way that was held in collaboration with the National Center for Culture and Arts. The play was performed at a few venues including the WPP Knowledge Seminar in March 2018, the IGI Insurance Dive-In Festival and streamed to IGI offices worldwide, and the Endeavor Workshop about Female Entrepreneurship with 68 private- and public-sector leaders). An extended version of the play was held at Al al-Bayt University in Mafraq with an audience of approximately 900 students and faculty. It was also streamed on the University’s website. Each performance exposed diverse groups to the issues of gender bias and included a Q&A with the cast on how to improve gender equality in Jordan. Al al-Bayt University students were particularly moved by the injustices that the play revealed.
World of Letters recorded two videos documenting stories of women who have been harassed in the workplace. The purpose of these videos is to showcase the legal deficit in Jordan that fails to protect women from harassment and raise awareness on this key issue.
As part of the public campaign World of Letters launched to influence policy on harassment in the workplace and raise awareness on and advocate for safe work environments for women, a flashmob was organized at City Mall in Amman on International Women’s Day. For this activity, WoL collaborated with Katia Tal, who is also an art/drama teacher at the Cambridge High School in Amman. Tal choreographed the performance with 20 students from Cambridge who used percussion instruments and interpretive dance to raise awareness on unconventional jobs for women. Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iesjE7eBU98&feature=youtu.be
GENDER AND JORDANIAN TEXTBOOKS (2019)
In order to influence the portrayal of women and men, and girls and boys in Jordanian textbooks and to determine the extent to which gender concepts are incorporated in them, World of Letters created a gender map of the current Jordanian curricula. The team approached the Head of the Ministry of Education’s Curriculum Division Head, Dr. Saleh Al Omary, and were met with enthusiasm and approval. Along with the Ministry’s Gender Unit, a team of WPP leaders began a survey and analysis of the textbooks in early April 2019. Then, members of the Curricula Department will study, analyze and formulate a report based on the results of the survey. Once completed, the team will make recommendations to the Ministry of Education influencing in a positive way the mindset of the new generation of Jordanians regarding the roles and aspirations of girls and boys and women and men.
WPP PODCAST (2019)
World of Letters has recorded, edited and published several podcasts about women from three different perspectives: Education, Health, and the Labor Force. The podcasts feature prominant Jordanian women leaders Mayyada Abu Jaber, Dr. Ruba Batayneh, and Dr. Sawsan Majali to discuss these important perspectives.
Click to listen: https://soundcloud.com/user-427976666