SummaryDespite significant gains in access to education and career training in recent years, women’s participation rate in the Jordanian labour market remains one of the lowest worldwide (14 per cent for women versus 66 per cent for men).
When women do work, they are strongly represented in traditional female-dominated jobs and at lower levels of management, with limited or no presence in decision-making positions and bodies (e.g. boards of directors, executive committees).
They are also usually paid less for the same work or for work of equal value: the average monthly wage for males is 364 Jordan dinars (US$514), while women usually earn 314 Jordan dinars (US$443).
The gender pay gap, and other forms of discrimination against women in the workplace enshrined in national laws and prevailing social and cultural practices, remain major obstacles to women’s employment in Jordan.
In March 2010, in collaboration with the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW), the ILO organized a policy roundtable on pay equity. The meeting recommended the establishment of a project on pay equity to contribute to the country’s goal of increasing women’s participation in the labour market.
As part of the project, the National Steering Committee on Pay Equity (NSCPE) was launched in July 2011 to effectively implement the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in Jordan and to take the lead in developing and implementing an Action Plan for Pay Equity.
The NSCPE comprises a Legal Subcommittee, which focuses on enhancing policies and legislation for equal pay and making recommendations regarding legislative amendments; a Research Subcommittee, which focuses on conducting in-depth research on pay-based discrimination in the private education sector to inform policy and programmes; and a Media and Advocacy Sub-committee responsible for advocacy and outreach efforts.
The ILO has provided technical support for pro-pay equity provisions in the National Employment Strategy and the National Women’s strategy for 2011-2015. It has also provided training to members of the NSCPE to improve their understanding of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value and gender-neutral job evaluations methods.
ObjectivesThis project promotes the effective implementation of the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in Jordan. It aims to promote a strong institutional framework of action on pay equity to:
- Conduct an in-depth study on pay equity in the private education sector and transfer capacities to institutions to carry out gender-neutral job evaluations;
- raise awareness on remuneration gaps between women and men in Jordan through media advocacy campaigns; and
- empower women working in private schools to negotiate for better working conditions, fair remuneration systems, and gender sensitive human resource policies in the workplace.
- Launch and build the capacity of a National Steering Committee for Pay Equity (NSCPE) and two of its subcommittees: the Policy and Legal Subcommittee, and the Research and Statistics Subcommittee;
- carry out a policy oriented legal review and present to constituents and legal authorities for the amendment of current legislation;
- carry out an in-depth study on pay equity in the private education sector and provide training to selected constituents on gender neutral job evaluation based on the findings of the study;
- launch the Media and Advocacy Subcommittee, develop an advocacy strategy and launch a media campaign on pay equity;
- mainstream Gender Equality and principles of non-discrimination in Jordanian workers' and employers’ organizations; and
- support the "Teachers Fair Wages Campaign" in Irbid by coaching female teachers to organize for change through collective action;
- organize an event at the national level where stakeholders are invited to adopt practical solutions to promote the principle of fair wages in Jordan’s private schools; and
- support five selected private school owners and/or their human resource managers to improve their understanding and application of gender sensitive human resource policies as well as remuneration systems.
OutcomesThis project has three main outcomes:
- National legislation amended according to the principles of ILO Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100);
- Jordan’s capacities to undertake gender-neutral job evaluations established;
- authorities, workers’ and employers’ organizations and the general public are sensitized on pay equity issues; and
- fair remuneration systems and non-discriminatory policies are adopted by selected private schools in Irbid.