(MENAFN- Jordan Times)
AMMAN - HRH Princess Basma on Tuesday called for the need to reject all forms and types of violence in societies, including gender-based violence (GBV) and violence between spouses.
Princess Basma's call was made during the launching event of a national report on“Estimating the Economic Cost of Domestic Violence against Women in Jordan”.
The event was held at the Le Royal Hotel in Amman.
One of the key findings of the report was that the total yearly costs of domestic violence experienced by women and girls aged 15 and above in Jordan in 2021 were approximately JD130 million, or about 0.4 per cent of the gross domestic product of Jordan.
“It is important for decision-makers and policy makers to invest in the study results to develop effective and appropriate programmes and measures to strengthen the system of protecting women from violence,” Princess Basma told the gathering.
The Princess pointed out that GBV survivors endure personal expenses to confront the impact of domestic violence which represents 15 per cent of the average annual expenditure per capita, which amounts to approximately two-thirds of the total estimated cost.
“It is important to direct these amounts towards improving women and their families' standard of living and providing them with necessary services such as education, health, and adequate housing, developing their professional career, and increasing their economic participation,” Princess Basma stressed.
Princess Basma called for focusing efforts on policies and programmes that prevent cases of violence, in order to avoid its economic and social consequences on women, the family and society.
The report is the product of a collaboration between the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW); the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia; the United Nations Population Fund, Jordan Country Office (UNFPA); the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Jordan Country Office (UN-Women); the Centre for Global Women's Studies at the University of Galway in Ireland; the Jordanian Department of Statistics (DOS), which carried out the survey; and Leading Point Management Advisory Services with the support of the Government of Cyprus.
Also addressing the gathering was JNCW Secretary General Maha Ali who pointed out that the study comes within the framework of the objectives of the National Strategy for Women for the years 2023-2025, specifically its second objective, which stipulates that women and girls should enjoy a life free from all forms of violence.
“This study will contribute to the JNCW's efforts by supporting the decision-making system and directing effective policies in confronting and preventing GBV,” Ali stated.
Ali added that redirecting effective policies will also contribute to directing resources and using them in the best manner and strengthening the system of protection from violence.
Cypriot Ambassador to Jordan Michalis Ioannou said during his opening statement that he was happy that his government contributed to the implementation of this project which was part of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Development Cooperation between Cyprus and Jordan for the Years 2020-2021.
The MoU, according to Ioannou, includes a new project that is currently being implemented and has been developed by the JNCW and aims at implementing awareness programmes for the local community on legal aid services provided to women.
“Women empowerment is one of the main pillars of the Official Development Assistance strategy of the Republic of Cyprus, therefore the JNCW can count on our support for the years to come,” Ioannou told the gathering.
Meanwhile, Nicolas Burniat, UN Women Jordan country representative also addressed the gathering stating:
“The collaborative effort behind this comprehensive study on the economic costs of violence against women reflects a shared commitment to addressing this issue in Jordan”.
“The findings of the report provide evidence that investing in preventing and responding to violence against women is not just the right thing to do but also the smart thing to do,” Burniat stressed.
Only when all women can live free from violence will they be able to contribute to all aspects of Jordanian fully and equally, including the economy, Burniat added.
Meanwhile, UNFPA Country Representative Himyar Abdulmoghni praised the study saying its findings will contribute to the efforts to combat GBV, which is part of the UNFPA's vision and programmes with all its partners, whether governments, United Nations bodies, or civil society organisations.
“Domestic violence constitutes a violation of human rights, deepens the effects of discrimination against women and girls, and contributes to depriving them of their rights,” said Abdulmoghni.
Leader of the gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development Cluster Mehrinaz El Awady stressed the importance of“the numbers resulting from these studies when reviewing the priorities and policies of governments and international organisations to fight to protect societies from domestic violence and its causes, and to optimally utilise the needed resources”.
The study made several recommendations including urging the Jordanian government to develop and implement a national communication strategy on violence against women and domestic violence to address root causes and transform attitudes and behaviours that perpetuate violence.
In addition, the study called for establishing a direct 24-hour dedicated national domestic violence hotline at the Public Security Directorate.
The study also recommended revising the legislation and policies to introduce special paid leaves for survivors of domestic violence.
It also called for establishing programmes to economically empower survivors of domestic violence and expand cash support programmes to include survivors of domestic violence.
The study also called for the need for the government to encourage the outsourcing of shelter services/safe houses managed by specialised NGOs and civil society organisations.
For the donors' community, the study recommended prioritising initiatives and programmes to combat GBV in line with the Executive Plan for the National Priorities for Strengthening the Response to Gender-Based Violence, Domestic Violence and Child Protection 2021–2023 and the Action Plan of the National Strategy for Women in Jordan 2020–2025.
In addition, the study called for sustaining funds for civil society organisations and NGOs that provide shelters, safe homes for survivors and their children, and free legal and psychological services for survivors of domestic violence.
At the end of the one-day event, the JNCW, which is headed by Princess Basma, submitted a letter of support signed also by the civil society organisations, the women's movement leader in Jordan to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, stressing the need to reject violence against women in all its forms and types.
The letter expressed its support for the efforts of the assistant secretary-general and executive director of UN Women, Sima Bahous, in exercising her role in supporting women's issues and justice and fighting violence and discrimination in various countries of the world while bearing her professional and objective responsibility, especially in light of the war on Gaza.
The signatories of the letter expressed their rejection of the voices that are trying to undermine Bahous's efforts.