AMMAN — Only 13.8 percent of women who were previously married are working, while 85.5 percent have never worked and 7 percent are looking for jobs, according to a Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI) statement.
SIGI, in a statement made available to The Jordan Times, called on the government to give increased attention and support to children, the elderly, citizens with disabilities and patients, as women are generally the ones engaged in unpaid household and care-giving, which results in less time to engage in paid labor.
According to the 2017-18 Jordan Population and Family Health Survey (JPFHS), 26.5 percent of divorced women and widows are workers, while the percentage of married women who are workers only reached 12.8, the statement added.
Women’s participation in the labor market is affected by having children, the statement noted, adding that 17.8 percent of women without children are workers, while the rate drops to 7.2 percent among mothers with five children or more.
Child enrollment in early education programs contribute to increasing economic participation for married women, the statement said.
The 2017-18 JPFHS survey revealed that only 13 percent of preschool-aged children (three-four years old) have been enrolled in early education programs, marking a drop of 9 percent in comparison with the 2012 JPFHS survey results, which indicated a 22-per cent enrollment rate.
The percentage of children enrolled in preschool programs is associated with their mothers’ level of education, the survey found. The percentage of three- and four-year-olds enrolled in preschool programs was higher for children whose mothers’ level of education was higher than secondary education, at 23 percent, while for children whose mothers did not earn a high school degree, the rate was 4 to 7 percent.
Preschool enrollment in the Kingdom was the highest in Amman, standing at 18 percent, and the lowest in Maan, at some 3 percent.