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23 Oct 2016

Yacoub Basel Shomali, 7iber (Jordan),
يعقوب باسل شوملي، حبر

Jordan: Lack of day-care services responsible for gender employment gap

A Case for Daycare Services at the Workplace

The endemically low participation of Jordanian women in the formal economy remains one of the foremost challenges facing Jordan today. Despite [the fact that] 53% of university graduates in 2015 were female, Jordanian women’s participation in the labor force, and thus the economy, remains at a dismally low one-in-eight (or 13.3%) compared to two-in-three (60%) for men. A study by the Jordan Strategy Forum calculates that the loss to Jordan’s economy from such a gender imbalance amounts to approximately 46% of Jordan’s GDP…

A study by the Higher Population Council notes that nearly half of women who exit the labor market attribute it to childcare and family responsibilities… To address this challenge, Article 72 of Jordan’s Labor law stipulates the conditions upon which a private sector entity must establish a daycare service at the workplace: the institution must employ at least 20 women who, among them, have 10 children under the age of 4. The language of this article has multiple shortcomings…

[In response,] Sadaqa commissioned a study to understand the value of daycare services at the workplace, taking the Telecom sector as a case study… The study surveyed 98 employees from two telecom companies operating in the Kingdom (an effective response rate of 4.2%). The surveyed sample noted that daycare services at the workplace were considered to be the top trait they value there.