Women’s Socio-economic empowerment conference

Women’s Socio-economic empowerment conference ‘Breaking through the Barriers’ held in Jordan

Women’s Socio-economic empowerment conference ‘Breaking through the Barriers’ was held at the King Hussein Business Park in Amman, with the participation of international experts and academics representing government, parliamentary, international, Euro-Mediterranean and national organizations concerned with Socio-economic empowerment of women.

The conference was organized by the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CAFRAJ) in cooperation, with IPEMED France, the world Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and UN women and supported by a number of companies including Arab Potash, Orange, Markazia-Toyota Jordan, Al Manaseer Group, Bank AL-Itihad, Hikma Pharmaceuticals,  Al-Kaseeh company and factories and others.

Shermin Al-Dajani, member of the Board of Directors of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Jordan (CAFRAJ), said that the two-days conference aims to put all international and European experiences in the field of economy, entrepreneurship and development for Jordanian women to enable them to overcome and break through the barriers to development and insure their participation in social and economic (Socio-economic) activities .

Al-Dajani said “The Jordanian economy is deprived of untapped potentials and capabilities. Therefore, Jordanian women must be able to overcome the obstacles to full and effective participation in Economy, Business market and development.

According to recent official data, 79 per cent of Jordanian women are outside the Jordanian labor force. In general, women’s participation in the economy does not exceed 12 per cent, although the education enrollment rate of females in Jordan is higher than that of males and at different levels of education.

Al-Dajani ensured the leadership of the conference in its focus on the economic and social empowerment of women and considered it as a real and valuable opportunity for Jordanian women to benefit from global initiatives and smart global economic development solutions that support and encourage women’s social and economic participation. More than 50 international personalities representing organizations, banks and official and non-official Euro-Mediterranean countries attended and participated in the conference organized by CAFRAJ.

The opening ceremony includeded speeches by HRH Princess Wijdan Al Hashemi, Ms. Laurence Rossignol the French Minister of Families, Children and Women Rights, Mrs. Elizabeth Guigou, the President of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the French National Assembly, EU Ambassador Andrea Fontana and Mr. ZiadSheikh the representative of the United Nations Office for women in Jordan  in addition to Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh and  a keynote speech byMr. Ahmed Aramoush the president of the board of CAFRAJ.The conference discussed methodologies for building capacity, skills forecasting for Arab women. The conference also brought together development agencies, investment funds, and influencers from both the civil society and the private sector.

On the first day, the conference included four panel discussions on: Women in the Economy, Skills and Competences for Women to Access Jobs in the 21st Century, Access to Finance and Funding Women Entrepreneurship and Women in Parliament, and a speech by the Lebanese Minister of State for Women’s Affairs H.E Jean Oghassabian.

The conference continued on Friday at the Grand Hyatt Amman Hotel with three panel discussions on: Women in Science, Refugee Crisis, Women and Children in the Camps and Women in Media. It  started with a keynote Speech by Ms. Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Local Development and Tourism, OECD, “Equality, Empowerment and Entrepreneurship: Making it work for women”.

The closing session of the Conference was held under the title “The Way Forward” with the participation of Ms. Laurence Rossignol, Ms. Djemila Boulasha the responsible of European Public Affairs and others.

The Conference  produced pioneering practical recommendations that will draw a roadmap for the economic and social development of Jordanian women and was presented to all relevant official and non-official bodies.

The final session of the conference  included a visit by a delegation of participants to the women’s project in Zaatari refugee camp.

Following to the conference Ms. Shermine Dajani on behalf of IPEMED and Talal Abu GhAZEL Organization have created a Taskforce of leading men and women in Jordan to draft a whitepaper on women empowerment in Jordan and the Arab countries.