This study examines the developments within the
contemporary women's movement in Jordan. The analysis tried to place these developments within the
mainstream of sociopolitical modernization processes taking place in the
country. Such placement includes viewing the women's movement (one of the most
dynamic elements of civil society) as an active driving force of sociopolitical
change, and looks at sociopolitical outcomes of the women's movements, in terms
of emancipating women, and sensitizing the society and state's policies to
gender issues, and equal rights of women. In specific terms, the study tried to
answer questions related to: What is new in the women's movement of Jordan today? What are the strategies and
politics they apply to pursue their objectives? to what extent is the women's
movement successful in politicizing women's issues, and in what areas? In
addition, what are the resources of the women's movement and to what extent do
these assist or hinder the movement's success or failure?
these questions the study implemented diverse methods. On one hand,
face-to-face interviews were conducted with the activist women, and on the
other hand, a questionnaire that aimed at collecting data related to the socioeconomic
backgrounds of members and leaders of women's organizations was distributed.
Lastly, documents provided by the organizations were analyzed and compared with
the several field visits to the organizations conducted during the fieldwork
found out that two main phases are to be distinguished with respect to the
analysis of the women's movement: the emergence phase, and renaissance phase.
While the first phase was mainly characterized by charity work, the
contemporary phase is enjoying the emergence of a feminist consciousness, which
set in motion the introduction of a feminist agenda, which deals with new
themes and being carried out by new forms of female activism.
closes with investigating the sociopolitical obstacles that hinders and limit
the work of the women's movement and the politicization of women-specific
issues. In this respect, the study evaluated the role of the state represented
by state institutions and state figures such as the princess; the role of the gender
ideology which is being comprised by the religion and cultural heritage ; and
finally the role of structural problems related to the women's movement itself,
namely the decision making process, autonomy question and participation
structures with women's organizations.