This paper discusses the newly issued World Bank report on the welfare of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, based on the analysis of UNHCR data. It points some significant aspects not addressed, especially the effects Syrian pre-crisis public policies. It highlights the gap between the lack of proper socioeconomic assessment of both refugees’ and hosting communities and the fact that resilience and integration policies are already been negotiated with the Lebanese and Jordanian governments. This is while there no such efforts dealing with Egypt, Iraq and mainly Turkey, who are receiving large numbers of refugees. In addition, the Civil Society organizations are channeling a large share of the humanitarian aid, while they have, as well as the Syrian refugees’ and hosting communities, no proper voice in the debate.

The peoples’ uprisings in the Arab region presented a golden occasion for revisiting the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and particularly the partnership between the Arab countries and the European Union (EU).  The Joint Communication of the High Representative and European Commission, “A New Response to a Changing Neighborhood, ” highlighted important lessons learnt but remained an exercise of self-assessment without the engagement of EU partners and relevant stakeholders (including civil society) for what are widely considered today as major historical changes in the Arab countries.

For the fourth successive year, a delegation of human rights and development civil society organizations from the Arab region will be visiting the European institutions in Brussels between the 8th and the 12th  of December 2014. The Arab delegation includes civil society representatives from Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia and Lebanon.

This visit seeks to provide a platform for dialogue and exchange between civil society organizations from the Arab region and European policy makers at the Parliament and Commission around the EU’s support and involvement in the region.

A room in the shelter in Amman

The Jordanian Women’s Union (JWU, national focal point of Social Watch) vowed to continue offering services to abused women at its shelter in Amman despite a recent decision by the Ministry of Social Development to close it down, reported journalist Rana Husseini in an article published in The Jordan Times.

Jordanian authorities are planning to abolish the regulation that prevents married women from getting their passports without their husband’s endorsement, a move welcomed by Jordanian Women’s Union (JWU), national focal point of Social Watch.

Civil Status and Passports Department (CSPD) director general Marwan Qteishat said the department is reviewing the 1969 Passport Law, which stipulates that a husband’s consent is needed in order for his wife to obtain a Jordanian passport, reported The Jordan Times.

A Jordanian woman voting last year.
(Photo: Katarina Blomqvist/
WoMen Dialogue)

Source: The Jordan Times

The inequity between husbands and wives regarding the custody of children and the absence of a clear penalization of violence against women are some of the concerns that Jordan civil society organizations will submit to the CEDAW committee next year, before the government presents its official assessment to the panel, reported The Jordan Times this week. 

Report by Rana Husseini for The Jordan Times 2011
Report on

"We are very optimistic,” Amneh Zu’bi, president of the Jordanian Women's Union (national focal point of Social Watch), about the recommendations launched by the National Dialogue Committee (NDC) created by the government to reinvigorate the political life in the country. Among those suggestions, the NDC proposed an increase in female representation in Parliament and political parties.

Although resource poor, Jordan is one of the better off developing countries according to the Human Poverty Index. With the economy negatively affected by conflicts in the Middle East, the Government has had to create programmes to address high unemployment and public deficits. It also faces the challenge of how to empower not only the country’s overwhelmingly young population, but also women who continue to have low political and economic participation despite advances in education.
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