The Eid bi Eid program, implemented in Jordan by the Zonta International Foundation and UN Women National Committees, addresses the challenges associated with growing vulnerability by improving women’s access to sustainable and decent employment, coupled with protection services and community engagement – to enable greater equality and reduce violence against women.

Jordan is currently hosting 1.4 million Syrian refugees, nearly 10 percent of Jordan’s pre-crisis population, which has increased competition over resources, placed additional strain on social services and heightened community tensions in some areas with unintended consequences, including greater restrictions on women’s mobility.

While existing programs that provide food and unconditional cash assistance have been instrumental in responding to the immediate humanitarian crisis, they are not designed for long-term outcomes. As the government of Jordan opens the labor market for refugees with work permits, targeted efforts are needed to empower female refugees to harness income-generating activities. These efforts must also support the government in meeting its commitment to increase overall female participation in the workforce.

Eid bi Eid is a multi-year initiative to support the government of Jordan to address issues of employment and gender inequality, exacerbated by the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis. The project began in 2015 to support the immediate needs of refugee women and vulnerable Jordanian women affected by the crisis. The second phase, which began in 2017, utilizes a resilience framework for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment goals and promotes individual and community ability to absorb shock. This is done through the provision of livelihoods opportunities and protection support for refugee women living in camp and non-camp settings, as well as Jordanian women living in hosting communities.

Zonta International has committed US$1,000,000 to UN Women to improve Syrian refugee and Jordanian women’s access to sustainable and decent employment, coupled with protection services and community leadership/engagement, to enable greater equality and reduced violence against women.

In 2012, UN Women opened its first Oasis Center in the Za’atari refugee camp, eventually expanding to four centers in both Za’atari and Azraq camps. With the support of Zonta International Foundation, since late 2018, eight pilot centers have been launched in partnership with Ministry of Social Development and its community centers in Jordanian host communities in five governorates. 

The multisectoral services available at the Oasis centers include: tailoring, childcare, information and communications technology, handicraft training, and the after-school program. In two Oasis centers there are also two new training sectors available: home maintenance and poly-tunnel agricultural training.

The program also promotes women’s protection and access to justice. The Jordanian Women's Union in Zarqa, supported by Zonta International Foundation, provides safe and confidential access to comprehensive response services for survivors of gender-based violence. 

Specific strategies of the program:

• High-quality expertise is provided to humanitarian and resilience partners in Jordan to support effective gender mainstreaming, policy advocacy and the development of gender responsible planning frameworks and programming, including through the production of impact-oriented research.
• Support is provided to the government of Jordan to enable the development of policies and regulations to support women's economic empowerment and to support a decent work environment.
• Income generation activities through "cash for work" modalities are supported—combined with holistic support to enable women’s access to livelihoods—to meet the urgent needs of refugees in camp settings.
• Interventions to increase women’s economic empowerment, including vocational training, job placement and entrepreneurship, are designed and implemented—targeting Jordanians living in Jordan’s hosting communities.
• Those engaged in economic empowerment interventions are provided with robust training on gender-based violence and access to protection referral mechanisms.
• Justice sector professionals in areas hosting large numbers of refugees, and areas with high incidents of violence against women, are supported to hear cases involving violent crimes against women.
• Civic engagement work and community participation dialogue structures are supported through the provision of leadership and communication training, and in facilitating dialogue mechanisms between women and decision-makers.
• Men are engaged in work to address gender-based violence and gender inequalities in camp and non-camp settings.

This multi-year initiative is supported by the Governments of Australia, Finland, France, Iceland, Italy, Japan and the European Union through its Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syria crisis (Madad Trust Fund). The direct beneficiaries of this multi-year initiative are expected to be at least 25,760, among Syrian refugees and host communities. 

Info and photo sources: ;

This document was produced by DARPE, August, 2019.

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