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Supporting women working at the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis in Jordan

© UN Women / Lauren Rooney

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many women in Jordan have played a key role in responding to the crisis. For instance, women from the security forces, health and education sectors, as well as community workers, were at the forefront, providing support to vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees.

Najah and Wedad Oweidat are 2 women leaders from community-based organizations who went above and beyond to assist other women and girls in need during the pandemic.

“My motivation to become a humanitarian and work in this field was simple: to support those in need,” says Najah, President of the Al Keram Charity Association in Mafraq.

As an active member of the Jordanian National NGO Forum, Najah worked alongside 20 other women-led civil society organizations (CSOs) to develop an emergency response plan to support the government’s response efforts in Mafraq. Their goal was to promote community-based interventions that build on CSOs’ expertise in managing humanitarian crises and connecting with the communities they serve.

Wedad is a community worker who started the Al-Rafid Women’s Agricultural Society in the rural community in Irbid. She quickly recognized the importance of community-based organizations in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, changing the course of her organization's activities to raise awareness about preventive measures and self-sufficiency, while still continuing to promote women’s empowerment.

As a member of the Jordanian National NGO Forum, Wedad contributed to dialogue on “Gender Dynamics in Times of Crisis.” Launched in partnership with the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development and UN Women, the initiative’s goal was to develop a gender-sensitive response plan that supported the government’s efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

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