The State of Jordanian Women’s Organizations—Five Years Beyond the Arab Spring

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2463

The State of Jordanian Women’s Organizations—Five Years Beyond the Arab Spring


  • Peter A. Ferguson Department of Political Science, Western University, Canada


Abstract  This paper explores the failure of women’s organizations to effect the improvement of the status of Jordanian women during the Arab Spring. Through an examination of the regime’s political liberalization strategy, leadership failures within women’s organizations, and international donor influence on programmatic focus, the underlying explanation for this failure is found to be rooted in the historical depoliticization of women in Jordan. This is tested in the context of the Arab Spring through an analysis of the results of popular protests, proposed electoral law reforms, and efforts to amend the Jordanian constitution. The paper draws in part on a large collection of interviews and a focus group conducted in Jordan during the spring/summer of 2012, as well as analysis of primary documents from the government and a variety of women’s organizations in Jordan.


Keywords  Arab Spring; democratization; Jordan; women


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/pag.v5i2.762