—Women’s participation in the workforce contributes to economic development, empowerment, gender equality and helps to uplift society. Yet the number of women who are active in the global workforce is still low, particularly in the Middle East and this has been attributed to a number of socio-economic reasons. This exploratory study aims to compile a profile of the non-working Jordanian female and gauge their perceptions of certain socio-economic factors that affect female participation in the labor force. It also attempts to measure their degree of satisfaction with staying at home. Out of the 145 non-working women surveyed, the majority were married with children, a university graduate without any work experience and with a household income of over 1,000 JOD. In general these women acknowledged that there were socio-economic factors deterring them from engaging in the work force and if they were to work it would be for reasons of self-actualization and preferably within the public sector. Except for education level and family income there were no significant differences in perceptions with respect to certain demographic factors. Respondents believe that gender stereotypes should not be an obstacle to working and are against men being given preferential treatment for positions. Sometimes their perceptions did not reflect actual reality and many respondents were not really aware of women friendly labor laws. Finally, the majority of women were not satisfied with staying at home. The results of this study calls for concrete action to amend labor laws, and help break down gender stereotypes and cultural taboos within Jordanian society. Women’s participation in the labor force is imperative for the economic development of the country.
—Economic development, employment, Jordan, women, workforce participation.
The authors are with Princess Sumaya University for Technology, Jordan (e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: Salime Mehtap, Yazan Jayyousi, Njood Gammoh, and Ahmad Al Haj, "Factors Affecting Women’s Participation in the Jordanian Workforce," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 6, no. 10, pp. 790-793, 2016.