loading The game ..
Our vision is a world without poverty. We believe that every human being is entitled to a life of dignity and opportunity, and we work with underprivileged communities, local partner organizations, volunteers, and supporters to help this become a reality.
Oxfam began working in Jordan in the early 1990s, collaborating with Jordanian civil society to improve women’s access to justice and transformative leadership. Now, Oxfam provides essential assistance to Syrian refugees as well as vulnerable Jordanians, while promoting more sustainable solutions to meet the challenges of a protracted crisis.
Oxfam's program in Jordan supports conflict-affected populations in three key areas:
Established in 2008, JCLA is a Jordanian not-for-profit and non-governmental organisation registered with the Jordanian Societies Registry. Since 2008, JCLA has grown from one legal aid clinic in Amman to become the largest legal aid provider in Jordan, providing legal aid services at 16 clinics located across all 12 governorates.Each month, JCLA assists approximately 375 beneficiaries through legal consultations, provides legal representation to approximately 150 beneficiaries across 200 cases, and reaches approximately 3600 vulnerable people through its awareness sessions.
JCLA is committed to empowering all poor and vulnerable people in Jordan, with a view to realising a society where everyone has equal access to justice.
JCLA provides poor and vulnerable people in Jordan with access to legal aid services, including legal consultations and legal representations. Through awareness sessions, JCLA informs the community about legal aid and the law. Through advocating for the enhancement of the Kingdom's legal aid system, JCLA strives to uphold the right of all to access justice in Jordan.
There some organizations that provide legal aid and other support to women and vulnerable people in Jordan. If you are in search of legal aid, shelter, or other support navigating the justice system, this list is a good place to start. At this point, these organizations are only able to support those who have the greatest need.
JCLA is the largest legal aid provider in Jordan, providing legal aid services at 16 cenerss located across all 12 governorates.
Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD)
ARDD works to support refugees and displaced people, and specifically the legal challenges they face. ARDD offers legal support to the most marginalized communities and advocates for the adoption of internationally recognized standards of human rights.
Tamkeen Fields for Aid (Tamkeen)
Tamkeen works to increase legal awareness within Jordanian Society, with a focus on issues related to labour Laws, the rights and duties of workers and the Anti-Human Trafficking law.
Jordanian Women’s Union (JWU)
JWU is a non-governmental organization that is committed to improving the status of women in Jordan. Among other services, they offer referral services and a safe shelter for women and children.
Mizan for Law (Mizan)
Mizan aims at promoting, protecting and monitoring human rights in Jordan to ensure respect for human dignity.
Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW)
JNCW is a semi-governmental organization which advocates and promotes for women’s diverse issues.
Note that this list is not comprehensive and there may be other organizations doing this work in Jordan.
Enhancing access to justice for women means creating a helpful environment for women in court.
While most individuals engaging with the justice system are women, those who work within the court system are mostly men. This can make a women’s experience in the court uncomfortable, especially as women engaging with the justice system are often required to discuss and disclose private marital issues.
While Sharia courts are viewed as “family courts”, they do not provide an encouraging and comfortable environment for women and their children.
In the absence of a national legal aid system, the price tag on justice is high. When women try to access the justice system due to a family issue, they are engaging with it on their own.
This discourages women from seeking their legal rights as they often cannot afford the high costs associated with filing case, and hiring a lawyer. At the same time, there are no regulations that could support women, for example, through postponing payments.
Lawyers estimated that personal status law cases can cost between 600 and 1,300 Jordanian dinars (846 – 1833 USD), 3-6 times the minimum wage in Jordan.
Often, women are left with no choice but to face the courts alone and represent themselves.
When people choose to represent themselves in the family court, there are no formal mechanisms to make the process clear. There are no signs or direction leaflets that can allow women to understand how to seek their rights.
Without counsel, it is difficult for women to make a legal case for their rights, and they can even unknowingly sabotage their own case and lose their rights.
Under the present law, women are only entitled to full alimony, dowry, and custody rights in cases where their husband “makes married life unbearable” – typically through abuse. Women in the courts may not be aware of this, or of the various ways which they can provide evidence of abuse to support their case.
Court sessions are seen as public processes, thus, there is no privacy in the court, and cases are often observed by the public. (see article 3/101 of the Jordanian constitution)
This can create an intimidating atmosphere for everyone, but it impacts women in particular. This discourages women from going to court as domestic violence is viewed as a “family matter” and must be kept private from the public. Especially in family law cases, women must often recount the personal details of their relationships.
Courts are generally uncomfortable and unequipped to allow women to have private sessions with the judge in order to protect their privacy.
A mediation and reconciliation office, headed by a judge, has been created in courts that aims at solving family problems without filing a case if possible.
In all divorce cases, women are first required to try and solve issues in a session of court-ordered mediation with their husband. This can create multiple barriers for women especially in cases of abuse.
Women told Oxfam that mediators sometimes seek to reconcile couples while totally disregarding their grievances, prolonging the process.
If the court mandates reconciliation it should ensure the right legal counsel for women in order to ensure they do not compromise their rights, and make informed decisions.
The Justice Center for Legal Aid (JCLA) and a handful of other organizations are working hard to fill the gaps in the justice system by providing free legal aid for vulnerable women.
However, the need is far greater than what they are able to provide, and they can only help those facing severe poverty and marginalization. There remains a large number of women who are unable to meet the requirements for legal aid, while hiring a lawyer is also out of reach.