The Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW), initiated and headed by HRH Princess Basma, is a semi-governmental organization which advocates and promotes for women’s diverse issues. It was established by a cabinet decision in 1992 and has since gained recognition as the authority on women’s affairs in Jordan’s public sector while it also represents the Kingdom at regional and international levels in matters pertaining to women.
JNCW′s mission is to support the mainstreaming of a gender-equality perspective in all policy areas and to narrow the gap between formal acknowledgement of women′s rights as detailed by legislation and the actual societal attitudes towards women.
Its purpose is to engender positive tangible transformation in the status of women in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination against them and to achieve their effective and equal participation with men in all political, economic, social and cultural arenas.
It aims to achieve its goals by focusing on improving the status of women in national development and strengthening women’s legal status.
The JNCW has also played a leading role in women’s advocacy through its activities that encourage women to participate in economy, politics and decision making.
These efforts have been a direct support in the continually increased profile of women in Jordan’s political sphere, as increased numbers of women are campaigning and securing seats in both the municipal and parliamentary elections.
Under Princess Basma’s leadership, and through a nation-wide participatory process, JNCW has led the government′s process of preparing National Strategies for Women since 1993. JNCW works with the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Women Empowerment to ensure the alignment of the government development plans with the JNCW′s National Strategies for Women.
As Chairperson of JNCW, Princess Basma has guided the Commission in forging coalitions with women civil society organisations, in order to make amendments to a number of laws and legislation concerning women, including the labour law, the personal status law, and the penal code among others. JNCW spearheaded and substantively contributed to the campaign that resulted with the abolishment of article 308 from the penal code, relating to the marriage of the rapist to his victim, to avoid prosecution JNCW has also led several campaigns against gender based violence including child marriage, killing of women by family members, sexual harassment and economic violence.
Since 2008, JNCW has been supporting women through its established networks: mainly the Women′s Knowledge Network (Nashmiyat) to empower women leadership at the local level and the National Network to Combat Violence Against Women (Shamaa) which coordinates the efforts of all the entities involved in ending violence against women.