COVID-19 is rapidly changing the world of work and the workplace, particularly for women. In Jordan, where women's economic participation is already low, advancing the role of women as economic agents is central to the country's reform agenda and a key driver for a stronger, inclusive, and more sustainable Kingdom post-COVID. Women's participation in the Jordanian workforce was already low prior to it.

According to national statistics, only 15% of women were active in labor force and one fourth of women already in the labor market were unemployed.

Those that do work are concentrated in the public sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of women's employment. Statistics are no more promising for women in leadership roles and managerial positions: a mere 3% of firms are led by a female top manager and only 8% of firms are majority-owned by women. Such an unequal situation is compounded by women's low access rates to banking and financial services (compared to men) as well as restrictive social norms. - blog.wb.org/blogs

A version of this article appears in the print on December 24, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.