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On December 2, 2021, the Gender-Based Violence Sub-Working Group (GBV SWG)* conducted a joint simultaneous event under the national sub-theme “Controlling behaviors: limiting my choices and my power”, as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign**. The event took place in five different locations simultaneously: Amman; Irbid; Mafraq and both Zaatari and Azraq camps.

The purpose of the 2021 theme is to ensure that women have access to resources and power to thrive in their lives and contribute to their communities, and also to reflect on the different forms of denials that women and girls across Jordan face, which all were reflected through their voices. Ultimately this will help them achieve the change that they want, which was based on their own desires, not that of the communities in Jordan, and more specifically refugees. Therefore, the sub-theme for the campaign titled “Controlling behaviors: limiting my choices and my power”.

The event started with a joint opening that was broadcast live from Zaatari camp via Zoom. More than 150 participants from Embassies, UN Agencies, NGOs and women and girls from the community listened jointly to the opening remarks from Zaatari Camp Management, UNFPA, UNHCR, IFH and opening remarks by Sweden’s Ambassador to Jordan, Mrs. Alexandra Raydmark.

In her opening remarks UNFPA Jordan Head of Office, Mrs. Enshrah Ahmed highlighted that we need to say Enough to all forms of violence. Also, Mrs. Ahmed stressed how happy she was for the simultaneous celebration that was ongoing from different locations, saying all together and at the same time “Enough to GBV!”.  

Mrs. Raydmark said “This room is full of role models and powerful women in the heart of Zaatari camp for the 16 Days campaign.”. She added “I have learned a lot from their stories and experiences, as well as from great partners like UNFPA, UNHCR and UN Women.”

Following the speeches, each location bilaterally conducted a video screening activity by playing a number of videos on the topic developed by 16 women and girls from different locations across Jordan, who took a storytelling workshop organized by the GBV SWG as part of their celebration of the campaign.

Later on, in an interactive discussion session, the audience shared their reflections on the key messages from the videos, such as reflecting forms of controlling behaviors that women and girls in Jordan are being subjected to. In addition to seeking help when women and girls are being subjected to any form of violence and the different services available for everyone.

In Amman, the audience joined a self-defense class, which focused on how to protect oneself from physical abuse, no matter how big the aggressor is, using the attacker’s own weakest points to stop the abuse and flee the scene.

This session was highly praised and even the youngest attendees took part in the activity.

Amman’s event  also included a Bingo game that was presented by HeForShe activists. It tackled topics related to gender equality and gender-based violence, as three lucky girls won the prizes.

In Azraq camp, an interactive theater about cyber crimes was performed and was well received with a standing ovation by the audience.

In Irbid, the event was conducted virtually and it included different activities such as a virtual Theater play on cyber harassment and awareness raising videos on denial of resources, opportunities and services.  

In Mafraq, following the joint video screening activity, a session presented by the Family Protection Department on Cyber Harassment was conducted, where women and girls reflected on how this form of violence is highly prevalent in Jordan, especially during and after COVID-19 pandemic.

The joint event was a collective effort by members of the GBV SWG 16 Days taskforce that included 22 organizations, which are: ActionAid, AWO, DRC, East Amman Charity, ICCS, Forearms, IFH, IRC, JRF, Mateen, MoSD, Plan International, Save The Children, SOS Children’s Villages, Tkiyet Um Ali, TdH, UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF and UNRWA.

In addition to the joint event, the GBV SWG also developed in consultation with more than 250 women, men, girls and boys across Jordan and from different nationalities 16 key messages under the sub-theme which were also shared on social media during the orange hour on 4th of December, but also they were distributed among the community through different modalities. 

Moreover, and as each year, the GBV SWG created a joint activity calendar that included more than 300 activities conducted by 28 organizations covering all governorates in Jordan.


* The Gender-Based Violence (GBV SWG) Sub-Working Group was established in 2014 and aims at supporting a comprehensive and coordinated approach to GBV, including prevention of GBV and provision of compassionate care to GBV survivors. The GBV SWG ensures prioritization of life-saving activities and gap-filling as well as disseminates guidance to enhance quality of services. The GBV SWG operates at national level and has dedicated sub-national level coordination mechanisms in Zaatari Camp, Mafraq, Azraq camp and Irbid. It comprises more than 30 partners, including UN agencies, INGOs, and local NGOs, government counterparts operating across governorates in Jordan serving refugees and host communities.

 ** Every year, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign takes place from November 25th until December 10th.  The campaign aims to raise awareness on the various forms of violence perpetrated against women and girls.