Women and Jordan don’t mix

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You’re PROBABLY thinking: What? How can you say that? How can a population even function with only one half, males? You are completely mistaken with your title, women in Jordan have reached authoritative positions like the Parliament, Judges in courts, Ministers, lawyers, doctors, business women, activists, and many many more. So please Badia, do not say that women in Jordan are outcasts or that they cannot mix with ‘Jordan’ (by the way ‘don’t mix’ title is inspired by the one and only Morsi)

I am here to tell you why and how, day by day, women are becoming strangers in their own homeland and are rejected as part of a complete healthy society. If they are accepted however, there are certain conditions that they must comply to.

The other day, my dad dragged me at 9 am in the morning to Kasr Al Adel (A local court in Jordan) to print out a copy of a document. I was really excited to go, you know, being a law student, I wanted to see how and where the magic of justice happens. We had to park the car somewhere which is a 5-minute walking distance to the place. As we walked, I felt I was an alien. I kept looking at myself, was there something wrong? Were my LONG pants torn or something? Did my 3/4 sleeve shirt send an offensive message? or did my hair which was in a very mess bun attract all those eyes? The staring didn’t stop of course, I wonder why though. Why in the hell would you leave the paper you are working on to stare like an animal at a normal human being walking down the street? I wonder why you almost crashed your car just because there was a FEmale in front of you and you had to look? I truly thought something was wrong with me, until it hit me, whatever I am wearing, no matter what style I do my hair or what t-shirt I choose to wear, they will stare. I am a female, and it seems that in this society, it is a phenomena.

A week ago, I took my little brother after a long day of studying, to Jabal Amman just to walk and have some fresh air in one of my favourite streets in the world. My brother is 6 years younger and I always felt that I was the one who had to protect him, but while we were walking past ‘men’ smoking hookah on the edge of the pavements and staring at ANY female, literally ANY female walking, I felt he had to protect me. We even couldn’t take a photo of us with the whole of Amman behind us because the area was so male dominated that we really felt discomfort. Veiled, unveiled, long pants, short pants, long sleeved, short sleeved, THEY STARED. WHATEVER YOU ARE WEARING, WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING THEY WILL STARE. And this disgusts me.

My friend the other day told me to be careful as some men are targeting women driving alone at night and cornering them with their cars in order to teach them a lesson to not drive at night again. WHAT?! They even may go to the police and claim you hit them.

Don’t get me started with the laws which discriminate against women and make it legally acceptable to rape, marry and kill a female (read a previous blogpost on this).

A woman, in Jordan at least, is someone who is expected to get married and raise a family and that is it. She is not expected to walk down the streets, go to a public authority, go to a ‘male dominated’ restaurant or street, enjoy a night walk or even a day one. It saddens me, I study in Edinburgh, UK, and I NEVER once thought about what would I wear here or there, what street should I take or even thought twice about passing some men down the street. I left the library during exam times at 12 and 1 am, and yes I was scared, it is still a scary world filled with bad people, but never have I, during my walk back home, thought that people will come scream at me or harass me for walking at night. Why do I feel safer and more COMFORTABLE walking in FOREIGN countries surrounded by strangers, than when I walk in my OWN COUNTRY around people from my homeland?

Yes women may have, statistically, reached high positions in Jordan, achieved the impossible, created businesses and lead initiatives, but in reality, women are still rejected, judged, harassed, stumped upon and neglected. And if we do not do something about it soon, we are going to lose half of our society.

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124 thoughts on “Women and Jordan don’t mix

      1. I absolutely love this piece! Is there any way I could contact you, on an email or something? I want to ask you a couple of questions if thats fine 🙂

    1. Please take into account that men in Jordan see women in a very overly sexualised way, I think it stems from the way they are raised to never see flesh, not even their mothers! There’s no sexual education in Jordan, (not even in Amman!), I don’t blame them for ogling and staring, as discomforting as it is to me (a Jordanian woman), Walking through Rainbow street makes me feel like a piece of meat amidst a pack of starving dingos. I hate it.

  1. Brilliant article,
    I’m not Jordanian and I’m not a woman either but it’s not only restricted to women, they physically assault men who look different and I’m not talking about men in drag, just a normal human male who doesn’t look like the majority.
    It’s the outcome of public schools that are segregated, where they never dream of even seeing a girl or talking to one.
    Jordan used to be a secular country, women were independent and free until the Muslim داعية started moving to Jordan and spreading their poisonous ideologies. We cannot change Jordan, it’s only going to get worse from here, the new Saudi Arabia.

    1. There is always room for improvement. Giving up will not help.

      To start of, start changing with yourself then your family. Slow process but hopefully it will be fixed soon.

      1. excuse me, but is this referring to my blog post? If it is then please ask the women around you, watch documentaries, go and ask people on the streets both male and female & remember that this is a BLOGPOST not a published article or a stuy.

      2. Well you are probably wanting the testimony of 3 men to witness and testify. Convenient coward.

      3. Badia you have caused a real stir with this article,Mabruuk! A friend in Amman with connections to gov has said to me that people are taking note of this subject.
        Once again a brilliant article.

      4. As an obvious MAN I envy you for not understanding the way this feels. It is uncomfortable and intimidating for a Jordanian woman such as myself to walk ANYWHERE in Jordan, even Amman, without feeling the eyes of many upon you. It’s not even flattery, it’s just really scary, especially when you are alone. As a woman who now studies in Cambridge, England it saddens me to feel more comfortable in an outside country then the place you belong to as you’re birth right.

  2. Sadly true.. 😦 thanks a lot for shRing your story … Will come back later to post my view 🙂 thanks a lot again

  3. Women are afraid to go out because of men staring, men stare because they don’t see enough women. I dunno, it just seems like a vicious cycle. Yet (oh, Jordan…) you still find people who want mixed gender schools to be cancelled.

  4. I -as a man- am sorry to admit that’s True. This is the UGLY TRUTH..
    i feel ashamed to hear this from my HOMELAND FEMALE !

  5. The law about rape , it was adjusted weeks ago finally.
    I am a man and i know what you are sayin exactly and its 100% true!
    It is the society, and really old school education is wrong here! I promise you if any of them did go out of the country and visited Europe or any ither foreign country they will not do these stuff..they will be ashamed..its the society over here who gave them the acceptable idea of staring at any FEMALE no matter what she dresses or do..and unfortunately you cant change a society or at least its gonna take you a million years to do that..

      1. I agree with Ahmed. I think you pushed it way too hard. You’ve been in the UK for a really long time thinking very low of Jordan the entire time as you were comparing to the UK so you got here with this idea already engraved in your head.

      2. I’ve been in the UK for 12 months max, and in Jordan 20 years. Please do not assume, and do not attack the post from a subjective view making it about me. I have received messages from more than 3K of women saying this is an issue they deal with every day when they go to uni or work or whatever. So please don’t make it personal and about ME. I need to push it hard, it is a WORRYING issue that is ESCALATING.

  6. I would like to clarify the “OK looking woman” by saying that I mean you’re very pretty and all mankind of all races and nationality are beautiful in their own way. My intent is to say that women are fierce in competition with one another. I Don’t mean to offend you at all

    1. I think you missed the point of the WHOLE post. Staring is there whether a woman is beautiful or not, and that does not have a general definition so please do not drop accusations without knowing the whole issue. Harassing women, even those covered from head to toe is there. That’s what I am saying.

  7. this is so true.. its sad. it annoys me a lot when im with my sisters and family and people stare and harass. its just how it is in jordan. just keep ignoring and dont give a shit because there is absolutely nothing that can be done about this

  8. It is so sad to read such thing happening in my country. Thank you for writing about it. Between 2002 and 2012 I never went to Jordan. When I visited after ten years I was shocked to see that the phenomena of ogling women got worse than it was.
    I am sorry that you feel alienated from your home country. I wish we can figure out a way to solve this problem.

    Haitham – Thank you for the shout out 🙂

  9. Welcome to the real Amman.. I offer a street fighting course if you’re interested, some excellent tactics 😛

  10. As usual a well written piece from the heart.It saddens me to read of this in Jordan whenever I visit I have not noticed this as much as in other arab countries I thought Jordan was more at ease with itself on the subject of treating women as equals.

  11. One bad personal experience does not justify you stereotyping an entire population in order to justify your point. If you want to speak out for the greater good, then
    why don’t you actually focus on things of importance when it comes to the status of women in society, because there are much worse things out there than “women being
    stared at.”
    Yes, people stare. Men and women stare, this is a part of human nature. I’m not saying this is right, but is “staring” (which is the only discrimination against
    women here in Jordan that you mentioned, I’ve never heard of women being followed around at night in cars) equivalent to holding women back in education and in the
    workforce? The Jordanian government has proactively invested in improving educational opportunities for women over the last two decades, raising the female literacy
    rate to between 80-90%. Compare that to America, which has had the same percentage of women in the workforce for over 20 years. Like you said in one of your posts, Jordan
    is a “small, developing” country, but here in Jordan the government has been implementing many changes to close the gender gap when in comes to education and the gender
    gap in the workforce will be soon to follow. Your claim that, “A women, in Jordan at least, is someone who is expected to get married and raise a family and that
    is it.” is completely false, in fact, I haven’t met any family here in Jordan that are not extremely supportive of their daughters getting a college degree and even
    going on to get a Masters and PhD. This claims denounces how important and central Jordanian women are in forming the backbone of society.
    Jordan has gone through DRASTIC advancements in terms of gender equality and you ignore all of that and say women aren’t compatible
    with Jordanian society because some people stared at you. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t seem justified to me. And, personally, coming from someone who has traveled
    to Western countries, I have never felt rejected or discriminated by Jordanian society in any way. If you love your country as much as you claim, please don’t make
    false claims simply to carry out your own personal vendetta.

    1. ‘Personal vendetta’ is a bit too much for someone just writing a post on her PERSONAL blogpost to vent out. The issue goes farther and farther than staring, statistics does not reflect the true Jordanian society. Please do not compare the US with Jordan on women matters, does the US have a law which permits the rapist to marry his victim? does America free someone because he killed a female relative because of honour?
      If you read carefully you’ll notice that I am NOT in any way referring to the Jordanian government or authorities, I am referring to a social problem that we have!! If laws and regulations are not applied to people who harass verbally or physically, then the situation will continue to escalate. Please do not accuse me of making false claims when you yourself have missed the point and restricted it to staring! Again, remember this is a PERSONAL BLOG not a published article or study!!

    2. If Badia goes out in the public sphere more, only the same thing will happen, every single time. Badia saw something and expressed it and it seems that all you are doing is try to deny her feelings which is not cool. At least she’s forming a worldview based on what she sees is out there.

      She is in fact focusing on something important. Men stare a lot and it is intimidating. Sometimes you would feel like changing your way if you are alone and don’t want to face that. They do make you feel unwelcomed and should not feel comfortable being where you are (the street, qasr il 3adel, whatever it is). I would go as far and call it a way to dominate and coerce. The statistics you are referring to can do nothing to erase this fact.

      I wouldn’t say it is part of human nature to stare, not in a civilized society at least.

      Women in fact do get followed around in cars at night. It happens to me something like twice a week when I’m driving back home quite late. It also happens to some of my friends quite regularly, so it could be regular thing.

      Bravo to the Jordanian government succeeding in keeping girls in the education system and learning to read.. speaking of which, our “EDUCATIONA INSTITUTIONS” are not much different from prisons where you only learn to obey and get stared at by more boys, and educated women cannot get jobs because the country can’t provide them. Anyway this is not the point.

      Jordan has not been good with women, we are discriminated against in most things that matter, and there’s a wide case of misogyny in the country.

    3. ” If you love your country as much as you claim, please don’t make
      false claims simply to carry out your own personal vendetta.”

      LOOOOL
      so if you love your country you should shut up and accept it with all whats wrong in it ? you shouldn’t improve it ?
      the amount of positive feedback that this post is getting, and the amount of women who have experienced such things show that these are not “false claims”

      “why don’t you actually focus on things of importance when it comes to the status of women in society, because there are much worse things out there than “women being stared at.” ”

      1st the fact that you see “women being stared at” as something that simple and as important as other issues shows that you either

      1- really don’t care about women’s rights, freedom and safety, “staring” will only be staring for how much longer? “staring” has now become only part of the problem, staring” has increased to screaming out names, whistling and even touching, what next? should we just ignore it more to show that we love our country and wait till things become EVEN WORSE?
      please google the term “sexual harassment” and understand how important this issue is.
      or
      2- you are really irresponsible with your choice of words, if you are trying to say that we need to also look at positive side of things and give credit to how much Jordan has improved then you should have stopped at that, because adding points like “its normal” and “One bad personal experience” is whats really false. every girl living in Jordan goes through this, and if you or any other girl really never did, then please, please share your secret.

      Also Badias post said “Yes women may have, statistically, reached high positions in Jordan, achieved the impossible, created businesses and lead initiatives”

      so she does acknowledge the fact that women are educated and are working, she doesn’t look at how women are succeeding IN THIS POST, shes looking at the behavior of the society to women walking or being anywhere in the public streets and places in Jordan.
      so if you would like to read a post about how women have improved and became more educated you can find many, and Badia shows by the way she addresses problems and tries to give a voice to people and find solutions that she is one of these educated women in Jordan.
      Not every article about Jordan should talk about how amazing any beautiful my country it is. Some articles such as this one, acknowledge the problems, negatives in our country, the parts that need improvement.

      so i am going to end this comment by telling you:
      If you love Jordan,please step up and help, don’t discourage an important problem just because we have “more important ones” or because we should just write and talk about the positive parts of Jordan.
      if you love your country, then try finding every single wrong in it and one by one fix them, don’t ignore them, improve them. 🙂

    1. Entitled to your opinion, but I am very surprised that so many people recognise the issue, but so many little deny it and with persistence. It is like we live in the same country, but two different worlds.

  12. I respect your opinion, and it has great truth to it. However, when addressing an issue it would be wise to look at the entire spectrum as opposed to just personal thought. You are talking about a population that is highly repressed, extremely poor, and not entirely well educated.

    Ogling at women is common everywhere. Men are creatures of desire, they cannot control it, it is instinctive. It’s a scientifically studied fact, read up on it if you’re interested. Yes that law about the rape and marrying is horrendous and should be removed, and yes of course men could have more self respect and dignity and contain themselves, but at least we don’t have as high a rate of rape cases as so called “developed” countries. I’ll take the creepy looks over rape any day.

    A bigger concern however, would be the countless men smoking hookah in the streets, shouldn’t they have something better to do than kill themselves? As a law student should you be concerned about the anti-smoking laws that Jordan has had since 2009 yet failed to implement? Close down those hookah cafés and you solve some of your problem. How about the massively corrupt high class we have? Shouldn’t you bring them to justice, and distribute their illegitimate wealth among the population and educate them? Maybe that would solve some of the problem as well.

    Like I said, I highly respect your opinion and standpoint. But from my perspective, a Jordanian male studying in the UK, I have to say foreign men check out and ogle at girls in the street as much as Jordanian men do. So in that regard there is nothing abnormal about our country. We have more pressing matters to attend to than telling men to start walking around staring at their feet because it makes women feel uncomfortable. That’s just my two cents anyways

    1. Regarding your comment about Hookah cafes, you can check my previous blogposts I have always fought and argued for the misapplication of Law 47 which prohibits indoor smoking. But I don’t think a post about women is related to smoking laws, but please check my opinion on that in other posts, and of course I am a member of the amazing group ‘la lil tadkheen’ which has been fighting for this 3 or 4 years now.
      Second of all, I am sorry but ‘ogling’ at women is not normal, nor does it exist in developed countries! Looking at a women is fine, but staring at her like you want to rape her, following her around with your car, saying insulting comments and laughing with your friends, making her feel discomfort anywhere you go is NOT NORMAL, and we should not stay silent because ‘it happens all around the world’. Rape stats are down here, because no one gets convicted because the law allows him to marry her, please speak to lawyers to enlighten you about this issue.
      ‘We have more pressing matters to attend to’ is not really an excuse to allow the harassment to continue, it is a disgusting one. We need to change things in order to allow our women to feel comfortable in their OWN country, it is ours too you know.
      I respect your opinion, but please, as you advise me, look beyond your nose, put your shoes in a woman’s, and feel with them. Don’t make it as simple as a stare, or a discomfort. It is more than that,and you know it.

      1. I believe you misunderstood me. I do not condone the acts of rapists or those who harass women at all. As you say following them around in cars and saying insulting comments is disgusting and I completely agree with you. The only thing I had an issue with was the staring. It is not fair to judge any person just by the way they look at you. I must confess that as a male I do not get these looks from other men and therefore I have no experience in the matter as to what exactly each type of look means.

        As to the other things I was referring to such as smoking, education and corruption, wouldn’t you say that if these men were to be off the streets, had a better job, a better education, a higher socioeconomic status, we would have less of these problems? Without a doubt.

        I probably did not phrase my words properly earlier and for that I apologize, I was specifically addressing the scenario where a man stares at a women in the street. I’m all for punishing people who harass women, but to throw a man in jail for looking at a woman? That seems a bit extreme, and extremism is the very thing we are trying to avoid.

        I must confess I haven’t read your previous posts, but I’m glad there are people who share my views on smoking. I do believe we are on the same page.

  13. What you say is sad and true. I remember walking with my sister over 10 years ago. We both were in our late teens. I noticed how people look at her. Almost every single store owner was laser focusing his sight on her. This needs to be addressed in younger generations before things go out of control.

    1. I have never lived in Jordan but my dad is Jordanian and i have had exactly the same issues when i have visited Jordan. In my teens and now i experienced the same staring issues from men and WOMEN. People would actually talk about me to my face… I felt like an alien every time i visited… I think its a weird cultural issue in the country which i can’t seem to pin point..

  14. Great article:)
    Badia I would like to comment with one thing someone said ig to me when I was your age:”whatever we FEmales get from degrees and positions, the best degree is MRS which stands for Mrs…….
    Sadly our men dont believe in us yet:(

  15. That is sad truth Badia. I am sure that most of the women living in Jordan would agree with what you said. The other day a young woman told me that she is pleased that she cut her hair very short so that men confuses her with boys and stopped sexually harassing her.

    Yes Jordan may have put lots of efforts into levelling the balance of gender inequality but we have done merely nothing to address cultural issues that are standing against that.

    We need more women like you to speak up and stand up for themselves.

    1. Exactly! THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENT. The government and authorities have truly worked hard to make Jordan a better environment for women to succeed and rise in their professions, but in reality the situation regarding our culture is really devastating and plays against that. Again, thank you.

  16. Badia, you’re right. I live in the US, but also call Amman home. Our city, excuse me….our COUNTRY, has a problem with respect. The reality is that the guy who stares you down doesn’t give a damn about you or your opinion. Somehow, somewhere along the way, society transforms the minds of guys to believe that it’s ok to demean a woman by harassing her. The biggest problem is that we never discuss this issue properly as a society. The norm is to ignore it, and live with it. If parents began talking about this issue it could eventually change.

    But I’ll go back to lack of respect being the main issue. We as a people tend to have a very self centered view of our lives, and could care less about the others around us. This is exhibited from our driving and customer service, to the chaotic queues we have to endure at busy places like a government building.

    1. I fully agree with you. That is why I expressed this in my personal blog, because I have rarely seen it being written down or addressed! It is a massive issue which surprisingly some people are now denying it exists!! Thank you for your comment, I do agree, everything we do lacks respect.

  17. It’s sad when I read that even on a post like this, were there is nothing to argue about, were every word I read spoke truth and experience to me and to many many many others, yet some people still argue and still disagree!
    Don’t compare one problem to a “bigger” one! Two wrongs don’t make a right!
    I salute you Badia! For speaking the truth and the biggest proof that this post is talks about how big of an issue this is becoming is that it grabbed that many peoples attention! My Facebook wall is filled with young girls, boys and older women and men who are sharing this. I thank you for writing this, I thank you for speaking on behalf of many of us that are going through this daily thank you.

  18. Hmmm I lived in amman for the first 2 years of uni life & transferred to Europe. Ever since I left, Im always visiting amman every 6 months bcuz I love the country. Currently living in Europe & I’m debating whether to move and settle in Amman or the US. :/ Yes men do stare like hound dogs, what I always did was turn around and say out loud, ‘what are you looking at”!! Either in english or arabic and immediately the guys would either apologize OR turn their faces so no one notices that I was referring to them. Well anyway, I had no clue about the girls being followed at night. Phieewww I guess I was a lucky one 😮 . Very surprising and shocking to hear. From all the experiences you had living in amman for many many years, would you say I’m crazy for considering to settle in amman by myself? I’ve been debating with myself for months, whether to move to Amman or the US. What would you do, being that you’ve lived and experienced Amman?

    1. Please do check my previous blogposts, I talk about Amman and Jordan in general. I love my country, and no matter how many times I say it I won’t give it justice. It is a beautiful beautiful place filled with historical ancient and mesmerising places. The people are generous and helpful. I would never choose to live anywhere else. BUT, what I am pointing out in my post, is the worrying escalating problem of men feeling free to verbally or physically harass girls, and justifying their actions by pointing out to what the girl is doing or wearing. Jordan never had this problem, and it is quickly increasing. 10 years ago, this problem was extremely minor. Now, it causes inconvenience, and limits the places a female is accepted in. The roots of the social culture is the problem, and the poorly enforced laws and regulations.
      Regarding your question, US and Amman are two different places. But if it were in my hands, I would definitely choose Amman. Me talking about this is only to benefit it and enhance my country, I am worried about it. It is not to destructively criticise it, but I cannot watch my country go downhill and stand still! Good luck with your choice, remember if you really enjoyed Amman, then you’ll enjoy living here and experiencing a very diverse city.

  19. I wonder if girls also feel uncomfortable when a higher class male checks them out, vs a darker guy in a dishadashe. I’ve walked many times with my female friends in Amman, and they seem not to mind when a clearly wealthy male checks them out.

    not denying the issue we have…this is just a real sincere question, and one that would ask the females to be honest with themselves, perhaps.

    1. I do have a problem with your question here. ‘Checking out a girl’, which I am COMPLETELY against it is unethical and wrong, is SO different from staring at her like you are going to rape her at any time, or verbally insulting her with comments. Dark, higher class, or blonde, it is all the same. Females should not feel like they do not ‘belong’.

  20. sorry, coming back to this. i feel all your points are valid, but i usually like rants to have a proposed solution.

    ive lived in foreign (western) countries most of my life, and i’ve witnessed men goggling and hooting and yelling at girls, regardless of how they’re dressed. Jordan has this issue but at an amplified level. No arguing.

    However, I felt that your post, though valid, made it seem as if there’s really no solution, that this is a social problem unique to us. So the debate was over from the beginning…it seems to fix it we need to overhaul our whole socio-cultural dynamics, overlooking that many studies show that women face profound discrimination in the West (seriously, have you been to a frat house party?):

    http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics/statistics-academic-studies/

    http://www.stopstreetharassment.org/resources/statistics/sshstudies/

    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2011/04/04/feds-investigate-sex-assault-claims-at-yale-university/

    All of these are not to distract form our issue we have in Jordan. Please don’t reply as if I’m saying “other countries have the same problem, so it’s ok” (im not).

    The reason I’m sharing this is to highlight that our problem isn’t a social phenomenon, but rather a legal one because LAWS IN DEVELOPED STATES ARE APPLIED. Jordan’s government is so weak that it can’t apply laws on traffic tickets, how to do it in criminal law is something beyond my comprehension. (you did law, so i’m sure you get what i mean).

    anyways, im writing very sincerely, and again need you to know i recognize your post, but would like to give a perspective on how to solve it, by understanding the deeper socio-economic variables in the equation.

    as many others in the comments have said, that this is quite new and a decade ago we didn’t have this issue (at least not to this level, and ignoring the incomprehensible rape laws). The reason for this is because at that time the government and law had a weight, and laws were taken to be applied. we have become so backward in almost all daily activities of Jordanian life, and I blame a neglected education system, lack of political will, and lack of upholding laws against corruption that have opened the doors for all forms of criminal activity to flourish.

    would love to hear your feedback.

    .

    1. I do agree with you. However, the social aspect concerning this is really significant. What is being taught in schools and in the community in general affects the mentality of people. I am a strong advocate of the application of law in Jordan, its enforcement is very weak. Dubai, for example, fines or even gives a jail punishment, for any verbal or physical harasser. With time, the problem decreased. Here, it is not really easy to do that, and this makes the problem escalate. I agree with you, many many things play a part in this, and if we do not reform our educational institutions and the enforcement of the law, the situation is going to get worse! Thank you for your ‘rant’ (as you call it), I appreciate it as a comment on my post.

      1. lol i call everything a rant, not at all derogatory 🙂

        Yes, with unemployment, lack of education (really, schools have become buildings for parents to jail their kids during daytime), and other economic/political negatives (corruption, inflation, loss of sense of human dignity)……no one in their right mind can expect anything.

        For example, i’ve been to Muscat, and I saw a foreigner enter a public beach in a two-piece bikini….and not one of the locals were looking, let alone stare.

        Thanks for the reply, and for allowing me to express my opinion on your rant/piece :p

  21. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Jordan

    “In addition, there are no provisions under the Labor or Penal Codes to protect women against sexual harassment. This lack of legislation explicitly protecting women exposes them to harassment both at home and in the workplace. Jordan is a member of many international organizations that guarantee basic human rights to women.[6]”

    1. Of course it doesn’t! NO religion ever which sends the message of peace would encourage such disgusting behaviour. It may be partly related to education and extremetism!

  22. Oh god the amount of times I’ve been followed by other cars is ridiculous.
    Most of the time, to deal with the situation, I would find the closest police officer and just open my car window, not even say anything to the police officer, and the car just runs full speed away from the whole street when they see that I’m going to tell the police! This story also shows that these males that staring, shouting out comments and following are also afraid of getting in trouble, so if there was just some punishments for such behavior I’m sure it will quickly fade!
    Thank you for your post, I hope it reaches the right people.

  23. I am a jordanian woman, have had a few incedents as mentioned above, yet will not generalize. Ppl u saw around court are ppl exposed to all sort of crimes on daily basis, perhaps they were curious and guessing what brought u here, perhaps u r pretty to a degree they haven’t seen b4, perhaps they come from an underfortunate background that they see it amusing to see a lady not guarded by the arms of a man. Im not giving them excuses nor being tolerant, it is just feeling sorry for those underfortunate. I am a 31 yrs old jordanian woman living by myself, most of my outings with friends are at night time after 8pm due to working hours, we go all over amman but we don’t see what u have described above. And yes i do drive a car and havent been harrased as ur friend told u not even once. It is not amman nor jordanian cultural issue, it all depends on family background, and not all families perspective are the same. Yes u agree with you rainbow street is not as family friendly as it used to be, but is it due to cultural change? No it is not ppl r still the same, yet people from our background, who dont see women as weird objects, are no longer going to rainbow street for it has been occupied by the underfortunate society, whereas they have been living in Jordan since ever but we haven’t had the chance to. Meet them before, for they used to be in their own closed territory and society, now with digital marketing they try to follow trend of *normal* ppl and come to the cool places to hang out. Again those need our sympathy and not resentment for they r living a struggle of wanting to follow their parents and closed society regulations or becoming cool like the cool ppl they see on social media. Thus, they need our understanding and attempt to let them see that we are all the same. It might take years and generations but it is doable after all

    1. Actually I find your comment very offensive to those with unfortunate backgrounds. This is a very very POOR and disturbing generalisation. Stereotyping is a very dangerous thing, and what you’re doing is that you’re saying that people from villages and ‘strange’ societies are the ones behaving inappropriate, but this is completely wrong as whatever background you come, ethics is a different matter. 31 years old and never ever felt discomfort passing a male dominated street?!? wow. But hey, good for you!:)

  24. “I wonder why you almost crashed your car just because there was a FEmale in front of you and you had to look?” Amazing. Literally all I wanted to say. Today this exact scene happened with me and well, I don’t exactly inspire femininity. But I guess it’s just because I am a FEmale. I laughed about it, really, what a ridiculous place we have come to. You’re not exaggerating at all and no one will ever understand unless they were in that position.

  25. This post surely stirred some action 🙂

    I hope all this talk goes beyond and achieve a much-needed change effort. It can be done, baby-steps + firmness.

    Thank u Badia.

  26. I agree with the concept of your article, there are many problems with the way women are treated in Jordan, and it’s not getting any better.

    However, I don’t agree with what you said here:
    “A women, in Jordan at least, is someone who is expected to get married and raise a family and that is it. She is not expected to walk down the streets, go to a public authority, go to a ‘male dominated’ restaurant or street, enjoy a night walk or even a day one.”

    As a Jordanian female that gets stared at and hears all sorts of comments anytime a day, like the rest, I feel like you are exaggerating the situation in this point particularly. Just because men stare, it doesn’t mean that females are “expected” to stay home. Females still go out in the streets, go to a public authority and enjoy walks.

    And regarding your friend, please inform her that she can simply contact 911 and explain to them the exact situation and see what happens. This has happened to me so many times during day and night, I called 911 and headed to the nearest patrol to me (which I was directed to by the police) where they arrested the people in the other car.

    Women ARE harassed, made feel uncomfortable and judged every single day. It’s annoying but it doesn’t stop our lives and it never will. Let’s change instead of blame and complain 🙂

    1. “Let’s change instead of blame and complain ” I am not in a position of any authority to try and change, this is a personal blog if you have not noticed and it aims to enable me to vent out. Stating out a VERY obvious issue which is worrying is not complaining, I don’t see where the complaining in the blog post. 911 has not helped at all, I once stopped a police man and he joked about it. You can ask people who study outside of Amman, like Irbid and Aqaba, how many police patrols stop them just because they are females. I am not generalising but it DOES HAPPEN.
      Where did you see in the post that I said staring leads to women being expected to get married and raise a family, you can check this documentary ليلى أكلتها الذئاب which speaks of the REALISTIC situation of women. The hundreds of women you know does not represent the 8 million Jordanian society, so please know more about the reality of the issue not only what appears on the face of it.
      And I disagree, if this problem keeps on going on and people like you pretend its like the norm, and do not “complain” about it or demand change, then our future is extremely dark. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF AND ACKNOWLEDGE THAT A PROBLEM EXISTS. And if you are the Luma on my mind (Leen’s sister) I was inspired by her story when she was stuck in Abdoun, let her tell you about it.
      Please don’t misunderstand the post, I rely on people like you to back me up on this!

      1. I agree, to start this we have to stop it.

        However it will take time, we can start with our children, and that will hopefully spread it around as changing the society suddenly would not work. We need to be patient.

        Also, don’t forget about the immigrants that keeps on coming. With all do respect, they are usually the ones who stare, so it’s not only in Jordan, it’s all over Middle East.

  27. Thank you for such an honest reflection. I’ve been battling this issue in Jordan for a while in my mind and the word “stranger” is the most accurate depiction yet of how the reality of life for a girl in Jordan is. Great post!

  28. This is a very good article, I agree. I have lived in Jordan my whole life, I’ve been abroad many times and now I have settled in Europe, and I can see how something as SIMPLE as men staring has ACTUALLY psychologically affected me. I’m so used to going out of my way to avoid a street when I see a bunch of men standing around the corner, that I dread and even hesitate now to go to hot dog stand or such if it is surrounded by men. I became so insecure from people staring in Jordan, that people find it peculiar here that when someone is looking at me, ( I follow my mother’s advice) I stare at the ground. And i am personally ashamed of myself to find that I let it get to me so much.

    And staring is INTERNATIONALLY impolite, however I don’t think there’s so much anyone can do about it. Like many people stated before, people in different or even better educated, richer, developed…etc. countries also stare (I can sit in the train here for 40 minutes with a person opposite me ogling me, again, I just look to the ground). The only difference between these people staring and Jordanian men staring, is that when a man stares at me in Jordan ( I will say this personally, and I’m not generalizing) I feel like he IS raping me even if only with his eyes. It’s sexual, invasive and frightening, you can actually feel the disgusting filth going through his mind. This is of course only if he doesn’t so ‘eloquently’ verbally express it.

  29. This is a really good issue to talk about. In Jordan, yes men treat and look at us as if we are young naive women. When the truth is, teenagers girl tends to be more mature than men, as men usually start to mature late in life. However, I would still like to point out, just like some fellows in the comments, they look at us as if we are piece of meat. Just don’t forget, with the rights we have, we are in somewhat better situation comparing to some countries.

    Just like you mentioned getting educated in UK, Jordan has 90% education of girls, which is pretty good, comparing to Yemen which has 66%.

    Also in Jordan their is some open kindness. Saudi Arabia has a rule for women for not being allowed to drive !

    All I am trying to say, is to be thankful for where we are so far, and we can always improve. By that, it starts with us women. we should start to raise our children, especially males, to respect others. As it is also very common for boys being big heads from their parents, disrespect females and think that he has the right to insult/ hit her. As I myself experienced that (not to hard though), and my 6 year old self always knew that was improper.

    1. In the first paragraph, I meant that Girls could be more mature than BOYS.

      They become men, when they are.

  30. you just literally wrote down what i experience every time i go to Jordan. They make me feel like a piece of trash, worst feeling ever! And every year, its getting worse. And the sad part when a girl complains about the situations she’s put in (harassment, insult, rape ect…) she’s the one blamed.

    1. Really glad you saw Amman safer than London. But please do not claim that women have MORE freedom living in Jordan than in the UK. It is not only invalid, but illogical. Every country has harassment, but Jordan does not punish for it, and the people are seeing it as the ‘norm’ hence its escalating in a worrying scale.

  31. طلاب جامعة بيت لحم ينظمون مسيرة ضد التحرش الجنسي

    i was actually looking for a video done by some students in Jordan University but couldn’t find it.
    this video is also interesting, they stepped up at least. they’re doing something about it rather that finding irreverent excuses such as how its “normal” for a man to stare and about how we have bigger issues.

    and for anyone who thinks its “normal” this is for you

    IS IT NORMAL FOR A PERSON TO SCREAM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET WHENEVER THEY SEE A WOMEN ?

    IS IT NORMAL TO HEAR MALES WHISTLING WHEN ANY GIRL WALKS BY?

    IS IT NORMAL FOR A CAR TO FOLLOW YOU WHILE YOUR WALKING TO THE SUPERMARKET ?

    IS IT NORMAL FOR CARS TO FOLLOW YOU WHEN UR DRIVING ?

    IS IT NORMAL FOR A GROUP OF GUYS TO STARE AT YOU WHILE YOUR WALKING AND LOOK AT YOU IN A WAY THAT MAKES YOU FEEL LIKE UR JUST AN OBJECT, AN ENTERTAINMENT TO THEM ?

    AND IS IT NOT THAT BIG OF AN ISSUE? DO WE REALLY HAVE BIGGER ISSUES THAN THE SAFETY OF THE PEOPLE LIVING IN OUR COUNTRY?

    NO BADIA IS NOT EXAGGERATING AT ALL ! IF ANYTHING SHE DIDN’T SAY ENOUGH!
    I DON’T THINK ANYONE CAN SAY ENOUGH THINGS ABOUT HOW MUCH EVERY SINGLE WOMEN IN JORDAN THAT HAS EVER WALKED A PUBLIC STREET HAS EXPERIENCED SOMETHING LIKE BEING STARED A, SCREAMED AT OR EVEN TOUCHED BY, YES TOUCHED BY MEN.

    EVERY WOMEN IN JORDAN HAS BEEN THROUGH THIS, YOU CAN DENY IT, YOU CAN SAY BADIA OVER EXAGGERATED.
    YOU CAN ALSO BE A WOMEN WHO IS SAYING THAT YOU NEVER EXPERIENCED SUCH A THING.
    (and if if if and another if, its true, you’ve really never experienced such behavior, then please share your secret with us 🙂 )
    BUT CAN YOU PROVE THAT ITS NOT TRUE? I DON’T THINK YOU CAN, GO TO CITY MALL, TAJ MALL, ABDOUN MALL, RAINBOW ST. GO ANYWHERE IN AMMAN, NOT EVEN ANYWHERE IN JORDAN, JUST AMMAN,
    WALK TO THE SUPERMARKET, WALK TO A RESTAURANT AND SEE HOW MANY CARS WILL START TO HONK THERE HORNS, HOW MANY WHISTLES YOU’LL GET, HOW MANY MEN WILL STOP THEIR CARS TO JUST TO STARE OR GIVE YOU SOME REALLY OFFENSIVE COMMENTS,
    WHAT EVER YOUR WEARING WHATEVER YOUR DOING YOU WILL FEEL THAT YOU ARE NOT NORMAL THAT YOU ARE UNSAFE AND NEED TO REACH YOUR DESTINATION SOON BEFORE SOMETHING REALLY DANGEROUS HAPPENS TO YOU.

    thank you Badia for reminding us, women that we should not tolerate such behavior and that we need to step up.
    real men and women need to step up!

    1. I blv it is this video?

      I am from Jordan and know for sure such things happen on daily basis (uni-environment and beyond)

      Thanks for sharing the link & story from بيت لحم

  32. hey i remember when i was a kid guys wouod stare at guys just to start a trouble and it will go on like (why are you looking at? did you loose something in my face?) and then stupid young kids fight would start.
    its less now i see but maybe you girls can start a campaign of (lesh btig7ar)
    am sure at least 70% of the guys will not answer feel ashamed and drop there eyes maybe they even stop doing it.
    there will always be the (nawar) that will answer back and maybe even be ruder. but i think its worth a shot.
    my fellow jordanians as i gathered we are a strange kind, showing that we are super macho but intact we are very feminum and shy, as soon as reality hits there faces gently they back off.
    i remember one of my tricks even though am an atheist as i passed by a gang of stearring guys looking for trouble was saying slama 3alaikum and you could see that they drop there eys and answer walaykum salam.
    🙂 good luck! our country is a tough sale. 😦

  33. Badia, I am a 45 year old Palestinian-Jordanian who wrote a similar entry in my personaly diary some 30 years ago. It was a challenge to even step into the grocery shop in my neighbourhood. This was my neighbourhood too and I hated the bullying. It was tough but I am hard headed and so I started imposing my presence by walking in and saying very loudly السلام عليكم يا جماعة or simply صياح الخير and keeping eye contact. Everything changed when I did that. You show a strength of character that forces them to respect you even if they don’t want you there. I can promise that if you engage them first they will look away.

    1. I am sorry but I cannot engage with people who look at females like they want to rape them or verbally insult them just because they see something they do not like. It does not give them the right. Your solution may have worked previously, but the problem is on the rise, and men like these are increasing because there are simply no limits put!

  34. I don’t know. sounds like you could avoid this by being a little more confident. who the fuck cares who is staring at you. Women stare at men and men even stare at other men. It’s just what happens in a developing country where familiar faces are starting to look unfamiliar. of the 9 million people living in Jordan, only 3 million are true bread. Everyone has somewhat of a different culture. Beduins live right behind Taj mall -still riding around with horses. Even though Jordan is a poor country, a high number of people seem to ride a BMW- looking for that attention you don’t admire. This article is a little negative, I think. Not enough argument is here to back up the statement of “loosing half a population” Yet it’s been shared by so many young women on facebook. Jordan should be proud to have already done so much for their women in the last 68 years, especially compared to its surrounding countries. It’s just not fair to have a bad day, and write about it.

    I still understand where you are coming from. The problem is not you- but the staring wont stop. Try not giving a shit and you may find that you are better than everyone else.

    1. I think that is why SO many little people talk about this in Jordan, because people like you make it their fault for being ‘not confident’. NOTHING should excuse the dirty looks, the verbal insults and the physical harassment, NOTHING. Many many manyyyyy countries expanded and the populations increased with different ‘people’ coming from all around, masking that as an excuse for men to look at girls like they want to rape them, almost causing an accident because they cannot focus on their driving is ignorant, it is like placing the blame on the person being looked at and not on the person who is looking. It is disgusting, and IT IS NEGATIVE. I am sorry but I cannot be positive when I see my country going backwards. We can ADDRESS THE ISSUE RECOGNISE IT AND START FINDING SOLUTIONS.
      It is not a bad day, it is a cumulative of many many years and finally being able to write about it. Many girls shared their stories. Don’t make it the norm, please don’t!!

  35. Here’s my personal take on this, the objectification of women is a common issue that needs to be dealt with, and this is a global issue not a Jordanian one, that said, I think it’s easier to see in Jordan because -sadly- there’s no shame associated with the act, while there’s a social understanding in most other countries that this is wrong. Point is, What an American -for example- thinks, a Jordanian thinks and acts upon. Lastly, I’m sorry that you have to go through this -anywhere in the world-, yet, it’s smart women like yourself who speak out are the solution to this way of thinking.

    1. THANK YOU. That is exactly what I am trying to say. In Jordan (I don’t know about other countries in the Middle East), it is becoming to be socially acceptable and there is no law to protect the victim of such inappropriate unethical behaviour. People claiming that it doesn’t happen, or that we should ignore it, is extremely dangerous as it allows this issue to escalate.

      1. @Badia:
        I agree, but I’d rather find a way to dig deeper and solve the problem on a thought-level, anyways, discussing this publicly is always a step forward.

        PS: There’s another comment from me up there, that was a reply to another commenter and was not directed at your post

      2. Although I don’t disagree with some of your points, I still feel a bit ticked off at how you addressed the issue.. You made the men in Jordan seem like really bad guys.. And you generalize too much. And if you claim you’re from Jordan, shouldn’t you take a little bit more pride and not make it seem so bad? I mean.. Yes, guys stare a bit too much in this country when it comes to girls, does it need to be changed? Yes.. But the statistics on rape in Jordan compared to the UK or the US is much much lower, unless you have proof I am unaware of that says so otherwise. And keep in mind the message you’re sending to the people outside. That we’re a backwards society that are willing to jump like monkeys at the very first sighting of a woman.. This isn’t animal planet. Overall, I understand your point, but not fully, well.. I guess it is hard to fully understand it since I’m a guy. But know this, when I visit NY in summer or winter break with my sister, the attention and disapproving eyes that almost leads to assault at times (once it did) is far worse than here in Jordan, a Muslim woman in NY struggles much more than a few aggressive men towards staring.. But at the end of the day everyone is entitled to their own opinion.. You should have focused on the staring issue strictly, rather than rant about rape in Jordan which is an uncommon matter that doesn’t occur that often. And even when it does, it isn’t on a daily basis like most western countries.

      3. Because I love Jordan I will address the issue in the harshest way ever. Rape doesn’t occur that often? ha, you don’t hear about it because no one gets convicted as law 308 protects them, not because it does not happen!
        I am entitled to rant about anything I want really, it does happen on a daily basis, with every women, on every street. I challenge anyone who wants do deny it. Look beyond your nose, and know that when we criticise our country, address an issue, it is because we want it to be the best, not fall into the dark!

  36. thanks for the post. I am glad that this anti-social sexist phenomenon is addressed publicly, which is a step further on the road to solving it. Yet how odd! The argument in the blog coincides with my negative thoughts and uneasy feelings which I exchanged with my husband a few days ago associated with going back home. Since I am going to Amman this summer, there is this sort of discomfort that haunts me. It is the same discomfort that the writer as well as her readers experience on the streets of Amman. As someone live in the west, who have experienced the freedom of dress as part of my freedom of expression regardless of my gender, race or color and much a simple human right, it saddens me that I will be deprived of these rights while in my home country? It is ashame that one feels better off and feels home, accepted and respected in “بلاد الكفار” but not in his own country!
    Where I live, staring is not only socially an unacceptable practice but also considered illegal and goes under sexual harassment crimes. A male who stares at women is viewed by the society as a psychopath who is forced by law to follow psychological treatment.

    Actually, my impression of a male who stares at a woman and utters dirty comments is similar to that of an animal who is setting for a mating ritual . This male animal is driven by his beastly sexual instinct whom he is incapable to control. And you question this male how dare you? and his reply would be blaming the victim. My response to such a response would be how come western men are more self deciplined and more civilized on the street? do they have more brain cells than Arab men? Yet, what makes the problem greater is the patriarchal society that grants males a higher social status and support behaviours that expose their masculinity ending up demeaning and insulting females by visually and verbally raping them with the blessing an consent of the social system.

  37. Hmmm, you’re post reminds me vaguely of the article written by Mona Eltahawy. And, for many of the same reasons her article was criticized I’ll criticize this. The problem is you’ve appointed yourself spokesperson for all Jordanian women and have also taken the initiative to explain how ALL Jordanian women, from the rural villages to upper class Amman feel and are treated in this society…I’m sorry, but what makes you qualified to state how all women are treated and feel?
    Yes, women are stared at, but this does not happen to ALL women, ALL the time, in ALL areas as you claim. And I don’t understand how that backs up your claim that women are not accepted in Jordanian society or treated as equals? Your post is insulting to not only Jordanian men, whom you demonize as men who prey on women, but to women you have stripped of their voice and identity(I see that you have disregarded the comment of EVERY person who disagreed with you) “A woman, in Jordan at least, is someone who is expected to get married and raise a family and that is it. She is not expected to walk down the streets, go to a public authority…” And which Jordan exactly are you talking about exactly, because the Jordan that I live in is a Jordan full of women who do ALL these things, who actually dominate the public sphere more than men (females at University of Jordan outnumber males 2:1)
    You point out that this is a “personal blogpost,” but the thing is, when you generalize and stereotype a whole country, it ceases to be personal.

    1. I did not qualify myself for anything. Again, a personal blogpost is like a personal diary, I get to say whatever I want to say. Of course I am going to disagree with someone who tells me ‘oh I am a woman and I never felt discomfort by the stares or the verbal insults’.
      Women status is going down, whether you want to believe it or not. Ask social professors, watch documentaries and read updated books. Our society is not thinking of a women as an equal anymore. I still do everything I want in Jordan, it doesn’t stop me, but I feel it will eventually. That is it. Again, I am free to say whatever I want here, I did not expect the whole post to go viral. You seem like someone who loves Jordan, I wish people like you would back me up on this, and work to make it a better society which accepts women, and that the inappropriate behaviour becomes legally unacceptable.
      I am just surprised how maybe more than 3K of women addressed and recognised this worrying behaviour, those in Uni told me this is exactly how they feel, while 20 others including you insist to deny it claiming that the hundreds of women they know are the whole of Jo.

    2. Dear Lillian, First i want to answer you on this part

      “” “A woman, in Jordan at least, is someone who is expected to get married and raise a family and that is it. She is not expected to walk down the streets, go to a public authority..”
      And which Jordan exactly are you talking about exactly, because the Jordan that I live in is a Jordan full of women who do ALL these things, who actually dominate the public sphere more than men (females at University of Jordan outnumber males 2:1) “””””
      she’s talking about how society views a women as someone that is expected to get married and raise a family, NOT about them not having an education, i don’t think she said get married instead of going to university, i don’t think she said all families want their daughters to get married and have children and that’s it.

      i think what shes saying is that how our society sees women. and yes actually she’s right, Women are not EXPECTED by the public to do what men do,
      yes women are doing that, and their families are sending them to schools, universities they’re getting jobs and all that BUT that does not mean society sees them as an equal to men, they STILL see them as “someone who is expected to get married and raise a family and that is it”.

      I’m a Jordanian women, my friends are Jordanian women, I see Jordanian women everyday, sometimes I even sit with my friends in a corner and look at how men look at EVERY SINGLE WOMEN THAT’S PASSING BY, yes EVERY SINGLE WOMEN THAT’S WALKING IN PUBLIC PLACES, IN STREETS, WALKING TO THE SUPERMARKET, WALKING FROM SCHOOL TO HER HOUSE
      YES EVER SINGLE WOMEN
      EVER SINGLE FEMALE
      EVERY SINGLE GIRL
      ALLLLLLLLLL OF US.

      if there is one problem that all women go through in Jordan its that they have ALL been in such experiences if they walk anywhere outside,

      My friends and my relatives live all around around Jordan.
      some in Madaba some in Zarqa , some in Salt and some in Amman, I’ve heard them ALL complaining about how unconformable it is for them to walk alone in front of a group of men or how some even start whistling,
      how unsafe and powerless they feel when men start following their cars, one of my cousins once told me “when someone is following you, to lose them u need to go to a dowar, edwi 3’amazik ka2nik tal3a min dowar w a5er thanyeh erja3i od5oli el dowar, heik homeh btla3o w btday3yhom”
      thats how much thinking she put into this, is all that just because of one incident? no its because that’s what really is happening, OPEN YOUR EYES

      i witnessed cars making a u turns again and again just to pass by some women who walk on the pavements.

      My friends on facebook are all sharing this, why?
      is it because sodfeh, maybe its just my facebook friends? dont think so.

      the reason YOU found this post Lillian, is because of how many people agreed with this and experienced this and thus shared it, if it wasn’t a real VERY BIG issue then it wouldn’t have gotten all this positive feedback.

      “The problem is you’ve appointed yourself spokesperson for all Jordanian women and have also taken the initiative to explain how ALL Jordanian women, from the rural villages to upper class Amman feel and are treated in this society…I’m sorry, but what makes you qualified to state how all women are treated and feel?”

      actually i don’t see where she “appointed herself as the spokesperson for all Jordanian women” by saying what she thinks, shes not writing in the newspaper, shes writing on her own blog, and she’s writing what her eyes are seeing, what she witnessed and what women she knows feel as well

      When i read your comment specially the part: “The problem is you’ve appointed yourself spokesperson for all Jordanian women and have also taken the initiative to explain how ALL Jordanian women, from the rural villages to upper class Amman feel and are treated in this society”

      i see someone trying to focus on VERY LITTLE STUPID THING, its like when my younger brother has to wake up to school at 6 am and then if you wake him at 5:55 am he says: NO its not 6 u said 6 and its 5:55
      and starts a problem about how its not 6 it’s 5:55, when the important part is him waking up for school and not this 5 minute difference,
      and thats what your exactly doing, saying its not ALL women and not ALL men and trying to turn the problem on the text, FOCUS ON THE PROBLEM! solving the issue that we know is there and is increasing.

      My opinion, my friends opinions my relatives opinions and ALL Jordanian women who go through these problems (who i think are ALL WOMEN except you i guess? absar yimkin 3a rasek reesheh, bas jad please please this is my 3rd time asking if you really don’t get harassed when for example walking to the supermarket then tell us what you do! that would be a start to solving this problem!)
      is that finally someone is speaking up, please if you care about Jordan then be smart and acknowledge the problem and let’s work together for a solution, don’t deny it please or look at it as a simple normal thing,

      She wrote this on her personal blog, it got shared alot because people are relating to it.
      I and everyone who’s shared this I’m sure relates, understands or witnessed these problem daily and thank her for writing about it,
      finally someone spoke out, and I find it really selfish when you try and cover it or something by just finding anything wrong with it and not acknowledging the seriousness of this problem.

      1. I blv I really need to acknowledge this comment and say -although a bit harsh albeit the “why” is understandable- u hit ALL the nail right on the head and I thank you for it.

  38. Great article !

    I believe renovating the educational and culture systems should be a top priority for the Gov. Supporting women to live a NORMAL life as BEINGS, and not to feel vulnerable for any sudden attack ( including verbal abuse) is crucial and urgent.

  39. I like where u r going with this, i totally agree, and may i add ( labelled ), women are labelled in the jordanian community.

  40. That phenomena you are pointing out exists on a global level, all women all over the world complain about men staring at them, that does not mean you are undermined by any means, it just simply indicates the eternal sexual attraction that comes from a man towards a woman, and that is why they stare, rape is global, staring is global, etc… But I believe women in Jordan are very powerful and mentally developed, and they have a do or die mentality which is great, that is why they are where they are in Jordan, please stop undermining your gender…

    1. It exists on a global level ( although I completely disagree with this, as in the UK if you stare at a woman in such a manner then you can be guilty of a sexual offence, not mentioning the fact that it is an act which is considered shameful). Stating out insulting comments just because a woman passed by you is disgusting and needs laws and regulations to be fixed). but if you want to believe that it happens all around the world, then two wrongs do not make a right. You actually just undermined females because you denied that a problem exists. Look around you and acknowledge it.

  41. Although what was written is true , you cant blame men for everything because there are some women that dress and act inappropriate as if they seek attention and when you ‘look’ at them the pretend as its your fault , but that does not make men always right i mean in every society there are the good people and bad ones there for you cant say that all of our males are alike

  42. What many may fail to acknowledge is the fact, that while it’s true women may have reached many higher up positions, the truth is they’re still kept down by a glass ceiling which at times is reinforced by laws. Interesting piece.

  43. I totally agree with every word thats been said in the artical, for its a problem women face everyday, irritating to some point.

  44. Badia, staring and sexual harassment is a problem and a problem that has to be fixed, but the way that you have put it in your blog was a bit harsh cuz it seemed like you have generalized the whole community. I lived in Jordan for a while and as a guy with friends i never recall seeing someone staring to the point where the girl felt it or it was disrespectful. Plus i have seen girls following guys and hitting on them in public.

    You shouldnt compare Jordan with any other country just like you did with the Uk. Now as you mentioned UK is “safe” although the numbers say different, 43% of the women in UK get sexual harassed, and this is a huge number, whether it was on the streets, the subway or at work.

    Therefore this problem isnt only found in Jordan but in every part of this world. like i said this is a problem and it has to be fixed, but i just thought you were a bit harsh in your blog in the way you attacked jordan.

  45. I did, and if you really think it “exists on a global level” then your blog title should focus “sexual harassment” and not “women and Jordan dont mix”. Like i said i agree it is a worldwide gruesome act that has to end.

    Men should respect women no matter what.

    1. Do you know why you have statistics of UK sexual harassment charges?! Because harassers are ACTUALLY CHARGED AND CONVICTED. There are laws. Imagine our statistic if we actually had one! I don’t care about the world, I care about my country and how I feel when I walk down my street. this behaviour should be shameful and regulations should be enforced to stop it. If we continue like this, we are the next close minded ‘no women’ society

      1. Actually the statistics of the UK sexual harassment was based on a study of 25000 British women living in the UK. 🙂 For what i know is if a girl in jordan actually files a report to the police that she has been harassed, charges will be taken against them.

      2. Then that it is completely unreliable! I am sorry but are you aware of the court systems in Jo? Ask your female friends or family if they are willing to. I am not going to even start comparing females in uk and jordan’s street as viewed by the society, we are not even close. Btw sexual harassment is different than staring like an animal or saying insulting comments

  46. SubhanAllah, my husband is visiting Jordan right now from the US after having lived in the US for six years … he said the same thing! He said that women, no matter how they dressed, were stared at mercilessly … He is very uncomfortable with what he is finding … Sad 😦

  47. Hello,
    First of all, bravo for this article 🙂 it’s sooo true. Its just a matter of education and i’m sure little by little, arab societies will change. Coz this problem is not just In Jordan unfortunately. But Jordan is a piece of cake comparing to some other arab coutries, especially in North-Africa … I’m french with tunisians origins living in Amman, and seriously, i never ever fell in danger in Jordan. On the contrary, people here are ok, and wont hesitate to help you. I go out, i go for crazy long walks in small streets, i enjoy the spirit of Amman like ever i want. Nobody never ever harassed me. Of course, there is always this wierd look on me, coz i look “ejnebiya’, western, im a woman…but seriously i really dont mind… It hurts only if you pay attention, if you care, but me, i dont care about them, i know what i worth, what im doing, im not offending anyone, or offended by anyone and if one of them try to harasse me, i bite…loool… No but seriously, its a matter of education, and with time it will change 🙂 Jordan and people here are beautiful, but unfortunalty there are douchbags everywhere, no matter the country you live in.. changes come with time, education, communication and some awareness campaign… We cant change people by force, otherwise it will be a disaster, the transition should be smooth 🙂 Yalla keep up the good mood and the beautiful smile no matter what. Cheers 🙂

    1. Education is one way, for the younger generation, laws and regulations as another for people who think it is ok to rape stare at females or say insulting comments. I also love my Jordan and walking in its beautiful streets, but the problem is escalating. All countries who reject women and have extremitism started with stares and comments and I’D HATE for Jordan to fall into this dark hole. That’s it. Again, harassment is different than rape staring and comments.Thank you for your nice comment 🙂

  48. I regret not being able to land on this post on the day it was written, my birthday. Well, I am taking a long endless grasp of air right now. I have been living in Greece for the past 10 months now to do my masters and I am completely changed, forever, for the things I have seen and witnessed. I honestly don’t know how our beloved country is even functioning without the total enrollment of women in society. I see women here do much better work than men and damn it they are even better at handling stuff most of the time. Men in Greece “look” at women all the time also but they do not stare, it’s like they appreciate the beauty, the style or the gestures but nothing harmless underneath that. I am truly sad and disgusted for each and every moment I spent in my life not being exposed to such a beautiful and necessary diversity in a culture. Everything aside, let’s move forward…our generation have the abilities to change this, we need to collaborate, increase empowerment and social movements to end such an epidemic. It takes a generation to change this so it might be us. I just can’t wait to go back to Amman to start a social movement or “guys-code-of-honor” with pins to identify those who pledged to be soldiers of change for others to follow. Thank you for the post and I think it’s time to stop complaining and begin the work.

  49. Why am i not surprised by this garbage, i’m willing to bet all my money this is coming from someone with a lot of time on their hands and nothing to complain about, i’m not saying the situation isn’t true, yes women do have it rough in Jordan, yes they get stared at all the time, regardless of what they wear, if you wan’t to have a nice, quiet walk un-bothered , go to lwebdeh, but anyway the person who wrote this , i bet you anything she doesn’t give a crap about how women are doing in her society, she proposes no solution or a single thought of how the situation is the way it is, simply this is just a long, boring and desperate cry for some attention, from someone with little to no intellect, imagination or emotion, a complete waste of time, i want my 5 minutes of life back.

    1. Wow what an extremely polite comment thet reflects objectivity:) this is a personal blog which allows me to ‘complain’ about any issue I want, nobody forced you to read my blog nor comment on it 🙂 second of all, the reason this social DISASTER is not being solved is because of people like you and their negative attitude who perceive anyone writing about it as ‘wanting attention’. You said it yourself, is it right for a WHOLE country to have only alluweibdeh safe for females?.
      I would rather ask you not to attack me as a person, but read through the issue instead of just ‘complaining’ if you hate that of course 🙂 thanks again and I am sorry my blog wasted your time.

      1. Sure, nobody forces me to read anything online, however it came my way and i am dangerously curious, or maybe hopeful, it may come as a surprise to yourself to know that there are men in Jordan who fight tooth and nail for women’s right and respect, starting with their own families, and when i occasionally read a blog about women’s rights in Jordan , i would rather it would be objective or at least somehow informative, not some jibber jabber, running of the mouth (or fingers in this case) like verbal diarrhea, please do not bother telling me that it is your personal blog, if you post something on the wordpress, you are bound to have reviews, that is common knowledge, next time make a post about a serious subject that involves thousands of people and not just yourself, at least put some effort into making it a well thought read, cheers.

      2. Actually no, I can remove any comment I like, and keep posting whatever I want, however I stupidly choose to approve comments like yours which continue to oppress any female who speaks about the issue. I wouldn’t get contacted more than 1,000 times if this was not a real issue. If you want to see it as some jib jab then be my guest, I hope this issue never evolves to public gang rape or sexual touching in public for you to see it as a ‘serious subject’.

    2. I wonder who is the attention-seeker.
      My guess u spent quite a time drafting this comment, or does it come naturally to u?

      1. I am the Grey raven, an internet superhero who fights word crimes, i do not seek attention, attention seeks me, oh! Don’t spend too much time on guessing things beyond your reach , you will hurt your brain 😉

      2. Haitham, I don’t think our internet superhero knows that when he comments and adds his email, he reveals his name. Don’t bother, just some people looking for a way to negatively criticise anyone who ruins their image of perfect Jordan.

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