WOFL Jordan

Mr. Faisal Shuboul Minister of Government Communications, in the opening ceremony of WOFL Jordan

I am honored to deliver a speech at the opening of the sixth edition of the “Women on the Frontlines” conference organized by the May Chidiac Foundation. I convey to you the greetings and well wishes of the Prime Minister, and I wish you success and prosperity in your discussions. I welcome you to Amman, the jewel of capitals, the sanctuary of Arabs, the capital of tolerance, harmony, dialogue, and peace. I am delighted to welcome Dr. May Chidiac, who is keen on holding this annual meeting in Amman, bringing together women leaders in their second country, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which values this gathering and celebrates every guest.

In this conference entitled “Women on the Frontlines,” I would like to emphasize that all decisions, legislations, and measures aimed at supporting and empowering women to be on the frontlines will not enable them to succeed unless they believe in themselves and their abilities. Moreover, the political and social environment must show sufficient respect for women and their role in society and public life.

Based on this belief and recognition of the Jordanian woman’s role, position, capabilities, and achievements, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has entered the beginning of its second century under the direct patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II, with three paths of modernization: political, economic, and administrative. Empowering women and enhancing their roles in various fields, as well as reducing the accumulated political, economic, and administrative gaps, are among the top priorities of these paths of modernization.

At the forefront of these efforts were the amendments made to the Jordanian constitution, which included rights for women. The most prominent addition was a paragraph to Article 6 stating, “The state ensures the empowerment and support of women to play an active role in building society, ensuring equal opportunities based on justice and fairness, and protecting them from all forms of violence and discrimination.”

In accordance with the royal directives and in response to the new constitutional provisions, the new laws, such as the Election Law for the House of Representatives, the Political Parties Law, the Local Administration Law, the Labor Law, and the Income Tax Law, have included rights for women aimed at supporting and empowering them in various aspects of life. The political impact will depend on the results of the upcoming parliamentary elections, which will be conducted based on the new election and party laws. Similarly, the results of the local elections, as stipulated by the Local Administration Law, will ensure that women are represented in municipal councils and governorate councils by no less than 25%.

On the administrative level of the government, this government has worked to enhance women’s empowerment in occupying advanced government administrative leadership positions. The number of women holding such positions has increased to 18 out of 97 positions, compared to only seven women in 2020 and 11 women in 2021.

As a member of the ministerial committee for women’s empowerment, chaired by Her Excellency our colleague Wafa Bani Mustafa, I would like to emphasize that the government is working according to a clear national strategy and in partnership with all sectors and institutions representing Jordanian women. This includes developing plans, programs, and measures to ensure a safe working environment for women without discrimination or marginalization. The strategy is supported by an inclusive media plan that responds to the new legislative achievements and advocates for women’s, children’s, and youth’s issues. It is important to highlight the role of local media outlets that consistently stood alongside women, their rights, and their fundamental role in development and nation-building.

In conclusion, we hope that our overall policies, legislation, and procedures will achieve the desired goals of women’s empowerment, which is inherently empowering for a secure, cohesive, and strong society in facing future challenges.

Read more: Khasawneh opens 6th ‘Women on Front Lines Conference’ in Jordan



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WOFL Jordan 2023 Dr. May Chidiac Opening Speech

I would like to say a word stemming from the heart before I start with the official text.

First of all, the presence of His Excellency, the Jordanian Prime Minister, Dr. Bishr Al-Khasawneh, who prioritized us today with his presence and the speech he gave during this occasion, is a great honor to us.

Of course, we also welcome the representative of the Prime Minister, who will also give a speech in a bit, Minister of Government Communications Mr. Faisal Shuboul.

I welcome all friends, ambassadors, ministers, and Minister Manqoush who is the first Foreign Affairs Minister in Libya. I do not know whom else to welcome, but allow me to shed light on my friend Celine Abou Ghazale because a few days ago we were mourning the loss of her father, and yet, she insisted to be here today at the Conference since it is dear to her. I found this so touching, and I know how much this conference has become dear to both Jordanian and Lebanese hearts as well as the hearts of all participants from various regions.

I would also like to welcome Their Royal Highnesses the Princesses, Princess Basma, who will be participating with us in one of the panels, and HRH Princess Dina, whose presence is also very dear to us today.

I don’t want to be excluding anyone. There are also diplomats, Lebanon’s ambassador, and the Kuwaiti Charge D’affaires. I know there are many present here, I’m sorry if I cannot name everyone, but from my heart, my joy today is indescribable with my return to my second home, Jordan.

His Excellency the Jordanian Prime Minister Dr. Bisher Al Khasawneh, the representative of the Hashemite Government, Mr. Faisal Shuboul Minister of Government Communications.

Your Excellencies and Distinguished Guests,

Members of the Diplomatic field and Political, Economic, and Media Corps, and Security Entities,

Representatives of Civil Society and Women’s Organizations,


Dear friends, honorable attendees,


With great joy and indescribable excitement, we gather once again in Amman, where five previous conferences of “Women on the Front Line – MENA Chapter” provided a platform for inspiring women from the Arab region and the world. It is true that the pandemic forced our absence for two years in 2020 and 2021. However, our return last year, with the encouragement of friends in Jordan, who are strong supporters of women’s issues and rights, was much stronger. This has made this event a prestigious and highly anticipated milestone on the agenda of women’s events and activities.

It is a great honor today to stand once again on this podium to launch this conference in its sixth edition titled “Women on the Front Line – MENA Chapter – Jordan 2023.”

Our conference this year also, as it was last year, is held under the patronage of His Excellency Prime Minister Dr. Bishr Al-Khasawneh, who graced us with his presence in person and his participation in the opening activities of this Conference and to whom we extend our welcome and thanks yet again. I also take this opportunity to renew my greetings to His Majesty King Abdullah II, who never hesitates to support any step that enhances women’s empowerment and contributes to the advancement of their capabilities. I also extend my greetings to Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah, who, as we witnessed earlier, was the first in providing her patronage to the first edition of the WOFL Jordan conference in 2016.

Undoubtedly, the climate of peaceful change that has begun to impose a new reality in the region is expected to ease the tensions that women have long paid the price for. However, the sparks of tension that are starting to subside on one front, as is the case in Yemen for example, do not take long to reignite in another country, as is the case in Sudan, erasing all the positive change that women, who participated in the revolution, achieved and their dream of a better future.

According to the report issued in the sixty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women held in March of last year, violence and “deep-rooted discrimination” remain at the top of the challenges that hinder the advancement of Arab women.

According to a report by ESCWA issued earlier this year, the representation of women in legislative, executive, governmental, and local bodies, as well as in decision-making positions, continues to be disappointing.

Indeed, the active participation of women in popular movements in several Arab countries has been considered a first step towards changing societal culture and the derogatory view towards them. However, the election results that followed these movements were disappointing, as women did not achieve acceptable levels of representation except in countries that implement quota systems.

Therefore, the challenges remain significant, especially in societies where women are still marginalized due to traditional and social values, while courageous and proactive women emerge, defying stereotypes and making their presence known, influencing public opinion and making a difference.

I will go over some examples, but I will not go into them in detail since we’re short on time.

I will stop on a part we have certainly all followed.

What is occurring in Iran, for example, where Mahsa Amini was a source of inspiration for the Iranian protests. Her arrest by the regime and what is called the “morality police,” specifically due to improperly wearing the hijab, and her death in custody led to wide-scale demanding protests reaching a point where even high school girls protested and challenged the security police campaigns.

While Egyptian women continue to be absent from civil and criminal justice platform, we saw that outside Egypt, there is a lady, who took one of the highest positions in one of the most important American universities. However, what happened in Egypt recently is that Radwa Helmi Ahmed took the platform of the Administrative Court in Egypt as the first female judge to hold this position. The law did not prohibit this, but the prevailing custom made it exclusive to men.

Since we are talking about Egypt, allow me to welcome the Egyptian star, who also fought against the tyrannical rule in Egypt. At a certain stage, she was found in direct opposition to extremism, and she is the star, Elham Shahine.

To quickly continue, in Lebanon, for example, the number of female officers increased. The number of female members of parliaments increased, they were six and are now eight, so barely, but we still consider it something good.

In Saudi Arabia, women are achieving accomplishments in various fields, including medicine, commerce, education, transportation, and military ranks. Women have also begun to be largely appointed to political and diplomatic leadership positions.

In the United Arab Emirates, women are succeeding, especially in the field of space such as exploration and much else, and they have majorly advanced.

Among Jordanian women, what is remarkable, apart from their achievements inside Jordan, for example, on the global level, the Jordanian Khayla Musa won a seat on Crawley Borough Council in the United Kingdom as a member of the British Labour Party.

On the sports front, Ayah Al-Majali became the first Jordanian to participate in the UEFA Women’s Champions League with the Olympique Lyonnais women’s team. Additionally, Jordan won two awards at the “Fatima bint Mubarak” Awards for Women’s Sports in Abu Dhabi.

Tunisian tennis player Ons Jabeur became the first Arab woman to reach the Wimbledon final, and it is the first time we ever see an Arab woman in tennis.

In Morocco, also on the sports front, it is a topic that is dear to Maha’s heart since she constantly runs in marathons. We have Bouchra Karboubi, who became the first female to officiate the final of the Throne Cup in Morocco. In other words, she was a referee in a football match. Therefore, there is remarkable progress in Arab countries.

I gave a couple of excerpts. These examples inspire a glimmer of hope for change, but they are not erasing the painful reality that women still experience worldwide. The rate of domestic violence remains high in countries like Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, and even the Gulf states. More laws and practical measures are needed to put an end to all forms of gender-based violence, eliminate discrimination in personal status matters, and abolish male guardianship (to the men, who are with us today, excuse us), and the men that permit travelling in some Arab countries, let us dream with you.

And if we shift our attention to Afghanistan, the scene is heartbreaking. After women’s struggle and their fight for their rights, the Taliban has returned to banning women’s education and preventing them from working.

There are positive points, and there are negative points.

At the May Chidiac Foundation, through our annual programs and especially through the conference we are holding today, we renew our faith in women, who are capable of overcoming all barriers. We take a new step in our humble journey to support women, who are undoubtedly capable, like men and even more, of making decisions.

As the May Chidiac Foundation has accustomed you, we will share a program full of inspiring stories that open up numerous avenues to success with Her Excellency, the Minister, Najla Manqoush, and Her Excellency, the French Minister of Education, Najat Belkacem among other various stories.

We wish everyone a special and fruitful day with us.

Welcome, everyone, to the Women on the Front Lines MENA Chapter Jordan 2023.

Long live you! Long live the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan! Long live the strong, resilient, mighty, free, shining, and talented Arab women, as they were, as they are today, and as they will always be.

Thank you.


read more: Khasawneh opens 6th ‘Women on Front Lines Conference’ in Jordan

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Khasawneh opens 6th ‘Women on Front Lines Conference’ in Jordan

AMMAN — Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh on Monday said that Jordanian and Arab women have left a distinguished mark on their societies over the years.

“Women in our area have proven themselves, and have assumed very high positions, and surely left an important mark on their own societies,” Khasawneh said.

However, “our societies are still dominated by masculine ideologies that relics from the past,” Khasawneh told the gathering.

“We need to put such ideas behind us, and aim to keep empowering women in our societies,” the premier stressed.

Khasawneh’s remarks came during the sixth edition of the “Women on the Front Lines Conference (WOFL) — the Middle East North African Region Edition — Jordan 2023”.

Khasawneh acted as patron to the event, which was organised by the May Chidiac Foundation (MCF) in Amman.

The one-day event saw the participation of HRH Princess Basma Bint Ali, HH Princess Dina Mired, as well as prominent figures in the fields of politics, diplomacy, media, arts, economics and technology.

Minister of Government Communications Faisal Shboul presented the official speech on behalf of Khasawneh, and noted that all decisions, legislation and procedures aimed at empowering women to be on the front lines “will not enable them to win the bet if they do not believe in themselves and their abilities”.

The minister added that the political and social environment should reflect sufficient respect for women and their role in society and public life.

At the beginning of the second centenary of the Kingdom, and under the direct auspices of His Majesty King Abdullah, the Jordanian state entered the three paths of modernisation: political, economic and administrative, Shboul said.

“Empowering women and strengthening their role in various fields is at the forefront of the priorities of the modernisation paths,” the minister stressed.

Shboul added that the government, under Royal directives, made several legislative amendments to empower women and increase their political participation, including the Political Parties Law, which “is expected to boost women’s presence in Parliament”.

“We will have to wait and see the results of the upcoming parliamentary elections, which will be held on the basis of the new election and party laws,” Shboul pointed out.

Also addressing the conference was President of MCF, May Chidiac, who praised the Kingdom’s efforts to enable and encourage women’s participation in public life.

“There are many challenges facing women in some societies where women’s roles are still absent due to traditions and social values,” added Chidiac, who was a former Minister of State for Administrative Development in Lebanon.

“There is no doubt that the struggle of societies is necessary for women to obtain their full rights, bearing in mind that what is meant here is the struggle of women and men together,” Chidiac said.

“The road may still be long, but we believe in the victory of the truth in the end,” Chidiac added.

MCF Executive Board member and chair of the conference Maha Shair pointed out the “courage of Jordanian women who played a pivotal role in developing the economy, education and healthcare system, and who actively contributed to the promotion of peace and stability in the region”.

The WOFL MENA Chapter-Jordan 2023 aims to enable women and to encourage them in their pursuit towards accomplishing sustainable goals that serve the public and societal good in all its dimensions, in addition to shedding light on the stories of ladies and young women who have achieved multiple successes and left their distinguished marks on various sectors.

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WOFL Jordan 2023 Welcome Notes Mrs. Maha Shair

It gives me great pleasure to stand once again here in Amman, representing the MCF Foundation and as the Chairperson of the WOFL Conference. I extend my greetings to the recipients of the “Path to Peace” award and the “Zayed Award for Human Fraternity” for the year 2022. And who else deserves these awards but His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein and Her Majesty Queen Rania Abdullah, who play their roles with utmost dedication to uphold and elevate the image of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and promote the role of Jordanian women in society and public affairs.

The year 2022 was remarkable for Jordan in terms of tourism prosperity on one hand and the outstanding achievements of its youth in various fields on the other hand. Whether in sports, arts, sciences, politics, or others, Jordanians, especially Jordanian women, left a distinct mark.

Speaking of the remarkable courage of Jordanian women, who have always been at the forefront of the struggle for their rights, development of their society, and contribution to progress, we see the importance of reminding ourselves: “Why Jordan?” Why did MCF choose Amman to host the Women on the Front Lines (WOFL) Conference in its Middle East edition? Simply? In appreciation of Jordanian women, who played a pivotal role in the development of the economy, education, and healthcare system. In appreciation of them, who have effectively contributed to promoting peace, stability in the region. They were at the forefront of combating terrorism and extremism. They played an essential role in fostering interfaith dialogue, and addressing the refugee crisis. They shattered stereotypes and proved that they are capable, like men, of facing all challenges with determination and courage. They have become a source of inspiration.

Today, in the sixth edition of our annual conference, we look forward to more stories and deeper experiences. We anticipate the participation of women from around the world who will share their experiences and the challenges they have faced in life with sincerity and transparency, both in this esteemed gathering and through live streaming on social media. These extraordinary women have fought against injustice and discrimination and have changed the reality.

And this time, we will listen to men as well…men who believe in women, value them, support them, and insist on their involvement in culture, media, art, and politics .Under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Jordan, Dr. Bisher Al-Khasawneh, we are pleased to announce the program for the sixth edition of the WOFL MENA CHAPTER-JORDAN conference, which includes the following:

We will begin with the first discussion through a special dialogue with Mrs. Najla Al-Mangoush, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Libya, the first Libyan female foreign minister and the fifth woman to hold this position in the Arab world.

In the field of politics and diplomacy, we will host a panel discussion with Her Excellencies: Dr. Nabeela Al-Mulla from Kuwait, the first diplomat from the Arab Gulf, Her Excellency the British Ambassador to Jordan, Bridget Brind, the Goodwill Ambassador for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in the Middle East and North Africa, Princess Basma bint Ali, Her Excellency Haifa Jediea, Head of the Saudi Arabian Mission to the European Union, and Ambassador Mira Daher, the Lebanese Ambassador to Italy, via the application Zoom. We will then hear from the first French woman to serve as Minister of Education, Higher Education, and Research, the French-Moroccan judge and politician, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, in a special dialogue.

Afterward, we will move on to a world that is now needed by every politician, diplomat, lawyer, and specialist in any field – the digital world and artificial intelligence. The second panel discussion will focus on the topic of CHATGPT, with the expertise of Dr. Rima Diab from Jordan, an artificial intelligence expert and advisor at Tesla and Galaxy Technology Foundation, Dr. Shurooq Amin, an artist from Kuwait, and from Lebanon, Dr. Manal Jalloul, an artificial intelligence consultant as well as Daniel Hatem, a financial advisor.

From the digital revolution to the social and political revolution, with women leading the protests, we will have another discussion table where we will listen to Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Middle East Magazine in New Lines Magazine, Rasha Al Aqeedi from Iraq, the political activist and National Coordinator of the taqaddom political party, Laury Haytayan from Lebanon, Tara Kangarlou, an Iranian writer and journalist specialized in Iranian and international affairs, and Rahela Sidiqi from Afghanistan, the founder and executive director of Rahela Association for Women’s Education in Afghanistan.

Finally, we will conclude by addressing women’s issues and shedding light on relevant social issues through art and creativity. In this dialogue, we will host Sadek Al-Sabah, the winner of the Lebanese National Cedar Medal and Chairman of Al-Sabah Brothers Company, who is considered one of the leading figures in the media industry in the Arab world. With him, we have the Syrian director Samer Al-Barkawi, who gained recognition for his work, especially in “Al Hayba,” and the Egyptian star Elham Shahine as well as Valérie Abou Chakra, the former Miss Lebanon.

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