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.