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Amal classroom training session for women
Jordan is gripped by high levels of unemployment, particularly among women. Only 14% of working-age women are economically active. Those who have not withdrawn from the labor force altogether face additional barriers to finding a job. In the face of these difficulties, there is hope, or “Amal” in Arabic. That’s the name of an AFD-financed project now tackling unemployment, particularly among the most vulnerable.

Unemployment rates among women stand at 25% - twice as high as for men. With AFD support, the NGO “Education for Employment – Jordan” (EFE-Jordan) has implemented the AMAL Project: Bringing Hope through Jobs for Young Jordanian and Syrian Refugees. The aim of the project is to work with more than 1,350 refugees, Jordanian youth and women so they become financially independent. 

The project will help develop skills and technical training that are in demand in the job market, followed by job seeking and entrepreneurial support. 

Preparation for competitive job markets 

Twenty-five year-old Asma Ahmed, from Syria received technical training in content writing, and took classes in interpersonal and communication skills. The program aims to equip women with the skills needed to access the highly competitive and growing “gig economy” – independent work, often online – and generate a source of income to support themselves.

Asma Ahmed

“I was a fresh graduate and unemployed, always looking for a new opportunity but it didn’t come along,” she says. “The training enabled me to learn more about online freelancing and pushed me to improve my skills. Now I’m proud to be working as a freelancing content writer with a good income to support myself and my family.”

According to Jordan’s Department of Statistics, labor force participation among women stands at less than 15 %, compared to around 60 % for men. To help women become economically active, the “Micro-Entrepreneurship track” is geared towards women who live in rural areas with little to no job availability in the private sector. 

The training curriculum trains women in sales, management, marketing and communications with clients and vendors, in addition to health and safety at work. To date, more than 74 women have successfully launched micro-businesses. They can now support themselves and their families, and contribute to their community. 

After struggling to find employment, a breakthrough 

Thirty-three year-old Haifa’a Zayyadeen is one of them. To find gainful employment, the mother of five decided to change career paths, and in a course offered by EFE-Jordan under the “AMAL” initiative funded by AFD, she learned how to conduct risk analysis and prepare a “plan B” for her projects.

Haifa’a Zayyadeen

“The Micro-Entrepreneurship training course helped me start my home-based business selling frozen vegetables after many unsuccessful attempts to finding a suitable job,” says Haifa’a Zayyadeen. “The program taught me the necessary skills to establish my project. I’m grateful for EFE-Jordan and AMAL project for giving me the opportunity to be an entrepreneur and generate a steady monthly income.”

In addition to Content Writing, the project offers various training programs such as Digital Marketing, Social Media Management, Web Development, Mobile Application Design, Graphic Design, Translation and Data Entry. 

Youth under the Job Training and Placement (JT&P) Freelancing track receive sector-specific technical training, in addition to communication and other skills listed below. The project aims to train 675 beneficiaries under this track, of whom at least 40% are women.

Skills learned for the workplace

  • Goal Setting
  • Time and Stress Management
  • Presentation Skills
  • Promoting Yourself
  • Networking
  • Personal and Professional Ethics
  • Interacting at Work
  • The Importance of Teamwork
  • Negotiating and Resolving Conflict