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Jordan: Queen launches campaign to bolster women role

Queen Rania, a women's rights advocate, helped launch a regional campaign Wednesday aimed at changing stereotypes affecting Arab woman and boosting their role in development.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2004 13:59 IST

Jordan's Queen Rania, a women's rights advocate, helped launch a regional campaign Wednesday aimed at changing stereotypes affecting Arab woman and boosting their role in development.

Rania said women constitute an integral part in the development process.

"They must be given the means to be empowered in order to achieves overall political, economic, scientific, and cultural arenas," she said.

She said Arab media played an important role in turning the campaign into reality to boost Arab women's role. "We must all work together for a better future shaped by a new Arab vision and a determination to succeed," Rania said. The event brought together 150 media leaders from 16 Arab countries, representing national television, satellite and radio stations, chief editors of newspapers and magazines and government officials.

The campaign comes six months after the queen hosted a similar meeting of Arab media officials and representatives, who agreed to form an advisory council dedicated to boosting the media role in addressing vital issues affecting women and ways to improve their status in the Arab world.

Subsequently, the advisory council recommended a media campaign to spread awareness on women's issues, including representation in government and laws affecting them.

The campaign, "Together for a Better Future," will include advertisements and public service announcements across the Arab world, as well as TV programs aimed at general awareness and changing mindsets and misconceptions affecting women. The campaign will push education, full participation in public life, economic empowerment and fight the issue of violence against women.

Although women make up roughly half of the Arab world's 300 million population, they are underrepresented in public life. In many Arab societies, especially tribal-oriented ones like Jordan and several Gulf states, men have the final say in all matters. In the last two years, Jordan's King Abdullah II has pressed ahead with reforms to give wider public freedoms to women. He appointed three women to the Cabinet and designated, for the first time in Jordan's history, six seats for women in the 110-seat parliament.

However, at least two proposed bills stipulating greater women rights are still blocked by Jordan's conservative-dominated legislature.

First Published: Mar 08, 2004 13:59 IST