Gender Integration in the Jordan Compact

Jordan is one of the driest countries in the world, with less water per capital than almost anywhere else on earth. With a population projected to double in the next two decades and the effects of climate change expected make precipitation cycles more uncertain, water scarcity could become an even greater problem.

To address this challenge, the Millennium Challenge Corporation and Jordan are working together as part of a five-year, $275.1 compact to increase the supply in Zaraq Governorate through improvements in the efficiency of water delivery, the extent of wastewater collection and the capacity of wastewater treatment.

An essential part of this is the inclusion of women in MCC’s investments. It is recognized that women play an essential role in water resources management and conservation in Jordan. At the household level, women are most often the collectors, users and managers of water, as well as farmers of rain-fed crops. By targeting women in water programs, MCC is helping beneficiary communities more effectively improve water quality and quantity practices and spread the message to other community members, especially families and  children.

In its infrastructure investments, MCC and MCA-Jordan (the local organization implementing the compact) are promoting women’s employment through fair recruitment practices and measures to prevent human trafficking.

The compact also has used a gender-responsive approach to resettle people affected by the projects, primarily by encouraging women’s participation in the compensation process (in Jordan, usually only men are part of that process).  Similarly, MCA-Jordan ensures to include women in social outreach meetings to inform communities of project updates, promote safety and gather information.

The compact’s Water Smart Homes Activity—part of the Water Network Project—aims to improve water quality and quantity at the household level by conducting infrastructure repairs and implementing an outreach campaign. The activity is currently in the design phase and is expected to provide certified plumbing training for women to increase their skills and knowledge related to water management, as well as to increase their incomes. The innovative approach to this initiative will be that participating women will not only receive training, but will also receive business start-up/management training, support to access micro finance through other institutions, and an opportunity to conduct on-the-job training through the infrastructure repairs to be conducted as part of the activity. Women beneficiaries and women’s associations will also have several additional opportunities to participate and benefit in the activity by accessing various employment opportunities as well as receiving basic water-related training at the household level.

The holistic approach to gender integration within the Jordan Compact are on track to successfully support women’s meaningful participation in the projects—and ultimately increasing the benefits  to all