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The concept of unpaid care work is not widely known in Ma’an or other parts of Jordan. As a result, the benefits of unpaid care to individuals’ lives, as well as its negative impact on women who bear a disproportionate share of it at the household level, are overlooked by both local communities and policy makers. As such, women remain largely excluded from playing an active role in the economy, and receive limited or no recognition for the significant role that they play within the household. 

In 2020, Oxfam commissioned a study on unpaid care work in Jordan’s southern region of Ma’an. The purpose of the study was to better understand what care work women and men do, how it is distributed, and how people think about it. The study found that women perform the vast majority of care work activities, and that gender norms compound an unequal redistribution of unpaid care. This paper presents the study results and makes recommendations on how the Government of Jordan, donors and NGOs can encourage the redistribution of unpaid care work and improve women’s access to livelihood opportunities.

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