Consultation Workshops as part of the “Governance, Decentralization, and Gender Mainstreaming in Municipal Councils Project” Conclude

Wednesday, 29 July 2020
On Wednesday, HPC concluded a series of consultation workshops for members of (Mahis, Greater Ajloun, and Greater Madaba) municipal councils on the “governance, decentralization and mainstreaming gender in municipal councils project” in partnership with Hivos organization and with support from the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The consultation workshop, which targeted Mahis municipal council members, is the last of a series of workshops conducted as part of the project. HPC secretary general, Dr. Abla Amawi, stressed during the workshop the vital role the project plays in enhancing decentralization through the integration of the population and gender dimensions in municipal development planning. Amawi explained that the three municipalities were selected as pilot municipalities that have the highest levels of female representation in three different regions. Moreover, Amawi highlighted the importance of unifying national efforts to support women’s political empowerment and active participation in achieving the desired progress in society.

Amawi indicated that the key anticipated outputs of the project include developing plans and gender-sensitive budgets for the selected municipal councils aligned with the SDGs and commitments towards ICPD to ensure equitable service delivery for members of society, institutionalizing and enhancing the generation and dissemination of knowledge to inform decision-making, enhancing the representation of women in municipal councils, and raising awareness of the political role of women as effective decision-makers in local governments through awareness workshops, dialogue and media.

Amawi emphasized the role the parliament plays in supporting activities and initiatives aimed at integrating the population and gender dimensions in national and local development planning, supporting population and development-related legislation, and allocating financial resources for the implementation of programs in this field. Amawi also stressed the need to enhance awareness of parliamentarians in these issues to achieve the desired goals.

Member of the Parliament and head of the Coalition of Women MPs from Arab Countries, Wafa Bani Mustafa, stressed the importance of coordination among elected women on the municipal, governorate, and parliamentary representation levels to enhance women’s participation in policy and decision-making. Bani Mustafa also noted that the idea of a women’s quota in governorate councils was initiated by the Parliament and enacted into law given the importance of women’s participation in local development.

On the other hand, the Mayor of Mahis, Abdul Mun’em Irshedat, commended HPC and Hivos for conducting this project as it enhances municipal planning capacities, enabling municipalities to carry out their functions while taking into account the population and gender dimensions and enhancing the quality of service delivery for the local community. Stressing the important role women play in this field,

Participants in the workshop overviewed the main challenges facing municipalities including lack of economic resources, weak adherence by citizens to municipal instructions, regulations and procedures, lack of a municipal court and development centers to build capacities, budget delays and lack of strategic grants.

Participants pointed out opportunities for improvement including enhancing financial and economic support, networking with donors and the private sector, fundraising, establishing a municipal court to collect all fines, conducting workshops, enhancing capacities of members to improve their performance and implementing development projects to improve the economic situation.

The project, which targets the Mahis, Greater Ajloun and Greater Madaba municipalities, aimed primarily to empower current and future female representatives in municipal councils by the year 2020 through developing leadership skills and building capacities in communication, planning, gender-responsive budgeting, policy recommendations, and community engagement for equitable representation to help achieve the Jordan Vision 2025, other development priorities related to the 2030 sustainable development goals and national sectoral strategies. It also aimed to provide policies for institutions to encourage women’s participation in leadership roles and meet the needs of women in the development field.