JORDAN – Imprisoned Women, Stolen Children: Policing of Sex, Marriage and Pregnancy in Jordan

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Imprisoned Women, Stolen Children: Policing of Sex, Marriage and Pregnancy in Jordan

Amnesty International has launched this report in Amman, Jordan, alongside its partner organisation Solidarity is Global Institute. The report documents how the Jordanian authorities are imprisoning women where they are perceived to have disobeyed male family members or are accused of sex outside of marriage; how the police take women found to be “absent from home without permission” for invasive and humiliating “virginity tests”, especially where male family members demand it; and how the authorities are systematically removing children born to unmarried women and taking them into state care. 

“Over the past several years, the government has adopted several important reform measures to address gender-based violence, including through the opening of the Dar Amneh shelter for women at risk, but the time has now come to end the detention and ill-treatment of women simply for disobeying their male guardian or transgressing gender norms.”

Amnesty International interviewed 121 people in Jordan between June 2018 and October 2019 for the report. They also met with 10 governmental officials in February 2019 and shared key research findings with the Prime Minister. The Jordanian government’s response, received on 14 October 2019, is provided as an annex to the report.

Amnesty hopes this report contributes to broader work focusing on the harmful human rights impact of criminalizing sexuality, reproduction and gender expression.

SOURCE: Amnesty International, note by Jaime Todd-Gher, 23 October 2019