miércoles, 5 de marzo de 2014

Empowering local women at the archaeological site of Umm el-Jimal (Jordan)

On 18 January 2014, UNESCO and UN Women launched a joint project “Empowerment of rural women through the management and preservation of the archaeological site of Umm el- Jimal” in Jordan. Activities managed by women will generate income in line with the advocacy for strengthening the role of culture for sustainable development.
This project received funding totalling US $ 108,000 from UN Women and UNESCO, but additional resources will be needed to complete the project over of the next two and a half years.

The opportunity to contribute

Carried out in cooperation with the Jordanian Tourism Ministry and its Department of Antiquities, the project aims to empower women of Umm el-Jimal by giving them the opportunity to contribute to the management and promotion of the village’s archaeological site.
Umm el-Jimal is both a modern village and an archaeological site located in the semi-arid plain of Hauran in the governorate of Mafraq, just south of the Syrian border, a few kilometres from the Za’tari refugee camp. Mafraq Governorate has the highest poverty and illiteracy rates in Jordan, and Umm el-Jimal is one of the pockets of poverty in Jordan. The very low participation of women in the economic life of the region stems in particular from the central role of the patriarchal system.

A great development opportunity

This new initiative will be managed in synergy with the Umm el-Jimal Project, which since 1972 made possible the excavation of the site with the involvement of the local community. This site is on Jordan’s tentative list for World Heritage inscription and represents a great development opportunity for the local community.
A total of 40 women, aged 20 to 50 years old, mostly unemployed, single and with a low level of education, will be involved in the project. They will receive training and awareness raising regarding the site’s value so as to develop and promote Umm el-Jimal as a destination for responsible and sustainable tourism.

Developing skills

Through this project, they will develop skills needed to manage and promote an archaeological site.  The expected results will demonstrate their ability to generate income through activities beneficial to the community, to promote the site nationally and finally, share their experience with other Jordanian women on similar projects in other regions. In the long term, this initiative will lead to the opening of a community centre and especially a rise in tourism within the region tourism being the second-largest revenue generating sector for the Jordan’s GDP.
The unemployment rate in the Arab region is among the highest in the world, especially with regard to women’s employment. In 2010, Jordan recorded 21.7% unemployment for women over 15 years vs 10.4% of men, according to a study conducted by the Jordanian National Commission for Women.

Source: Past Horizons: http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/03/2014/empowering-local-women-at-the-archaeological-site-of-umm-el-jimal

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