AMMAN – With the ongoing negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, more women have fallen into chronic debt traps, according to a report from the Durrat Almanal for Development and Education and the Jordanian Society for the Protection of Victims of Family Violence.
Indebted women or “Al Gharimat” are women who for various reasons are heavily in debt. These women suffer from financial, legal, social and mental problems because they cannot pay their debts.
Many indebted women have been sued and, as a result, some of them have served and are serving prison terms. Even so, the total number of indebted women in prisons remains low, the report said.
A current project by Durrat Almanal for development and training and the Jordanian society for the protection of victims of domestic violence with the title “Indebted women in Jordan in times of COVID-19” aims to shed light on the topic of indebted women.
The project, which is funded by a grant from the Swiss Embassy, is working on prevention and rehabilitation programs to monitor female debtors and improve their financial management skills, the report said.
The program focuses on raising women’s awareness of how to run their business successfully and grow. Another goal of the project is to make policy recommendations to the government aimed at improving laws and laws on funding for women entrepreneurs, the report said.
From June 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021, 20 women were selected to take part in the project.
The selection criterion for these women was that their businesses were successful before the pandemic, but slowed down afterwards, so that they could no longer meet their financial responsibilities through their own fault, but rather because of the unforeseen circumstances brought into play by the pandemic spread the disease, the report says.
“After the selection process, a team from Durrat Almanal interviewed the women and assessed the status of their companies. In addition, a team from the Jordanian Society for the Protection of Victims of Domestic Violence provided psychosocial interventions and legal advice to increase their knowledge and awareness of the status and functioning of the Jordanian economy. “Sawsan Majali, a senior consultant at Durrat Almanal, told the Jordan Times.
On January 17, the project hosted a roundtable discussion on the program and issued a series of recommendations that highlighted the need to help participating women by providing them with technical and training support necessary to run their businesses successfully are required, said Majali.
The discussion also recommended reviewing lending rules and exempting some borrowers from paying, especially those with smaller loans, given the overall tough economic climate, she added.
“On the legal side, the Central Bank of Jordan has been asked to oversee microfinance companies by imposing restrictions on unlicensed finance companies to control their business. It also recommended building self-confidence and skills of productive women through economic, psychological and legal empowerment courses, ”Ahmed Abu Rumman, attorney at the Jordan Society for the Protection of Victims of Domestic Violence, told the Jordan Times.
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