Queen Rania’s Latest YouTube Video & Jordan’s Working Women

HM Queen Rania’s latest YouTube video attempts to showcase the evolution of women, specifically in Jordan. It presents a series of jobs and/or roles that women have taken on in the Kingdom.

I agree that we’ve come along way, and that’s an accomplishment that deserves to be highlighted because there are many women who have broken many barriers, many of which didn’t make the cut in this movie.

However, I also agree that we have a long way to go.

It should be noted that most of the women shown in this video represent an incredibly small minority and anyone who thinks otherwise isn’t paying enough attention. Moreover, there are some jobs showcased in the video, such as that of a Minister, that are based on political appointments and not the meritocratic system we want to see championed. In other words, they reflect the willingness of the monarch to integrate more women in to the system, because otherwise, if it was left up to the people, it would take decades for a woman to become a Minister in Jordan (if municipal and parliamentary elections of the past 20 years are any indication).

Which brings me to my next point. Many of these fields are represented by women who come from a certain strata of society. So no, it’s not a matter of choice. There are harsh imposing realities that dominate the lives of the overwhelming majority of women in this country. Realities that see them married off post-university (if at that), and skipping careerhood. And I use the word “imposed” here because it stands in glaring contrast to the message of “choice”. I know many (some of which are even related to me) who would’ve loved that choice but realities determine otherwise. Becoming a pilot or an architect is not an option for most women in this country, and you have to come from quite the open-minded, (relatively) well off family in order to pursue such a life. In other words, there is a dominant culture and society that determines much of a woman’s (and man’s) life, regardless of the existance of a constitutional and legal framework that grants them equal footing (to a large extent).

It should also be noted that the women presented in this video are not representative of all or even most Arab women; they are hardly representative of most Jordanian women. In other words, to put this in a context for the non-Arab audience, conservative Jordan is much more liberal than other Arab nations (and that’s saying something).

But this is just my opinion and it is based on an ordinary citizen’s observations, so take it for what it’s worth.


  • I agree, I think there aren’t enough choices available for women on an equal basis in Jordan. At least not enough to warrant stressing the point three times like the video did. Who ever edited that should have probably repeated the word “long” three times instead. Because we have a long … long … long … very long way to go 😀

  • Yikes, that was quick, the video is no longer available now.

    Mohannad, that’s because the average Jordanian man no matter how badly he is doing is somewhat better off than the average Jordanian women,

  • That wasn’t my point. There are issues that are more important to the general population which includes males, females, kids, and even babies. So by focusing on one group and ignoring(Or pretending) the more pressing issues which need to be solved first, is, just, not, practical, and, will, never, work.. The attitudes and behaviors that are common in our society are outcomes of something, and until we figure what that thing is, all the efforts are just distortion of the reality.

  • As much as I was excited about the queen’s first response on Arab, Muslim women, I have to admit ,this one was extremely disappointing.

    First off, does not represent all Arab women. How could it when there is no one “Arab woman,” of course? It doesn’t even represent the majority of Jordanian women—not that they are one, but it doesn’t comprehensively reflect the different Jordanian women that exist in this country. i would recommend a slight alteration in the title of the clip to something like, ” to see what middle-class and upper class Jordanian women are up to.”

    Since the clip specifically and exclusively depicts those women of upper-middle and upper class urban society (I am sure they are all specifically Western Ammanis, except for the police officer and maybe the plumber who can afford having a hairdo and makeup at a beauty salon), who have socially acquired space for at least a past generation, it does not faithfully reflect “the evolution” of women in the job force in Jordan. These women in the clip, who represent two generations of women, have had the opportunity and choice to acquire professional education/training and a successful career. The situation for women has not drastically changed in Jordan, especially if you make a comparison between women of urban and rural communities…the privileged ones remain as such, whereas the rest still have to struggle against harsh conditions in order to gain an education and secure a career of their own. The clip simply reflects women of a certain social strata (as you’ve mentioned), based in one Jordanian city (Amman), who have been privileged due to socio-economic flexibilities of sorts, hence have a choice. However, this representation is not fair whatsoever towards non-Ammani and certainly non-urban Jordanian women. Where are the women of Irbid, Kerak, Jerash, Aqaba, Salt??? Not that they all belong to one socio-economic class, but they are totally dismissed in this clip.

    Also, this clip lacks a fair representation of the different realms of women participation in the workforce. Where are the academics? If any progress, or evolution as you have called it, has taken place for women in our country, it is definitely visible in the academics. We have far more female professors at Jordanian universities than we have CEOs, taxi drivers, pilots, and PLUMBERS. Also, where are the non-professional women?…for example, those who have not received training for industrial or agricultural jobs, yet are laborers in factories, representing a high level of female labor in production? What about female participation in agriculture?

    Another take on the clip is that the depiction of the highly professional women (the police officer isn’t included since her job doesn’t require her to reflect an image of a professional woman) totally echoes the Western image of a professional women in terms of dressing codes, none of which are hijabis, whereas the “stay at home mother” is a hijabi, as if hijabis can’t take on professions that require professional images because of their headscarves. That totally reinforces Western stereotypes about conservative, hijabi women!!

    Yes, we still have a long long long (Hamza N’s repetition) way to go, and I just wish that the queen next time widens the scope to include those women who actually acquired opportunities and choices due to their power to defy imposed social structures.

  • “to showcase the evolution of women, specifically in Jordan”
    Yes our evolution from banana harvesting female apes to pilots …sho evolution haay ??

  • kidos Secretea…

    Also, I lived in Jordan for 7 years and I have never seen a female taxi driver, pilot and plumber. I remember though reading about the stir caused by a woman taxi driver.

  • I was extremely disappointed in the representations of these working women. I nearly choked when I saw the stay-at-home mom was MUHAJABA! There are no housewives that don’t cover?????? I mean whack us covered folk with a stick and tell us we aren’t professional enough. AHHHHHHHHHHHH. That was very tacky. The police officer didn’t count because you could barely tell she had on a scarf. How many women do I know who cover and who have a higher education, even PHDs?!!! SubhanAllah. That was ridiculous. Very Oprah-esque. And where is that lady taxi driver when I want her, instead of the chain smoker who can’t keep his eyes off the rear-view mirror? UGH.

  • Female taxi driver? They made that up, right! 🙂

    And I totally agree with Um Omar and Secretea, it so “Oprahish” it makes me want to spontaneously combust. Where are the hijabs? Are we to believe that when women attain real “freedom of choice” that we will all choose to throw off our hijab!

    Just for the record, I am not Arab (I am American), I am a Muslim , I love my hijab and my religion, I live in Jordan, AND I am have my own successful company, alhamdulillah. We really have to stop lumping people together – we are all different. Stop trying to turn us into some crazy “Stepford Women” that conforms to the Western ideal. Let us be PROUD MUSLIM WOMEN!

  • For those of you who “click” on my name and are directed to a site for some Arab guy living in Washington, DC. I typed in the wrong website address! I know for some of you doubters out there, you are sure to think I am a pro-hijab plant. Sorry to disappoint, I really am an Muslim-American woman who loves hijab 🙂 Hee, hee!

  • Um Abdulrahman, you are so cute, ‘pro-hijab plant’. I love to hear you and Um Omar rant righteously, you go get ’em!

    Where were the muhajabah fashion magazine editors?

    I remember hearing once that any woman who chose to become a police officer sort-of officially chose not to get married too

  • The video does show to some extent what the westerners are searching for. one taxi driver now means 10 after some time, and one pilot now means more later,,,etc.

    Maybe this is not the most important issue now to discuss as Mohanned says but this is the aim of the whole Vlogging thing that the Queen started, to show that the western idea about us is somehow wrong. Yes our development is slow, but we are developing, and the start is always slow.

    I find the house work harder than that outside the house, I dont know if others agree with me. Because usually when a woman is a house-woman then the man does NOTHING in, he thinks that his work is finished when he is home, so taking care of the children (which is the most holy work) and preparing a good clean environment inside the house is all on the womans shoulders, So I dont know really if it is a development to make the woman work outside, The development is to give the woman the freedom to do what she wants, thats all. We should not care if the westerners think it is right to stay home or not, we need to give the woman her freedom, and I am sure that women mostly in the urban and rural places in Jordan PREFER to stay work at home because they can do it best. So development is not measured through were the woman works, but through if she likes her work. this is why Ammani women have a higher percentage of working out.

    Maybe we should leave the conspiracy theory aside here, I did not really realize the Hijab only on the house-woman, and i dont think it was meant to be so.

    I know that women in Europe prefer to have part time jobs when they get children. maybe that would be a good idea to have in Jordan.

  • For all the people who cant believe the plumber Job for women exits..I would be more glad to take you and meet this lady!
    i know her and her son is my childhood friend!

  • Thats right, they represent a minority. Taxi driver and plumber are cherry topping, never heard of them yet they might exist anyway..

    The attempt to communicate a revolutionary concept to others based on minorities can easily challenge the whole approach and fail the chance.

    Now, exposing negativities in their right proportions for western audiences might be a good approach for those who got an ultra extremist anti-arab feeds.

  • both the female plumber and the taxi driver do exist, but we’re talking about two people in a population of what, 2.5 million?

    that’s saying something

  • Hi everyone,

    Nas, would you mind if I respond with a link to your post directly on her Majesty’s video on Youtube? Or perhaps each one of you – especially secratea , Um Omar, Ahmad Al-Sholi should consider posting their response to the Queen’s video on YouTube!

    By the way, I’ve been living in the “GREAT WEST” all my life and I have yet to come across a female cabbie!

  • imo its a good commercial … because thats exactly what it is … a commercial … i say commercial because i dont want to be too dramatic and say propaganda.
    the avg western viewer might see this and think oh wow i was wrong about the arabs – well jordan anyway … they are not like saudi arabia … look how their women are all smiles and can work and drive and they wear suits etc … of course this applies to the western viewer whos never set foot in the arab world … however we the people who actually live here know the reality of things.

    i think the queen should make videos for her own people (the people of jordan) instead of trying to impress those who are on the other side of the globe.

  • well, if i want to rate the video, i would say from the way its starts (something close to 24) and the way its put together and its length, its meant to be seen in a western eye to send a one line message which is “there are women who took these Jobs in the Arab World” nothing more than this, just take it one step at a time, this is what i think the Queen is doing, next time, she will go deeper (i hope) this was more of promo but still its ok if it has an outreach, some foreigners can’t tell where is Jordan on the map, when they think of women here as a region, they only can think of (niqab) not even hijab and violence, and sometimes if you mention you are going to Jordan, they think you are going to a war zone with a good luck message and a sad face. so really, how will an average american who sees fox news tell provided what he is fed from news, how will he know how to filter what he finds on the internet about the region and the people and the way we live? try to picture their minds for a bit and see what input they have about our region in their education and their media. you will see that this video tho not informative to us, but it scores.

    and on another note this small video is a message to us, Jordanians and Arabs too.. give your women in your families a choice. if you find the taxi driver and the plumber oddly non existant, think of it for a bit and see how you feel to be serviced by a woman and do you really welcome the idea and can you see someone in your family doing so, it should make you think.

  • Great post, Nas. I linked to it from ArabComment. Hope you don’t mind.

    Having just moved to Jordan, I found the video interesting. I don’t find it representative, but what it does highlight are some interesting developments in Jordanian culture.

    It sort of reminded me of this time I taught, alongside some friends, a house course on modern Russian culture. We wanted to give our students a lot of information, but discovered that we could never fully represent what were trying to represent. So, instead, we focused on the cool and the unusual for the most part. At the end of the class, we talked about how one just really has to go and experience the country for oneself, and that there is no such thing as a “true” experience – because all experiences are true.

  • Salaam ‘Alaikum

    HD, I don’t think that either Umm Omar or Um Abdur Rahman are even getting close to saying “It’s a conspiracy,” as this mindset really is not part of our culture. However, if you move through Western and Jordanian societies as a muhajabah woman you notice, quite keenly, when you are represented and when you aren’t. To not represent a muhajabah woman (except, of course, a housewife) in a video about Arab (or really, middle-upper class ‘Ammanis) is simply not realistic. You would have to look very, very hard in many places in West Amman to find a woman without a hijab on. You would. You go to City Mall, and you see women in all sorts of dress there, including women in niqab. So the fact of the matter is that we are quite present and viable in the workforce in Jordan, and it is *strange* that someone can make a video like this and not include a single woman in a scarf who works outside of her home.

    Regarding female taxi drivers, I have heard there are six of them, five of them working in ‘Amman and one in another city somewhere else. I would *love* to have more female taxi drivers, as I am so, so, so tired of this current crop of taxi drivers (esp. the way *some* of them behave towards women). I’d also like to see more women in services like plumbing, and this is a service to women. Husband’s at work, and you have a plumbing or electrcity emergency? It would be *awesome* to be able to call a woman. In the US, there are women in these fields (including taxi) who have made it a specialty to cater to female customers who feel safer with a woman or who trust her more not to rip them off.

    I do work in Jordan (as a Jordanian citizen), and almost everyone in our office is a woman. Some come from well to do, progressive families, some from East Amman. Pretty much all of them are relatively well educated. But while I have noticed the “I’m engaged / about to get married, I can’t work anymore” attitude that we saw in the US in the 50’s, we also have three women in the office who are married w/ children. I work because I wanted to do something and interact with people. My husband was very, very encouraging and was actually pushing me to go and work and do something when I was more content to stay at home.

  • i have a friend who always wanted to drive Aramex delivery trucks 😀 she just loves it, she thinks she would have enjoyed it but the idea of taking it as a part time job at school was out of question because her family would not agree, actually her father totally never agreed for her to take a part time job while at school and she had to take the social opinion into consideration which means that the parents are not providing enough so their daughter would work while studying especially in sales services. some parents dont allow their uni daughters to use public transportation because they are middle class and yeah she would pay 2.5 jds cab instead of .30 piasters .

  • interesting reactions. i have to say i’m a little disappointed (except with Tala and Natalia — your perspectives seem to be on the mark). in the first video the queen says her point is to breakdown stereotypes. that means she’s going to prove that when you generalize you’re wrong. so what does she do? to everyone that says arab women can’t work/aren’t allowed to work/ etc, she shows them some examples of arab women that do work. she’s not saying all of them do or that all of them can, she’s just showing that arab women aren’t all powerless.

    yes, it would be nice to see more veiled women in these positions. but instead of just complaining that this clip doesn’t show enough of them, why don’t you go out and film them yourselves?

    veiled or not, these women are symbols of what we can achieve and what we should want to achieve –> having the choice! these symbols are going to inspire at least one little girl to believe she can. and at the same at least one person who dismisses arabs might revisit the way they think because yes, there is more to us than meets the eye. there’s more to us than can be summed up in a one minute clip, but it’s a start.

    Natalia, I like that you put this in perspective and explain how you use to teach. It makes sense to me. No matter what the lesson plan, you need to give things in small bits. Have patients. Contribute positive stories and let’s hope in the end there’s a long lasting impression that breaks the one the Bin Ladens of the world have left.

  • I think I agree to some extent with MeThinkPretty that the reactions from Jordanians and Arabs to this video are missing the point of it. On a previous post I said that

    I think these videos are mainly meant to present an image of the Arab world, and especially Jordan, that is not necessarily very accurate, but brighter than what is already being reflected in media around the world, and I think this is something necessary.

    I think Western viewers receive a more negative image of our society than what is fair or balanced. Keeping that in mind, I can see why a brighter image tailored specifically for the West can be useful to counter the effects of that.

  • Hamzeh,
    What is jordan to the whole islamic world-or for that matter the arab world?For the frist we are less than .003 and for the latter we are .016, so the taliban outnumber us! And what image are we talking about? The image regarding women rights, or the image regarding human rights? Coz for me women and humans are the same.

    Why are we talking about stereotypes when all our talent is leaving the country? Why are we talking about perceptions when our health “care” system sucks? What about the schooling system which is producing the same old products? Why did you forget the latest HRW report about torture. isn’t that also about image and perceptions? What about the prison riots?

    We must quit scratching the surface and deal with the core. Why do we care of what the world thinks of us when we ourselves are the stereotypes? I keep wondering!

  • Mohannad, I think you still miss the point.

    Everything you said is valid, but I believe it doesn’t belong in a response to this particular initiative.

    Before you go on, I think you have to keep in mind one thing: I think there is a difference between talking about a culture and a society, and I think I was not careful in my previous comment because I used the word “society.”

    This initiative wasn’t started to fix our societies, be they unemployment or undemocratic rule. I think this initiative was simply started to enhance the perceptions that others have of our culture; not even necessarily to better their understanding of our problems.

    Now, this is not the only thing that the Queen is engaged in. She just launched a national initiative that aims to help schools find solutions to their problems with the help of the private sectore. That initiative is one directed towards actually solving problems. We need more initiatives like that, but that’s not really breaking news. We need to do a lot of things. It just happens to be that one of those things is to fight the negative image that others have of our culture.

  • Hamzeh,
    I am not trying to be a buzz killer, but your last words capture whar I see as not realstic: When you talk culture are you refering to jordan only? or the arab? or the islamic?

    If we are trying to make jordan a representation of the latter two, then this is just a waste of time, coz lebanon and mouritania are already ahead of us, also indonesia and malysia in the islamic world.

    So the question becomes? Who are we trying to convince about what?

    Even if we look at jordan locally, what parts of jordan are trying to represent? The domino’s-eating momma’s?

  • Mohannad,

    i agree with you 100% but i wanted to point out something, when you talk to someone on one of these core issues in depth you will be struck that the majority disagrees with you in principle and that there are lots of foundation errors and that you are not on the same page when you precieve a problem especially on the human rights level and when you talk to the majority of people, just listen to what people say sometimes like if its an enemy then its fine to torture them for example and that wasta is good for someone who is benefiting from it etc etc, because down in principles we disagree and these are the foundations we base our actions on. for example, you said that for you women and humans are the same, i used to think so from how i was raised and i never really thought that i need organizations to advocate women rights as in whats so special about being a woman and how different should that make me, but afterwards i found it to be not true, men are treated very very differently from women throughout history and women suffered and were never seen as equal and i feel it in society today, and you can see it in the way we live everyday in an unnoticable manner, we prefer baby boys to girls, a boy is allowed to beat his sister and he thinks its ok even as kids but the sister has to have respect for her brother whatever he did, a wife is treated as a property most of the time, an older brother needs to monitor his sister’s behaviour in public, at the work place and at several job positions women are thought to be less capable of handling responsibilities and even sometimes seen as never fit, women always need permission to do things, women are taught to be limited in their choices. there is a superior view for men but we start doing campaigns when women are killed for honor when its ” il tirbayeh ” which need to be fixed, ma mne7taj qawaneen iza il nas btifham. and if i showed this video to high school girls, im giving them some space to think of what they can possibly be in the future, we liberate their minds, we let them think, even for women who are under the taliban regime, if you showed them this as all these womens were self respecting and doing decent living, we might seem different and they might curse us in the beginnings but talk to her on a personal level, you will see pain and humiliation and when you show her that its not fine to feel what she feels and get her to understand her rights, she will want them and the fight starts from home. she will do something, this is called making sure we agree in principles, when you have a collection of people who agree on pointed errors to be fixed they will speak up confidently in one tone and they will get to do something. slowly things move on.

  • Mohannad, I think no matter what the size of a particular Arab or Muslim country is, when it makes news in the West people there will make it representative of the culture that it comes from, not us.

    Why else do people get surprised when I tell them that Jordan is a poor country? A lot here think we’re an oil rich country “just like all other Arab countries,” or that we never see snow because we practically live in the desert, not realizing most of Jordan’s population lives thousands of feet above sea level in areas that do get really cold in the winter and that we do get considerable snow.

    Gulf states never claimed to represent our country’s topography or measure of natural resources. It’s the people who don’t have time to dive into the details of our region who settle for the convenience of generalizing based on individual instances.

    The issue here is not to represent others or represent everyone and i don’t think you can do that anyway. It’s jut to put information out there that counters anything negative that is being displayed and associated with us already.

    And it’s a loose “us” that I use here, because certainly Jordan will get most of the recognition from these videos because they feature Jordan’s queen, but if these videos give people an improved attitude towards other Eastern countries then let it be.

  • While you are all talking and not contributing the Queen’s efforts, check out what American born students are trying to do! This is the difference between Arabs, Muslims and Americans!

  • “The issue here is not to represent others or represent everyone and i don’t think you can do that anyway. It’s jut to put information out there that counters anything negative that is being displayed and associated with us already.”
    —> Hamzeh N, i agree with you on this to a certain degree; however, when information is put out there for the “uninformed” Western audience about the loose “us” you are pronouncing, it has to be accurate and representative, regardless. Accurate because the whole aim of these clips is to dismantle stereotypes; we don’t want to reflect what we have subconsciously internalized of Western stereotypes/perceptions and only echo them back. And we certainly don’t want to exaggerate and blow things out of proportion to (khawa) counterpart Western perceptions–upholding a defensive mode despite its accuracy is dangerous. So no, i don’t agree that inaccuracy is an effective approach to speak to Western minds because slight misrepresentation will cause more damage than improvement.
    Also, these responses have to be representative because “we” don’t want to give an idea that women in Jordan, now i’m talking about this clip in particular, are a homogeneous group, and to top it all, look exactly like you Western women, except for the “stay-home-mother” who happens to be a stay home because of her HIJAB (this is exactly how the uninformed West will view it). If that is not a stereotypical Western depiction, what is?? As i have mentioned in my previous comment, hijabi women can be any of those professional women; a hijabi woman can be a CEO, lawyer, Minister, dentist, ..etc. She can acquire a profession that requires a professional image and best represent it. So why does she have to be the stay-home-mother in this clip?? Is it because the hijab gives her less of a professional image? Or is it because she has less of a choice than the rest of those highly professional women??? Doesn’t that say something about “us” internalizing the Western misconception of hijab, as a sign of conformity to Islamic principles and therefore to oppressive patriarchal structures. This leads to the view that it is forced upon veiled women, rather than it being a choice..Hence, hijabi women are most likely to end up being “stay-home-mothers.”

    I tried to avoid mentioning personal encounters when i commented on the clip the first time, but since i find it necessary for you to understand my take on the issue, allow me relate my personal experience regarding this matter. I am a Jordanian hijabi in my mid 20s, left my parents and family back in Jordan to pursue a graduate degree in the States. Now, a lot of my American acquaintances find it odd that i was “allowed” by my parents, brothers, and family the “choice” to travel on my own, and pursue a professional education in the WEST. The first question I’m usually asked is; how can your parents be conservative (practicing Muslims), make you wear a hijab (notice the assumption that we lack choice), then allow you travel on your own?… whereas my friend who is Arab and happens to be a practicing Muslim as well but doesn’t observe the hijab rarely, if never, gets the same remarks i get. See how much assumptions and misconceptions are placed on the hijab and hijabi women?.. From this example, you can understand the sensitivity of representing Hijabi, or only Arab women in this particular manner.

  • Secratea,

    I understand the point being raised about the veiled stay at home mother in the video, and I agree making that selection was damaging to the clip.

    However I think you were able to respond to the main point of my comments, which is the notion that this video is targeted not towards Arabs or Muslims, but mainly uninformed viewers in other places in the World, and the notion that it does not have to be fully representative of who we are.

    You stressed the need for accurate and full representation. I think this is too much to ask of a campaign that I see as very casual and small in size. I think producing an accurate and full representation of even one aspect of our Arabic and Islamic cultures, such as women, would require hundreds of minutes of videos and almost daily updates. It would probably require long hours of research to collect information from regions of the world that are literally continents apart.

    A casual once in a week YouTube video, even if by a prominent figure like a queen, can never achieve that. So lets be realistic here and admit that this is not the kind of campaign that has the sort of stuff that has been talked about here be it really solving issues or accurately and fully representing everyone.

    To me, this is all about changing attitudes in the West, and that’s why I stressed that word in my previous comment. And in order to change attitudes, you don’t have to give people a full and accurate picture; just showing them something new or shocking is often enough, and that’s what these videos are doing.

  • Hamzeh,
    It only takes one moron to change the attitudes, so what I would like to see is a true representation of the complexeties that exist in our society, and by our I mean Jordanian, because the task of changing attitudes toward arabs or islam generally is huge task that we in jordan have no resources to do that.

    The Idea is great, the effort should be applauded, but my points are:
    1- We should solve the real issues that jordanians face daily.
    2- Our focus should become on changing the inside first and once we achieve that the perceptions and the image would automatically change.
    3- How many expats do we have? Almost a million. Why did they leave the country? Aren’t those people talent and resources? The queen just yesterday pointed out to the fact that jordan need to create a job every seven minutes, so are we doing that? So the result will most likely become a jordanian leavinf the country every seven minutes!

    Every country has its problems, in the US just this month there was this mormon sect, in austria there is the guy that father seven childred with his daughter.. So really why are we focusing on image? If you want to find a flaw in any society you can do so. So our task should become: Focusing on the real issues.

  • why are we focusing on image?

    I think putting that way makes it seem like we’re stressing image more than solving issues, and I think that’s giving this campaign an inflated image of costs. To me this campaign doesn’t say that we have to necessarily focus on image, but that we should not forget about it either, because preserving a good image is important.

    So our task should become: Focusing on the real issues.

    What’s wrong with having multiple tasks? 😉

  • Nothing wrong with that, infact it is a good thing. But once again you keep pointing to “preserving a good image is important.”

    Is the image representative of reality? If we survey the population and ask them questions, would they agree with what was presented in the video? As a matter of fact how many women would be MPs if there was no quota’s? How many female ministers would we have if they were not appointed?

    There is a wide gap between not only the video and reality, but aslo between the realities of the people within our society. How many women would vote for a woman? How many fathers will allow their daughters to drive taxis? Ok, how many families allow their daughters to leave the country and study or work abroad? What percentage of our society is ok with honor killings?

    You can have a glimpse of reality by looking at the comments left by people on the media outlets, so it is no secret that we are still what we are, and sometimes even worse that we used to be.

  • Is the image representative of reality? If we survey the population and ask them questions, would they agree with what was presented in the video? As a matter of fact how many women would be MPs if there was no quota’s? How many female ministers would we have if they were not appointed?

    But I already answered this directly in my replies to both you and secratea. I said this should not be perceived as an effort to fully or accurately represent people; because it simply can’t.

    Would you, Mohannad, seriously expect to receive a fully and accurately representative image of a group as small as even a household from a once-in-a-week YouTube video? I know wouldn’t.

    People are not gonna wait for the fully and accurately representative picture that you’re talking about before they form their own attitudes towards us. What these videos do is show people things that go against the stereotypes (except for the stay at home mother in this video), and that is just one small way of enhancing (not even completely reversing) the negative attitudes towards us.

  • Mohanned, you are very astute and wise. And the answer to your question about the percentage of Jordanians who are OK with “honor” killings is 7.5%. Another 3.5% are ambivalent. The rest would like to see much tougher penalties.

    And Secratea, I wholly agree with you that misrepresenting reality does more harm than good. Most people can handle the truth and appreciate the candor. Human beings are not stupid.

  • mohannad — interesting thoughts in post 39. my rebuttal is:

    Is that image representative of reality?

    it’s representative of the direction we’re going in. women of today have a lot more choices and options than our mothers did and our daughters will have even more. while we can’t forget the path that we need to blaze through, we also can’t forget that to get to where we want to go we need to highlight POSITIVE role models.

    the quota system is an interesting way of slowly but surely changing mindsets. if people think that women should never be in leadership positions then they obviously won’t vote for them. BUT if election cycle after election cycle women are elected through quota (and do a good job), they’ll prove to those people that women not only CAN do those jobs, but SHOULD. eventually the quota system can be removed in the long run, but it takes time to prove to people that this needs to be changed.

    in what ways are we “worse than we use to be”? honor crimes are horrific and while some people still support this horrible practice, it’s at least being discussed and challenged! the queen even talks about it in the 3rd post.

    why do you seem so against highlighting positive examples? again, the point of the post is to prove to the world that they can’t make sweeping judgments about all people everywhere. it’s sad that within our country, though, our own brothers and sisters still insist on keeping those sweeping judgments as they are.

  • See, I am not against it, I for focusing all this energy toward something that will ultimatly make a difference in our lives, thats all.

    Let me give you an example of an initiative:
    Why don’t we create a vision and a mission statement for our country. Simple 10 or less guidelines that pictures our future, then based on those we let the citizens point out to the barriers and the obstacles standing in our way.. This can be an online forum led by the queen..And based on the replies we should solve those issues one by one.. I am not saying this will happen over night, but it is only the start of journey that might take 10 or 20 years..Lets just make it a true representation of what we want our jordan to be, thats all I am asking for.

    Thanks for the reply.

Your Two Piasters: