Reproductive Health in Jordan: A Multi-Faceted Investment in the Future

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Jordan’s population is rising at exponential rates which, if maintained, will double the population in approximately 27 years.  The cause for this dramatic growth is a high fertility rate coupled with the population demographic – 60% of Jordan’s population is under the age of 25Jordan is already heavily dependent on imported goods and resources at current time, and if the population growth is sustained at its current rate, the country will no longer be able to sustain itself adequately. The Government of Jordan has identified this as a national issue and established a goal to lower the fertility rate by 2020; however, this threat to socioeconomic growth and resources is not without challenges. The Kingdom of Jordan is an Islamic country, and national funding allocations are heavily influenced by government entities that do not fully support education regarding contraception and family planning options.

Muslim religious leaders heavily influence the attitudes and beliefs of the population, and more conservative Islamic leaders have openly campaigned against the use of condoms or other birth control methods, thus making population planning largely ineffective.  While reproductive health is a topic that once had the attention of internally led non-profit organizations, over time these have lost funding and advocacy due to lack of prioritization about the issue – despite recognized impact. In fact, external organizations are now the strongest promoters of the cause.  USAID is currently the largest donor to Jordan’s efforts to educate the population on family planning and reproductive health through the Health Policy Project (HPP), but more adequate participation from Jordan’s governing bodies is needed.

There must be further measures taken to increase funding and awareness of family planning methods in order to ensure resource availability and sustainability in the future.  A partnership between internal health organizations and religious leaders is necessary to fully ensure national support is available.  Working together as much as possible to maximize efficient use of donor resources and provide more value for money is vital based on the current resource situation.

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3 Responses to “Reproductive Health in Jordan: A Multi-Faceted Investment in the Future”

  1. hiyawit Says:

    A very informative post! In my opinion, a policy that encourages development of women’s group might also be effective. The degree and type of the women’s group such as the power to make decisions can play a major role in their reproductive health improvement. Many studies show that mothers’ level of education and maternal/child health are strongly interrelated. Expanding women’s group can be done by increasing opportunities, raising awareness and knowledge.
    http://www.womendeliver.org/assets/WD_Background_Paper_Full_Report.pdf

  2. marlaporte Says:

    Good blog…because it left me wanting to learn more about the internally nonprofits that disappeared and their overall health and family planning for the women of the country as a whole.

    I saw that The Higher Population Council (HPC) has done a lot of work with INGO’s, key Jordanian stakeholders and policymakers to create a 5 year plan for FP/RH family planning/reproductive health after the research was done by USAID. However, the difficulty is always in implementation. I suggest efforts to reach out and start discussions with the religious leaders, women’s groups, women who hold positions of power and even Queen Noor to bring this to the media in Jordan and start the discussion among the women of the country since this affects them greatly. Then get women involved in communities all over the country because once they have knowledge, it can take off from there.

  3. bdhrphilippines2015 Says:

    Great post! I am a little curious regarding the gender balance between men and women in terms of reproductive autonomy in Jordan. If a married woman wishes to use contraception, will her husband be able to influence that decision in a detrimental way? I wonder if there is any way to launch a campaign pushing for female empowerment alongside one for reproductive health. I feel that such an approach may help with the effective implementation of a reproductive health program.

    Also, out of curiosity, with the government dissuading the use of condoms, how are STI/STD rates in Jordan?

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