By Laila Azzeh, The Jordan Times
AMMAN – The number of households in Jordan headed by women has increased from 8.8 per cent in 1979 to 11.8 per cent in 2008, according to a study released on Monday.
Women used to head one in every 11 families in 1979, while in 2008, one out of eight households was headed by a woman, according to the study, which examined the status of Jordanian women who head their families.
Conducted by the Jordanian National Commission for Women (JNCW) and the Department of Statistics (DoS), the study attributed the rise to divorce, widowhood and abandonment.
“Marrying old men at a very young age increased women’s chances of being widowed. This is exactly the case in Maan Governorate, where 18 per cent of women are heads of their families; 85 per cent of them are widows,” JNCW Secretary General Asma Khader noted at a press conference yesterday.
The income of households headed by women is relatively low, 24 per cent less than those of families headed by men, the study found.
It also highlighted that unemployment among women who support their families was threefold higher than men, with the rate standing at 23 per cent among females compared to 7.1 per cent among men in 2008.