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Policy paper calls on married women to assert their rights


The Jordan Times


AMMAN — A new policy paper on the optimal use of conditions in marriage contracts, published by the Information and Research Centre-King Hussein Foundation (IRCKHF), has shown that a number of cultural, societal and familial perceptions are an obstacle to the conditions of marriage contracts.
Head of the Policy and Advocacy Department at the IRCKHF Majed Abu Azzam, speaking at a conference on Tuesday during which the policy paper was launched, said that “a significant number of men and women are unaware that the Personal Status Law No. 15 permits them to add conditions to their marriage contracts”.
In Jordan, couples who plan to get married rarely exercise their right to stipulate conditions in their marriage contracts, due to their ignorance of the stipulation’s significance or society’s perception of such conditions, according to the policy paper.
Further, the paper showed that stipulations in marriage contracts have positive effects on the family’s future, longevity and stability, as it guarantees the rights of both spouses and reduces the likelihood of dispute, separation or divorce.
According to the findings of the task force’s research, family members, and particularly males, specify the details of a girl’s marriage contract, and commonly request that she does not add any additional conditions to the contract.
Moreover, the findings indicated that “society does not recognise women’s rights associated with marriage”. Subsequently, the policy paper focuses on the importance of discussing contract conditions and agreeing on certain matters during the engagement period.
According to the policy paper, the rights of many women start to erode after marriage, including continued employment, the right of inheritance, the right to complete a university education, as well as personal rights, like residing in a separate home, or living in a certain area.
The number of married women reached a total of 75,360 in 2021, of which 8,037 females were younger than 18 years of age, the policy paper showed. 
Pointing to the importance of spreading awareness of the right to add conditions to marriage contracts, the paper advocated for people, and particularly for young females, to retain their right to complete their education after marriage.

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