New study sheds light on women in Jordanian prisons

What are the particular needs, issues, risks and vulnerabilities that face imprisoned women in Jordan? And does the prison management comply with international standards? These questions lie at the heart of DIGNITY’s research into conditions for women in detention in five countries — of which the Jordan country study is one part.

The strong social norms and forms of discrimination that women face in Jordan reach deep into places of detention, and their experience of being detained. To be a detained woman here, in many cases, is to lose touch with the majority of your family members and your children despite an acute need for intimate and social contact, and to feel isolated from the outside world. It is often to be heavily stigmatized by your own community, and by prison staff. It is to have likely experienced forms of gender-based violence before entering prison — some physically and mentally debilitating in the name of honour — and to not receive the help that you need in order to recover. And it is to have many of your other needs and human rights go largely unmet and unprotected, including the right to rehabilitation. The study also highlights a number of key recommendations for Jordan to align with international standards. It has since been used as a basis of various discussions for reform with the Jordanian Police Security Directorate, the prison administration, national NGOs and the National Center for Human Rights.

This study was researched and written by Jo Baker for DIGNITY working with Mizan Law Group for Human Rights, and with research assistance from Elna Søndergaard and her team.

Download publication: Conditions for Women in Detention in Jordan: Needs, Vulnerabilities and Good practices; DIGNITY Publication Series on Torture and Organised Violence No. 9