In an initiative, the first of its kind in Jordan and neighboring Arab countries, the General Federation of the Young Women’s Christian Associations (YWCA) of Jordan, in cooperation with the Cultural Forum for the Blind, and supported by Karama, launched posters and brochures, printed in Braille, explaining the provisions of the Law on Protection against Domestic Violence No. 6 of the year 2008 and the procedures of protection contained therein. Provisions were simplified by experts in law and representatives of civil society organizations, both blind and sighted, to be accessible to affected groups and parties that ensure the protection of families.
“No humiliation or insult, we want to live with dignity” is the message that participants in the first training workshop chose to send to the Jordanian family so as to reduce domestic violence. Exceptional efforts were exerted to ensure that the poster and brochure are available to the sighted and blind participants in the second training workshop, who came from Aqaba, Karak, Tafileh, Madaba, Amman, Balqa, Ajloun, Mafraq and Irbid, in addition to trained physicians and paramedics from the Ministry of Health, students at the Judicial Institute of Jordan, lawyers, social workers, representatives of the Family Protection Department in the Directorate of Public Security, and human rights activists.
At the conclusion of the second workshop on the definition of the law on Protection against Domestic Violence, organized in Geneva hotel on 11/10/2010, attorney Muna Makhamreh, manager of Karamati (my dignity) and member of the Supreme Council of the Federation of YWCA, said that the substantial contribution of this workshop lies in the use of experts, sighted and blind, to train participants in the workshop, some of whom participated in the drafting and preparation of the law. In addition, the integration of the Cultural Forum for the Blind members with the sighted in the two workshops was a brilliant idea. Both the blind and the sighted got to exchange experience and proved their ability and competence to interact and participate, if training material printed in Braille is made available, particularly that it is not expensive. Further, the purpose of targeting security personnel from the Family Protection Department, and judges, doctors, providers of ambulance services and Emergency Services in the Ministry of Health, and activists of public action, who deal directly with victims of domestic violence, is to change their outlook towards women who file complaints of violence.
Makhamreh also explained that the idea of the Karamti project started in 2008, after causes of violence experienced by women was analyzed in legal texts. It was concluded that there is a series of discriminatory laws against women. However, amending the laws, as important as it is, is not enough to curb the violence suffered by women. Social behavior and cultural heritage must be modified to promote a culture based on considering the relationship between men and women within the family as a participatory relationship, that hinges on mutual respect and dialog sp as to ensure stability within the family. Therefore, the law of the Protection against Domestic Violence was selected because it directly affects women’s right to report violence against them.
On the other hand, engineer Feryal Al-Rabadi, Program Director at the Cultural Forum for the Blind and project coordinator, expressed her delight at the launch of the brochure in Braille and the success of the idea of merging the blind with the sighted in training workshops.
Ms. Leila Diab, Director of the General Federation of YWCA, explained that the mission of the federation is to serve one another with love. That is why services of the Federation are offered to all Jordanians, without distinction or discrimination based on religion or sex. Diab further pointed out that the Federation will implement a new project, together with Karamati, that includes providing legal assistance to victims of domestic violence in the camps of Bakaa and Madaba.
It should be noted that the basic foundation of the success of the project is the approach adopted by Al-Karama Foundation, represented by Ms. Amneh Helweh, which emphasizes the importance of collaborative work among civil society organizations.