March 4th, 2014, Landmark Hotel, Amman/Jordan
SAANED in cooperation with the Sisterhood is Global Institute/Jordan, the World Demographic & Ageing Forum (WDA Forum) and the Swiss Development Agency (SDA/DEZA) on the 4th of March 2014, launched the book ‘Population Dynamics in Muslim Countries'. The event was supported by the Swiss Embassy in Amman.
The launch brought together experts, professionals, parliamentarians, academic and activists on demography, reproductive health and women’s rights. Key players in Jordan’s effort to balance its population growth include the Jordan Higher Population Council, the Ministry of Health, the Jordanian Association for Family Planning and Protection, the Health and Social Development Affairs Committee in the Jordanian Senate, UNWRA, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, donors such as USAID and JICA, the health and population departments of universities, and NGOs that are members of the CEDAW coalition.
Jordan was selected for this regional book launch event out of several considerations. Jordan, with a primarily Muslim population and in the heart of the Mashreq, is a country in demographic transition faced with a fast pace fertility decline that has stalled. Jordan urgently needs to make use of the one-time demographic opportunity generated out of its young population before it’s too late.
The book ‘Population Dynamics in Muslim Countries’ has been developed out of a World Demographic & Ageing Forum (WDA Forum) expert conference “Upcoming Demographic Changes in Islamic Countries”, held in Switzerland in October 2010. It presents a comprehensive analysis of ongoing population dynamics in countries with a Muslim majority. The analysis presented in this compendium of expert articles clearly shows that it is impossible to generalize but each region or country faces its own specific demographic dynamics and challenges.
The launch was opened by Michael Winzap, Ambassador of Switzerland and Ms. Asma Khader, the President of Sisterhood is Global Institute Jordan, Secretary General of Jordanian National Commission for Women and Senator. Hans Groth, President of the World Demographic & Aging (WDA) Forum, St. Gallen, Switzerland presented a general introduction into the book and the policy dimension of the book for the Arab World were laid out by Mr. Christian Blickenstorfer/ Ambassador, Member of the BoD of the WDA Forum. Dr. Sawsan Al-Majali, Secretary General of the Jordan Higher Population Council closed the welcoming session with a introduction into the current state of demography and the policy in Jordan.
In the second session of the book launch SAANED CEO Ebba Augustin presented a summary of her book chapter on 'Population dynamics and gender systems in Jordan '. She argued that a key factor in the stalling fertility decline in Jordan since 2002 is the prevailing of the patriarchal gender paradigm that allocates strict traditional gender roles to both sexes and maintains a focus on women's reproductive role.
Her presentation was followed by a panel discussion on “Women’s rights and population dynamics in the context of the current refugee crisis in Jordan” that was moderated by Ms. Asma Khader. Ms. Salwa Almasri, Member of the Environment, Health and Social Development Affairs Committee – Jordanian Senate, added in her presentation additional data and information on the situation of Syrian refugees in Jordan.
The meeting closed with an outlook into population dynamics in Jordan.
To read the introduction of the book English or Arabic