Asma Khader interview on human rights, gender equality, democracy, and NGOs in Jordan (video)
Asma Khader (2006) of Sisterhood is Global Institute/Jordan (SIGI/J), speaks about SIGI/J's mission, the state of NGOs in Jordan, the perception of feminism as a Western value, and the challenges that this misconception presents. Describes need for civil society laws to enable independent activity and resources (financial and expertise), and cooperation with international community. Distinguishes Jordan's democratic values from other countries in region, belief in peaceful world through shared values, confrontation of extremism through workings of international law and human rights efforts. Discusses patriarchy's discriminatory visions and justifications in religion and tradition, with sole aim of maintaining superiority over women and other vulnerable groups. Promotes values shared by civilization, equality between men and women for benefit of all. Describes lobbying efforts for legislative reforms. Discusses open minded leadership of country, King and Queen calling for participant citizens.
Describes impact of Women's Learning Partnership (WLP) concept of leadership, and organization's sensitivity to local cultures with clarity of approach on developing culture of human rights and non-discriminatory practices; other prositive aspects.
Discusses importance of sensitivity in use of language, describes adjusting terms so society friendly without negative associations, giving examples 'reform', 'develop' in place of 'change', misunderstanding of terms 'feminism' and 'gender'. Describes strategies employed to confront patriarchal elements in society, emphasizing preference for focus on illustrating interpretations of religion and culture that support equality, freedom and rights for women. Discusses importance of building alliances, strength in group vs working in isolation, success through presenting facts and figures relating to violence against women and impact on children/families rather than through ideological confrontations.
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