Debate on women’s role continues

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AMMAN - Jordanian men have mixed opinions on the significance of women’s role in the economic sphere and the country’s pursuit of development and progress.

Their points of view range between the two extremes, with some calling for empowering women to participate in the development process, and others rejecting the very idea of women going to work.

Nadir Qahoush, a bank employee, said females constitute “half of society and their participation in the economic field is vital”.

“Women have qualities that make them even better achievers than men. After all, they are dedicated and take their work seriously, especially when they are challenged to prove themselves,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone yesterday.

Mahmoud Khalaileh, a shipping company sales executive, agreed, noting that women “by nature, tend to sacrifice for others. This also applies when they join a team in workplace”.

“Although most women have other responsibilities at home and in society, like looking after their children, they are always organised and dedicated in their work,” he said.

Khalifa Arman, another company executive, looks at the issue from a different angle. He prefers to hire women “because they are nice in dealing with customers”.

“They never complain and they have the required poise and patience,” Arman noted.

Despite these encouraging qualities, Qahoush noted that women are not given what they deserve as employees, including leading positions in organisations.

But other men think differently.

Ayman Abbadi claimed that women take so many vacations and days off that they affect progress and achievement negatively.

“Men seldom take days off. Besides, it is easy to deal with men while you are working since they understand what you want,” the private sector employee and father of a girl added.

He stressed that men can handle a lot of responsibilities and work late hours, while women cannot do that since they have other responsibilities at home or struggle with social restraints.

Osama Abu Afif, who said his wife is not employed, went as far as saying that “women should stay at home because they are needed more there, and leave job openings to be taken by men”.

“I noticed that some of my friends have problems with their wives who work since they cannot strike a balance between their jobs and their duties as mothers and house managers,” he said.

Rami Omar went a step farther.

According to the bachelor: “Family bonds are on the line when women are employed.”

“Some families are forced to register their children in school or hire domestic helpers to look after them, and when these children grow up, their relationship with their parents will not be as healthy as it should be,” he argued.

Regardless of the debate, both groups agree that a woman’s role is vital to society, whether as employees or mothers and homemakers