AMMAN — In comparison with women of other nationalities, Jordanian women are “the least” likely to independently manage with their earnings, according a recent report by the local women’s organisation, Solidarity Is Global Institute (SIGI).

SIGI reported that only 12.1 per cent of Jordanian women decide how to use their cash earnings on their own, compared with 19.8 per cent of Syrian women and 43.3 per cent of women of other nationalities.

The percentage is higher in urban areas, where 14.9 per cent of women decide to use their cash on their own, compared with 12.3 per cent of women in rural areas, SIGI said.

According to the Department of Statistics’ Population and Family Health Survey (2017-2018), only 14.6 per cent of married women decide how to spend their earnings, while 7 per cent have their husbands manage their money and 78.4 per cent manage their money jointly with their spouses, according to SIGI.

SIGI’s report indicated that women in Zarqa Governorate have the most freedom to spend their earnings, while women in Karak Governorate have the least.

The report noted that women with a higher level of education have less freedom with their money.

Women’s freedom to spend their money — personal financial earnings, in particular resulting from work — on their own increases according to their husbands’ economic participation and their earnings.

An estimated 48.5 per cent of women decide to spend their money on their own if their husbands have no earnings or do not work and 20.9 per cent decide to spend their money on their own if their earnings are higher than the earnings of their spouses, according to SIGI’s report.

Women between the ages of 20 and 24 are the most free to decide how to use their earnings, while women aged between 30 and 34 are the least free to do so, SIGI reported.

Women’s participation in the workforce has deviated from its path in many cases, Executive Director of SIGI Munir Idaibes said.

“Many husbands have become dependent on their wives’ income and refrain from working themselves, and if they do, they are still reluctant to contribute to household spending,” Idaibes told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

Violence against working women is taking a new form, Idaibes said, citing many husbands’ control over their wives’ salaries.

“The husbands’ control is spreading widely and in different ways such as extortion, deception and fraud, if not coercion. If wives refuse, marital disputes begin, they are often threatened to be prevented from work and they sometimes face violence,” Idaibes said.

He stressed that both the husband and the wife should spend money jointly for the benefit of the family.

“This helps with the protection of the wife’s money in the future, in the event of separation or divorce,” Idaibes said.

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