Research and “Girls Can!” Project Highlight the Needs of Homebound Girls in Jordan
On July 7th 2013, Save the Children’s Promising Futures project is releasing a research report on homebound girls in Jordan in collaboration with the Information and Research Center – King Hussein Foundation.
The so-called homebound girls are young girls under the age of 18, who, often for cultural more than economic reasons, are withdrawn from school, confined to the family home and engaged in household chores.
The research aims at exploring the socio-cultural and economic background of homebound girls in Jordan and understanding the reasons that led to their confinement. Furthermore, it seeks to identify possible interventions to allow homebound girls access to education and strengthen their social development. The study, which was based on in-depth interviews with 46 homebound girls and 40 mothers, was conducted in four locations in Jordan: Marka, Mafraq, Ma`an, and Zarqa.
A related initiative developed by Save the Children is the “Girls Can!” project. The project that was funded by the Netherlands Embassy in Jordan, addresses the specific needs of homebound girls, by bringing education to a trusted environment near the homes of the girls.
The project falls under the broader umbrella of combating child labor program “Promising Futures”, in which Save the Children, along with JOHUD, is supporting national efforts to combat child labor in Jordan, with funding from the US Department of Labor.
The “Girls Can” project is implemented in a culturally accepted approach, where participating girls are trained with their mothers on financial literacy and are supported to create their own home-based business. It appears that, in spite of the restrictions on their mobility, there is a strong desire among girls and their mothers to be educated and contribute to the family income.
“Based on the study findings, and the positive experience with the “Girls Can!” Project, we are making a call for further research and the acknowledgement of homebound girls as child laborers. Their needs will need to be addressed through specific policy measures and interventions. We will continue to support efforts to improve the quality of, and access to education, raise awareness and contribute to social transformation, to allow the girls to live up to their potential” said Saskia Brand, Promising Futures Project Director.