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Jordan

Download the GAGE Jordan overview

 

Our research: In Jordan, a small landlocked country bordering Israel, Saudi Arabia and Syria, we are following over 3,500 adolescents – including vulnerable Jordanians as well as Palestinian, Syrian and Yemeni refugees who are living in host communities, camps and informal tented settlements. Our research includes adolescents themselves, their caregivers, teachers and other community members.

The context: Jordan has the second highest share of refugees compared to its population in the world, 89 refugees per 1,000 inhabitants. UNHCR reports that there are more than 2 million Palestine refugees and 660,000 Syrian refugees officially registered in Jordan (as of June 2018) – though government sources estimate that the total Syrian population is at least twice as large. Of those, just over 2 million are Palestinian and about 1.5 million are Syrian. Most refugees are poor – for example, a recent survey found that 90% of Syrian children in Jordan live below the poverty line.

Education and learning: Adolescent girls in Jordan are more likely to attend school than boys – in part because many boys leave school to work and in part because many are pushed out by teacher violence. Amongst Jordanians, 10% of secondary-aged girls are out of school, compared to 15% of boys. Enrolment rates for Syrian refugees are far lower. Only 72% of Syrian girls between the ages of nine and 14 – and 29% of girls between the ages of 15 and 17 – are enrolled in school. For boys, rates are 63% and 22%, respectively.

Bodily autonomy, integrity and freedom from violence: Girls in Jordan – especially Syrian refugee girls – are at high risk of marrying as children. About one in nine Jordanian girls and an estimated one in three Syrian girls marry before the age of 18. Syrian refugee boys living in Jordan are especially likely to experience violence. Many studies have found that violence at the hands of host community peers is endemic, with violence in some communities so pervasive that parents pull their children from school in order to keep them safe.1

Health, nutrition, and sexual and reproductive health: Adolescents in Jordan face varied threats to their nutrition. Jordanians are increasingly likely to be overweight,2 while Syrian refugees are highly food insecure, due to high poverty rates. Syrian refugee girls are at a high risk of teenage pregnancy due to child marriage.3 Approximately one-tenth of births to Syrian mothers are to girls under the age of 18.4 Adolescent boys, on the other hand, are at growing risk of substance use. Up to half admit to smoking daily, and drug addiction is becoming an increasing concern.

Psychosocial well-being: Overall assessments suggest that most Jordanian girls are optimistic about their own futures and feel well connected to their families. However, where girls struggle with depression and eating disorders they are unlikely to receive treatment because of stigma – as parents are concerned about damaging girls’ marriage prospects.5 Jordanian boys, despite their higher ‘happiness’ levels, report more loneliness and are less likely to say that they have someone to talk to. Refugee adolescents report depression, anxiety, stress and PTSD – with girls more likely to internalise their feelings and boys more likely to act out.6

Voice and agency: Adolescents have comparatively limited space to make decisions in Jordan, as the culture emphasises generational hierarchies. Girls’ are particularly disadvantaged. They have far more limited mobility than boys, especially after puberty, and are expected to comply with their parents’ decisions. Syrian girls again appear particularly disadvantaged, with only one-third of adolescent girls even leaving home on a daily basis.7

Economic empowerment: Youth unemployment rates are high in Jordan – which also has one of the lowest rates of female labour-force participation in the world. While refugee boys are likely to be engaged in child labour, the jobs open to them are generally poorly paid and exploitive. Girls’ access to employment is all but non-existent.

The evidence base: Our situation analyses (one for girls and one for boys) concluded that the evidence base on adolescent well-being in Jordan needs considerable strengthening given that the experiences of girls and boys of Jordanian, Syrian and Palestinian heritage can be markedly different. Care is needed to tease out the specific age-, gender- and nationality-related risks and opportunities facing different groups of young people, and within refugee communities the different vulnerabilities faced by those living in camps compared to in host communities.

Related publications

Journal articles
21.09.21
‘I Wish Someone Would Ask Me Questions’: The Unheard Voices of Adolescents with Disabilities in Jordan
Education and learning
Jordan
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21.09.21 | Education and learning | Journal articles | Jordan
‘I Wish Someone Would Ask Me Questions’: The Unheard Voices of Adolescents with Disabilities in Jordan
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Journal articles
03.09.21
‘I Dream of Going Home’: Gendered Experiences of Adolescent Syrian Refugees in Jordan’s Azraq Camp
Across GAGE capabilities
Jordan
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03.09.21 | Across GAGE capabilities | Journal articles | Jordan
‘I Dream of Going Home’: Gendered Experiences of Adolescent Syrian Refugees in Jordan’s Azraq Camp
Read more
Reports
19.08.21
Living with the Covid-19 pandemic: adolescent experiences in Jordan
Across GAGE capabilities
Jordan
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19.08.21 | Across GAGE capabilities | Reports | Jordan
Living with the Covid-19 pandemic: adolescent experiences in Jordan
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Journal articles
29.07.21
‘No One Should Be Terrified Like I Was!’ Exploring Drivers and Impacts of Child Marriage in Protracted Crises Among Palestinian and Syrian Refugees
Across GAGE capabilities
Jordan | Palestine
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29.07.21 | Across GAGE capabilities | Journal articles | Jordan
‘No One Should Be Terrified Like I Was!’ Exploring Drivers and Impacts of Child Marriage in Protracted Crises Among Palestinian and Syrian Refugees
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Reports
12.07.21
How to maximise the impacts of cash transfers for vulnerable adolescents in Jordan
Economic empowerment
Jordan
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12.07.21 | Economic empowerment | Reports | Jordan
How to maximise the impacts of cash transfers for vulnerable adolescents in Jordan
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Reports
08.06.21
Adolescent well-being in the time of covid-19
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Bangladesh | Ethiopia
Read more
08.06.21 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Reports | Bangladesh
Adolescent well-being in the time of covid-19
Read more
Reports
19.05.21
Child Marriage in Humanitarian Crises: Girls and Parents Speak Out on Risk and Protective Factors, Decision-Making, and Solutions
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Bangladesh | Ethiopia
Read more
19.05.21 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Reports | Bangladesh
Child Marriage in Humanitarian Crises: Girls and Parents Speak Out on Risk and Protective Factors, Decision-Making, and Solutions
Read more
Reports
08.04.21
‘Some got married, others don’t want to attend school as they are involved in income-generation’: adolescent experiences following covid-19 lockdowns in low- and middle-income countries
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Bangladesh | Ethiopia
Read more
08.04.21 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Reports | Bangladesh
‘Some got married, others don’t want to attend school as they are involved in income-generation’: adolescent experiences following covid-19 lockdowns in low- and middle-income countries
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Policy briefs and policy notes
30.03.21
Empowering adolescents through an integrated programming approach: exploring the effects of UNICEF’s Makani programme on Dom adolescents’ well-being in Jordan
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan
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30.03.21 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Policy briefs and policy notes | Jordan
Empowering adolescents through an integrated programming approach: exploring the effects of UNICEF’s Makani programme on Dom adolescents’ well-being in Jordan
Read more
Reports
14.03.21
Exploring adolescent capabilities among the marginalised Dom community in Jordan
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan
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14.03.21 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Reports | Jordan
Exploring adolescent capabilities among the marginalised Dom community in Jordan
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Journal articles
03.02.21
Human rights education in humanitarian settings: opportunities and challenges
Education and learning
Bangladesh | Jordan
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03.02.21 | Education and learning | Journal articles | Bangladesh
Human rights education in humanitarian settings: opportunities and challenges
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Method tools and guides
18.12.20
Covid-19 phone survey (round 2) in Jordan and Palestine
Jordan | Palestine
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18.12.20 | Method tools and guides | Jordan
Covid-19 phone survey (round 2) in Jordan and Palestine
Read more
Reports
17.12.20
Through their eyes: exploring the complex drivers of child marriage in humanitarian contexts
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Bangladesh | Jordan
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17.12.20 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Reports | Bangladesh
Through their eyes: exploring the complex drivers of child marriage in humanitarian contexts
Read more
Reports
11.12.20
‘The first thing that I fear for my future is lack of rain and drought’: climate change and its impacts on adolescent capabilities in low- and middle-income countries
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Bangladesh | Ethiopia
Read more
11.12.20 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Reports | Bangladesh
‘The first thing that I fear for my future is lack of rain and drought’: climate change and its impacts on adolescent capabilities in low- and middle-income countries
Read more
Journal articles
10.12.20
Social isolation and disrupted privacy: impacts of covid-19 on adolescent girls in humanitarian contexts
Psychosocial well-being
Bangladesh | Jordan
Read more
10.12.20 | Psychosocial well-being | Journal articles | Bangladesh
Social isolation and disrupted privacy: impacts of covid-19 on adolescent girls in humanitarian contexts
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Book chapters
27.10.20
Interrogating the potential of a “cash plus” approach to tackle multidimensional vulnerability in humanitarian contexts: the case of Syrian refugees in Jordan
Economic empowerment
Jordan
Read more
27.10.20 | Economic empowerment | Book chapters | Jordan
Interrogating the potential of a “cash plus” approach to tackle multidimensional vulnerability in humanitarian contexts: the case of Syrian refugees in Jordan
Read more
Policy briefs and policy notes
28.09.20
Adolescents’ experiences of covid-19 and the public health response in Jordan
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan
Read more
28.09.20 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Policy briefs and policy notes | Jordan
Adolescents’ experiences of covid-19 and the public health response in Jordan
Read more
Reports
12.08.20
‘I have nothing to feed my family…’: covid-19 risk pathways for adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries
Economic empowerment
Bangladesh | Ethiopia
Read more
12.08.20 | Economic empowerment | Reports | Bangladesh
‘I have nothing to feed my family…’: covid-19 risk pathways for adolescent girls in low- and middle-income countries
Read more
Method tools and guides
05.06.20
GAGE Jordan: overview
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan
Read more
05.06.20 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Method tools and guides | Jordan
GAGE Jordan: overview
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Policy briefs and policy notes
05.05.20
Exploring the impacts of covid-19 on adolescents in Jordan’s refugee camps and host communities
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan
Read more
05.05.20 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Policy briefs and policy notes | Jordan
Exploring the impacts of covid-19 on adolescents in Jordan’s refugee camps and host communities
Read more
Method tools and guides
02.02.20
Jordan baseline survey 2017/18
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan
Read more
02.02.20 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Method tools and guides | Jordan
Jordan baseline survey 2017/18
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Journal articles
30.11.19
‘Even though I am blind, I am still human!’: the neglect of adolescents with disabilities’ human rights in conflict-affected contexts
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan | Palestine
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30.11.19 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Journal articles | Jordan
‘Even though I am blind, I am still human!’: the neglect of adolescents with disabilities’ human rights in conflict-affected contexts
Read more
Reports
14.10.19
Adolescent well-being in Jordan: exploring gendered capabilities, contexts and change strategies
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan
Read more
14.10.19 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Reports | Jordan
Adolescent well-being in Jordan: exploring gendered capabilities, contexts and change strategies
Read more
Policy briefs and policy notes
22.07.19
Adolescents in Jordan: freedom from age- and gender-based violence
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan
Read more
22.07.19 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Policy briefs and policy notes | Jordan
Adolescents in Jordan: freedom from age- and gender-based violence
Read more
Policy briefs and policy notes
22.07.19
Adolescents in Jordan: psychosocial well-being
Psychosocial well-being
Jordan
Read more
22.07.19 | Psychosocial well-being | Policy briefs and policy notes | Jordan
Adolescents in Jordan: psychosocial well-being
Read more
Policy briefs and policy notes
22.07.19
Adolescents in Jordan: voice, agency, mobility and social cohesion
Voice and agency
Jordan
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22.07.19 | Voice and agency | Policy briefs and policy notes | Jordan
Adolescents in Jordan: voice, agency, mobility and social cohesion
Read more
Policy briefs and policy notes
22.07.19
Adolescents in Jordan: health, nutrition and WASH
Sexual reproductive health and nutrition
Jordan
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22.07.19 | Sexual reproductive health and nutrition | Policy briefs and policy notes | Jordan
Adolescents in Jordan: health, nutrition and WASH
Read more
Policy briefs and policy notes
22.07.19
Adolescents in Jordan: education and learning
Education and learning
Jordan
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22.07.19 | Education and learning | Policy briefs and policy notes | Jordan
Adolescents in Jordan: education and learning
Read more
Policy briefs and policy notes
22.07.19
Adolescents in Jordan: economic empowerment and social protection
Economic empowerment
Jordan
Read more
22.07.19 | Economic empowerment | Policy briefs and policy notes | Jordan
Adolescents in Jordan: economic empowerment and social protection
Read more
Policy briefs and policy notes
22.07.19
Leave no one behind: adolescents with disabilities in Jordan
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan
Read more
22.07.19 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Policy briefs and policy notes | Jordan
Leave no one behind: adolescents with disabilities in Jordan
Read more
Policy briefs and policy notes
22.07.19
Leave no one behind: married girls in Jordan
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan
Read more
22.07.19 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Policy briefs and policy notes | Jordan
Leave no one behind: married girls in Jordan
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Policy briefs and policy notes
02.06.19
Leave no adolescent behind: the gender- and age-specific vulnerabilities of adolescent refugees and IDPs
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Ethiopia | Jordan
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02.06.19 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Policy briefs and policy notes | Ethiopia
Leave no adolescent behind: the gender- and age-specific vulnerabilities of adolescent refugees and IDPs
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Journal articles
30.12.18
Why a ‘cash plus’ approach is critical to better support children and adolescents with disabilities: evidence from Jordan and Palestine
Economic empowerment
Jordan | Palestine
Read more
30.12.18 | Economic empowerment | Journal articles | Jordan
Why a ‘cash plus’ approach is critical to better support children and adolescents with disabilities: evidence from Jordan and Palestine
Read more
Evidence reviews and evidence digests
05.12.18
Adolescent boys in Jordan: the state of the evidence
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan
Read more
05.12.18 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Evidence reviews and evidence digests | Jordan
Adolescent boys in Jordan: the state of the evidence
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Policy briefs and policy notes
24.07.18
Adolescents with disabilities: enhancing resilience and delivering inclusive development
Education and learning
Bangladesh | Ethiopia
Read more
24.07.18 | Education and learning | Policy briefs and policy notes | Bangladesh
Adolescents with disabilities: enhancing resilience and delivering inclusive development
Read more
Evidence reviews and evidence digests
05.10.17
Adolescent girls in Jordan: the state of the evidence
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan
Read more
05.10.17 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Evidence reviews and evidence digests | Jordan
Adolescent girls in Jordan: the state of the evidence
Read more
Method tools and guides
02.08.17
Adolescent perspectives on services and programmes in conflict affected contexts
Bodily integrity and freedom from violence
Jordan | Lebanon
Read more
02.08.17 | Bodily integrity and freedom from violence | Method tools and guides | Jordan
Adolescent perspectives on services and programmes in conflict affected contexts
Read more