The northern city of Irbid is Jordan’s second largest city and has a population of almost 600,000 inhabitants in its metropolitan area.
Although in Jordan the rates of rural poverty continue to be higher than those for urban poverty, the highest concentration of people living in poverty are found in the country’s urban centres. This includes Irbid, where pockets of extreme poverty exist across the city. Children and young people growing up here need extra support.
Since 1999, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Irbid.
Many women are well educated but do not work outside the home. Women are still at a disadvantage when it comes to matters of marriage, divorce, and inheritance, which are regulated by Sharia courts in Jordan.
In some areas, cultural obstacles hinder women’s full integration into the labour market – only 14% of Jordanian women participate in the economic sector.
Gender inequality limits women’s prospects and puts them at risk of early marriage and exploitation.
There are 3 million refugees living in Jordan. The difficult situation faced by many refugee families endangers family stability in Irbid. More than 31% of Palestinian refugees in Irbid have an income below the national poverty line, limiting the ability of parents to care for and protect their children.
Often, children are separated from their families and placed in orphanages. They receive little to no education, and face the impact of poor treatment. These children are left without adequate skills and support for life outside of the institutions.