Striving for an inclusive labor market in Jordan

December 11, 2017

by Noura el-Turk and Doreen Khoury

Honouring women in the Jordanian Banking and Insurance Sectors: The Leila Baqili Conference


Hivos and the Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI) in Jordan organised the Leila Baqili Conference on women in the banking and insurance sectors on 14 October 2017, in cooperation with the Jordanian Central Bank, and within the framework of the Women Empowered for Leadership Programme.  The conference consisted for panels and open discussions between civil society activists and female bankers and insurance company directors on strengthening women in the Jordanian labour force. Accomplishments of many leading women in the private sector were made visible and   Dozens of leading women in the banking sector were  interviewed about their own careers and advice to ambitious young women in the labour market.

Who is Leila Baqili?

Leila Baqiki was a pioneer that paved the way towards more gender equality in the labor market. Working in banks since 1957, Leila began her career at the Arabic Bank in Jordan. After marrying in 1964, she was forced to quit her job as married woman were banned from working in most banks. Leila refused to give up  filed a request to create a syndicate for workers in the banking sector to protect workers rights and abolish discriminatory practices women faced. When the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs refused to grant the request, Leila and 15  other people took their case to the Jordanian Supreme Court. The court overrode the ministry’s refusal and passed the bill, allowing the syndicate to be formed. It become the most important worker’s syndicate in Jordan.