The Christian Science Monitor

With elbow grease and conviction, Jordanian women move into male vocations

Balqees Bani Hani checks the life of a car battery at her newly-opened Zahreh Garage in Irbid, northern Jordan, Jan. 21, 2018. Source: Taylor Luck

When life gave Balqees Bani Hani lemons, she decided to repair them.

“I fix cars,” Ms. Bani Hani says as she checks the oil of a car in her newly opened garage in northern Jordan, “and I break stereotypes.”

Jordan’s first commercial female car mechanic is one of hundreds of Jordanian women who in recent years increasingly have taken jobs in traditionally male, vocational trades to make ends meet: welding pipes, fixing transmissions, repairing boilers, and driving taxis.

It is a sign that as prices and unemployment rise in the resource-poor kingdom, some conservative elements in Jordanian society are changing their perceptions of what women can and can’t do, even gradually accepting women working independently in the company of men.

“A high level of unemployment and the threat of poverty is driving many women

Gaining men's trustSteep path to workforceThousands in trainingRegulatory obstacles

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