Eid bi Eid (Hand in Hand)

Jordan is currently hosting 1.4 million Syrian refugees, nearly 10 percent of Jordan’s pre-crisis population, which has increased competition over resources, placed additional strain on social services and heightened community tensions in some areas with unintended consequences, including greater restrictions on women’s mobility.

While existing programs that provide food and unconditional cash assistance have been instrumental in responding to the immediate humanitarian crisis, they are not designed for long-term outcomes. As the government of Jordan opens the labor market for refugees with work permits, targeted efforts are needed to empower female refugees to harness income-generating activities. These efforts must also support the government in meeting its commitment to increase overall female participation in the workforce.

Eid bi Eid is a multi-year initiative to support the government of Jordan to address issues of employment and gender inequality, exacerbated by the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis. The project began in 2015 to support the immediate needs of refugee women and vulnerable Jordanian women affected by the crisis. The second phase, which began in 2017, utilizes a resilience framework for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment goals and promotes individual and community ability to absorb shock. This is done through the provision of livelihoods opportunities and protection support for refugee women living in camp and non-camp settings, as well as Jordanian women living in hosting communities.

How Zonta helps

Zonta International has committed US$1,000,000 to UN Women to improve Syrian refugee and Jordanian women’s access to sustainable and decent employment, coupled with protection services and community leadership/engagement, to enable greater equality and reduced violence against women.

Project beneficiaries

This partnership between Zonta International and UN Women expects to reach at least 25,760 direct beneficiaries

Expected outcomes

  1. Women in camp settings and host communities are empowered through money for work and increased access to longer term economic recovery and livelihood opportunities.
  2. Women’s protection and access to justice is promoted to enable accountability and support them to serve as active members of their community.
  3. Women participate in and inform community decision-making processes.
  4. Duty-bearers are supported to create a greater enabling environment for women’s economic participation.

Read a detailed project description to find out more about this exciting partnership between Zonta International and UN Women.

Stories and updates

Safiyah Abd El Ghafar_credit and cropped

In 2013, Safiyah Abd El Ghafar arrived in Jordan with her family of 10, clutching nothing more than the hands of her children. With her elderly husband unable to find work, she soon found herself in the position of having to become the sole provider for her family. Abd El Ghafar applied for UN Women’s cash-for-work tailoring program at the Oasis Centre for Resilience and Empowerment of Women and Girls. Not letting her gender, age, or lack of experience get in her way, the 46-year-old secured her first job. Read more about Abd El Ghafar, who now has her own tailoring business within the Za'atari camp, where she supervises four staff and provides services to 70 regular clients.



Safiyah Abd El Ghafar and Duha Adnan are among the 43% of Syrian refugee female-headed households in Jordan. To provide a livelihood for their families, these two women utilized the skills and business capacities they acquired at UN Women’s Oasis Centre to start their own micro-businesses.