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by Colin Campbell
Working A Refugee Crisis: Jordan

Episode 5: Bothaina Qamar (UN Women) works in her native country of Jordan to increase women's workforce participation and help educate fathers, mothers, and siblings on important gender issues


We may have not posted for a while, but now we are back with a very engaging interview! For our fifth episode of the podcast we speak with Bothaina Qamar, a Livelihoods Specialist for UN Women (a United Nations organization). Bothaina was born and raised in Irbid, Jordan, went to university in Jordan, and then went to graduate school in the USA for development.

We discuss Bothaina's unique, insider perspective (as compared to the foreigners that we have interviewed in previous podcasts) on the gender issues in Jordan with locals and refugees. Throughout her life she has experienced the gender impacts within her family, her friends network, and at previous jobs with organizations like CARE, Right to Play, Y-PEER, UNFPA, and more. We delve into the many cultural and logistical reasons why more women graduate university than men in Jordan, but far less enter the workforce, we touch on micro-finance opportunities, and we discuss the UN Womens' training of Jordanian women to work in the garment industry and the ways to educate their fathers to allow them to work. We also talk about Bothaina's personal life - like her experience moving away from her family to Amman, attending graduate school (Heller) as an Arab at Brandeis, which has one of the largest Jewish student populations in the United States, and her enjoyment of national parks in California. This podcast is longer than usual and it's completely worth it!

Please NOTE that Bothaina's interview represents her personal experiences and views, not the official stances of the UN or her previous organizations. For more information about the UN Women, please visit this link.



by Colin Campbell