Amman - Post Report Question and Answers

Are there problems with ethnic, race/racial minorities or religious prejudices? Gender equality?

Yes, yes, yes. Gender equality is a joke and there is racism and a lot depends on your clan. In my experience, even facilities at the embassy talks down to you if you are a woman. - Aug 2023

There is noticeable racism and discrimination against people of Asian or African heritage. Women are not viewed as equal to men. - Aug 2023

Yes, to all of the above. - Jul 2023

Gender quality is complicated. Women in Jordan have along way to go to achieve gender equity, but there are a lot of great female FSNs in the embassy and personally my daughter and I haven't been treated differently. My daughter's 17 yo friend was harassed and assaulted in an Uber once but that is the only time I have heard of someone doing or saying anything to an expat woman. - Jul 2022

If you are Israeli (or perhaps Jewish) it might be an issue with Palestinian Jordanians. But as long as you avoid "the debate", it's probably fine. It is a relatively misogynous culture, so some expat women will experience certain looks or disrespectful comments from some men. But generally, my wife found most Jordanian men to be quite polite and courteous. - Oct 2021

Great gender inequality. Yes, the women work, but the mindset is unequal, bordering on misogyny. Men are revered and often dismiss women and pontificate in professional settings. It can be positively tiring. - Feb 2021

Sure, but people are accepted here from all around the region. It is generally accepting of religious minorities. - Jan 2021

Gender issues... It's the Middle East. Yes. - Sep 2020

Yes. - Sep 2018

On the surface, no, but there definitely seem to be religious prejudices. We have had quite a few friends affiliated with the church we attend have their visa renewal application rejected for no apparent reason. The only common denominator is that they are Christian families. And gender equality? What's that? - Sep 2018

There is a bit of a hierarchy of ethnic groups. Jordanians definitely seen themselves as the peers of Gulf State sheikhs, just without the money. Certain jobs are just assumed to be performed only by Egyptians. It is not particularly overt, just understood. - Mar 2017

Yes. - Jul 2016

Gender, yes--women here are not always respected. Race--from what I've heard, yes, it can be an issue. - Mar 2016

I don't know about racial, religious I would say no. There are Christian, Muslim, etc. churches available. - Nov 2015

Yes, yes, and yes. visible minority expats experience prejudice - if you're of Asian decent, expect to be mistaken for a housekeeper quite a bit. If you're Christian or Muslim that's fine; don't out yourself as Atheist, Jewish, or anything else. In terms of gender, as a woman I'm at best treated with paternalistic condescension. - Mar 2015

Yes. Yes. And Yes. - Jul 2014

Jordanians are 60% Palestinian, and with Israel so close, there are a lot of strong feelings about the Israel/Palestine issue here, and you're very likely to run into people who have family who lost their homes or land and were forced to come to Jordan as refugees in 1948 or 1967, so if you're Jewish, I'd probably not say so until you got to know someone pretty well. I've also never seen a synagogue here, so I'm guessing there isn't much public support at least for the Jewish community here. There are a lot of negative feelings lately about all the refugees from Iraq and Syria, particularly as the cost of living is going up and poverty is on the rise. In general, I think women do fine in Jordan, but it is a very male-dominated culture, so something to be cognizant of at least. - Mar 2014

Yes. - Dec 2013

Yes, yes and yes. - Aug 2013

In western Amman, not really. I imagine Jewish people need to be cautious about identifying themselves to people they don't know to avoid potential for verbal harassment. Women traveling alone or groups of women without a man present are more subject to verbal harassment. - Jul 2013

Yes, yes, and yes. It is very tough to be Jewish here (i.e. don't tell anyone you are Jewish - many people may be okay with it, but some distinctly and vocally are not). There are also times when it is tough to be female, and you always have to dress conservatively (not a veil, but with longer sleeves, skirts, etc.). My Asian friends tell me that many Jordanians treat them like servants. And many domestic helpers in Jordan are treated terribly by their employers. - May 2013

Not really - Mar 2013

Every society has its prejudices. Westerners are treated fairly well. The migrant work-force is looked down upon. - Apr 2012

Yes, people here can be close minded, but it's no worse than any other place I suppose. - Mar 2012

Yes. This is arguably the most progressive Arab country, but it's still the Middle East. Hatred for Jews is fairly open and accepted, mistreatment of people of African descent is common. Arab Christians and women are treated as inferior as a matter of course. - Mar 2012

There is a MAJOR problem with being Jewish here and this is why I am submitting a Real Post Report on Amman. We expressly told our children's school that we wanted to remain "low-key" about being Jewish and we declined a request to speak to the students about our holidays. We were inadvertently outed by one of our children's teachers to several other parents; word spread quickly and several parents expressed vehement objections to us. We've had negative comments from the neighbors, as well, even though we have not displayed any obvious outward signs that we are Jewish. The population is also 60% Palestinian and many express their outrage with Israel and merge Jews from the diaspora with Israel in their minds. Protests against the Israeli Embassy are common and the Israeli diplomatic presence has been downsized to be now miniscule for security reasons. Jewish Peace Corps volunteers have been asked to keep their religion a secret here for their own safety. Jewish university students on study abroad have also been asked to do the same. Many find, as a result, that living here is very stressful, and that they cannot "be themselves" here or share their identities with their host families.(We have met about a dozen underground Jewish students here who all say the same thing.)I would recommend that non-Muslims and non-Christians avoid living here.(I have also heard negative comments about other religions from locals.) - Oct 2011

I haven't noticed any although Asian housekeepers aren't treated well by the local population. It's a problem in the whole region. - Aug 2011

There is an overall tolerance for christians and christmas,etc although prostyletizing is against the law. Of course, there are gender prejudices that women especially need to be aware wont see women in the general work force nearly as much as males. - Aug 2011


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