Capacity-Building Workshop on Integrating Senior Citizens Issues into the Policy-Making Process in Jordan


On Wednesday, The Higher Population Council and the National Council for Family Affairs, with technical and financial support from the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), held a capacity-building workshop on integrating elderly issues into the policy-making process in Jordan, with the participation of relevant representatives from various ministries, governmental and non-governmental entities and the National Committee for Elderly.

The two-day workshop aims to build the capacities of policy makers and various stakeholders in various government sectors to integrate the issues and priorities of the elderly into the policy-making process, in addition to raising awareness about the rights of the elderly in global frameworks. The workshop focuses on interactive exercises to raise the participants' ability to analyze and develop policies from the perspective of the elderly.

Dr. Abla Amawi, the Secretary-General of the Higher Population Council, stressed that this workshop comes due to the belief of the Higher Population Council in the importance of partnerships with all public and private sectors, civil society organizations, and international institutions to support population and development policies and issues, including those related to the elderly.

She indicated that, according to the estimates of the Department of Statistics for 2020, the number of the elderly in Jordan reached 588,109 people (299,450 males, 288,659 females), constituting (5.4 %) of the total population of the Kingdom, while the number of Jordanian elderly reached (459,286). (231,428 males, 227,858 females) and constitute (6.1%) of the total Jordanian population. In addition, the national projections issued by the Department of Statistics indicate that the elderly in Jordan (60 years and over) will rise, according to the medium scenario to (929114) people in 2030, and to (1619076) people in 2050, with a percentage of (7.7%) in 2030, and (13.5%) in 2050 of the total population of the Kingdom.

Dr. Amawi addressed that Jordan's arrival to this percentage in 2050 is an indication of the beginning of Jordan's entry into the stage of aging societies 30 years after the beginning of the second centenary for Jordan. From this point, the Higher Population Council stresses the importance of preparing and institutionalizing social protection for this segment and finding mechanisms for employing this segment in another demographic opportunity based on investing in the elderly segment.


Ammawi pointed out that the Higher Population Council, which is the national reference for population issues, closely follows demographic changes in Jordan, and continue to evaluate the effects of population policies and programs on the age structure of the population and demographic characteristics, indicating that Jordan has witnessed a significant increase in the average life expectancy at birth since 1961, according to statistical reports issued by the Department of Statistics, which the number of years added to life expectancy reached 19.3 years (from 54 years in 1961 to 73.3 years in 2019). This increase came as a result of noticeable improvement in the population’s living and health conditions, which reflected positively on the chances of survival, and requires reconsidering the definition of the elderly segment nationally, to ensure using these additional years are as production years in national legislation, strategies and policies.

In turn, the Secretary-General of the National Council for Family Affairs, Dr. Muhammad Fakhri Miqdadi, stressed the importance of this workshop in institutionalizing the elderly issues in Jordan, and the importance of highlighting their issues to be a national priority, indicating the National Council for Family Affairs role in preparing the national strategy for the elderly and its operational plan for the years (2018-2022), which forms the basis in planning to integrate the issues of the elderly into national policies through the axes and priorities it includes.

Miqdadi stated that the Council is working to follow up the implementation of the operational plan’s activities, in cooperation with the National Committee, to follow up on the implementation of the national strategy for the elderly, which was composed under the Prime Minister decision, whose members represent all relevant national institutions.

He also referred to Jordan's achievements regarding the legislation of the elderly, as the Jordanian constitution stipulates in Article 6 of section 5 of the second chapter regarding Jordanians’ rights and duties, to protect the elderly from abuse and exploitation and protect their rights. In addition, most of the Jordanian legislation such as the Personal Status Law, the Criminal Code, the Social Security Law, and the other legislation include in their articles some texts relating to protecting the rights of the elderly. In addition to this, the demands of the national strategy for the elderly are about the importance of issuing an Act protecting the rights of the elderly and covering all of their rights.

Dr. Sarah Salman, Regional Adviser for Population Affairs at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), In turn, indicated that the subject of the workshop has further importance in light of the demographic changes which will result in an increase in the number and proportions of the elderly in the Arab region, where it is expected that the number of people over 60 years old will exceed 100 million by 2050, indicating that that the process of transition towards old age (the stage in which the proportion of the elderly rises from 7 to 14% of the population)  in Jordan is expected to begin in 2035, and it will have a rapid pace process and will last about two decades.

She added that this rapid pace of demographic changes imposes on Arab countries an urgent policy response to ensure the dignity for the elderly today and shortly, noting that most Arab countries face great pressures to meet the needs of their young societies and at the same time prepare for the aging stage, where Corona pandemic increased these challenges and created additional obstacles.