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Table 1 Summary of the 27 documents included in the analysis according to ecological level and topic of focus pertinent to sexual- and gender-based violence and early marriage among youth in Jordan

From: A social-ecological examination into the research, policy and health service delivery environment related to early marriage and sexual and gender-based violence among youth in Jordan

Author Year Title Ecological Level Topic of Focus Study Design/Description Key Results
Abedr-Rahman, H; Salameh, HO; Salameh, RJ; Alabdallat, LI; Al-Abdallat, IM [32] 2017 Role of forensic medicine in evaluating non-fatal physical violence against women by their husbands in Jordan Youth SGBV Retrospective analysis of 158 cases of partner assault No age disaggregated results, but a majority of the sample (46%) was between the ages of 18–28 years of age.
Al-Gharaibeh, Fakir [33] 2016 Debating the role of custom, religion and law in ‘honour’ crimes: implications for social work Supportive Environment SGBV - Honor Killing Twenty-four Jordanian criminal trials of perpetrators of ‘honour’ killings from 2010 to 2014 were analysed. Most victims were unmarried women or young girls who were murdered by male relatives, usually brothers, for reasons including absence from home, being raped and talking on the phone
Al-Hawari, H; El-Banna, A [34] 2017 A medicolegal study of domestic violence in south region of Jordan Youth SGBV Examination of medical records after reported cases of abuse in population aged between 6 and 18 and above Young women between the ages of 12–18 were more likely than other age groups to experience sexual abuse. “illegal” pregnancy occurred in 13% of the cases. Other outcomes included young women leaving the home (20%).
Al-Modallal, H; Abu Zayed, I; Abujilban, S; Shehab, T; Atoum, M [35] 2015 Prevalence of intimate partner violence among women visiting health care centers in Palestine refugee camps in Jordan Youth SGBV Convenience sample of 198 Palestinian refugees living in Jordan. 8.7% of the sample was less than 20 years old, 44% of the sample was between 21 and 30 years of age. Overall, 78% of respondents were victim to at least one form of IPV. 83% of women aged < 20 and 75% of women aged between 21 and 30 experienced control IPV, 63% of women < 20 and 59% of women aged 21–30 experienced economic IPV and 40% of women < 20 and 53% of women 21–30 experienced emotional IPV. Sexual and physical IPV were less common (21% of women, and 27.5% of women experienced physical IPV)
Clark, CJ Spencer RA; Khalaf, IA; Gilbert, L; El-Bassel, N; Silverman, JG; Raj, A [36]. 2017 The influence of family violence and child marriage on unmet need for family planning in Jordan Youth Early Marriage and SGBV Cross-sectional study using 2012 DHS Women from poorer backgrounds and women with lower levels of education are more likely to be married before the age of 18.
Twenty two percent (n = 1325) of study participants reported IPV and participants who married before age 18 years were more likely to report IPV (27.6%, N = 351) compared to those marrying at or after reaching the age of majority (21.0%, N = 974).
The compounding effect of FV and IPV on unmet need among women who marry as minors suggests the need to strengthen laws against child marriage and to empower girls at risk of early marriage.
Committee on the Rights of the Child, UNHCR [37] 2014 Committee on Rights of Child examines reports of Jordan on the Convention, Children in armed conflict and the Sale of children Supportive Environment Early marriage and SGBV (honor killing) Not Applicable Description of laws surrounding early marriage in Jordan. Prevalence of honor killings.
Committee on the Rights of the Child, UNHCR [38] 2013 Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention Combined fourth and fifth periodic reports of States parties due in 2011 Jordan Supportive Environment Early marriage and SGBV (honor killing) Not applicable Description of laws surrounding early marriage in Jordan.
Doedens, W; Giga, N; Krause, S; Onyango, MA; Sami, S; Stone, E; Tomczyk, B; Williams, H [39] 2013 Reproductive health services for Syrian refugees in Zaatri Refugee Camp and Irbid City Jordan: an evaluation of the Minimum Initial Service Package March 17–222,013 Supportive Environment Early Marriage Interviews with female youth (18–24 years of age)Health facility assessmentsKey informant interviews Advocacy on child marriage/trafficking is not useful or informed and has affected capacity to address other issues because of sensitivities and its impact on Syrians by causing backlash
Some foreign men have come into camps looking for girls to marry.
The participants in Zaatri and Irbid noted that the most common age to marry was approximately 15, with a range from 13 to 20, depending on the area of Syria in which they had previously resided. In Irbid, women described reasons such as fathers wanting someone to protect their daughters from bad security in the camp or not having responsibility in the situation of their daughters being raped.
Eisner, M; Ghuneim, L [13] 2013 Honor killing attitudes amongst adolescents in Amman, Jordan Youth SGBV -Honor Killing Cross sectional survey with 856 adolescents aged 14–16 recruited from schools in Jordan Descriptive findings suggest that about 40% of boys and 20% of girls believe that killing a daughter, sister or wife who has dishonored the family can be justified.
Being of low SES and education is associated with more support for honor killing
Fowler, R [40] 2014 Syrian Refugee Families’ Awareness of the Health Risks of Child Marriage and What Organizations Offer or Plan in order to Raise Awareness Supportive Environment Early Marriage Qualitative interviews conducted with: 4 Syrian families at health center, 2 physicians, and 2 staff from UNICEF and UNFPA Syrian refugees’ perception of early marriage depends on their situation in Jordan, such as their ability to provide for their family, their feeling of safety, and their access to services like health and education.
Provides description UNICEF UNFPA programs
Higher Population Council [41] 2017 A study of early marriage in Jordan Youth Early Marriage Analyzes data from Jordan Department of Statistics Presents data showing increase in early marriages among Syrians and rates among Jordanians and other refugee groups.
Early marriages among Syrians rose from 33.2% in 2010 and 43.7% in 2015
Jordan Communication Advocacy and Policy Activity [42] 2016 Family Planning Among Syrian Refugees Living in Jordan Youth SGBV Review of assessments and surveys from 2013 to 2016 focused on family planning among Syrian women in Jordan Wife beating was acceptable to some married and unmarried male youth in several instances
Conflict in Syria and displacement have made women more susceptible to GBV, especially girls
Jordan Communication Advocacy and Policy Activity [42] 2016 Exploring Gender Norms and Family Planning in Jordan: A Qualitative Study Youth Early Marriage Focus group discussions conducted with 408 participants, including unmarried male and female youth between the ages of 18–24 One-third of the married Jordanian men and one-fifth of unmarried Jordanian male youth agreed that violence was appropriate if woman refused to bear children or used family planning without permission.
Half of unmarried Jordanian and Syrian males and females reported that violence against women was unacceptable, even if limited to shouting or threatening
Jordan Communication Advocacy and Policy Activity [43] 2015 Knowledge attitudes and practices toward family planning and reproductive health among married women of reproductive age in selected districts in Jordan Youth SBGV Survey of 2040 married women of reproductive age in 8 districts in Jordan 65% of girls between the ages of 15–19 agreed that a woman should tolerate verbal, physical, or sexual violence to keep family together.
92% of girls aged 15–19 support at least one reason given for husband to beat wife.
Jordan Health Communication Partnership [44] 2012 Evaluation of the Arab Women Speak Out (AWSO) Initiative - 2nd Tier (Phase II) - in Irbid Governorate, Jordan, 2012 Youth Early Marriage Evaluation of an intervention to raise awareness related to early marriage 85% of all recipients disagreed that “early marriage is a good basis for a happy and stable life.”
90% of all participants reported that they intend to discourage or have already discouraged their daughters or nieces from marrying before the age of 18
Lenze J; Klasen; S [45] 2017 Does Women’s Labor Force Participation Reduce Domestic Violence? Evidence from Jordan Youth SGBV Secondary analysis of 2012 Jordan Population and Family Health Survey About 25% of married women aged 15–29 experience domestic violence; no other age disaggregated results
Okour, A; Raja, B [16] 2011 Spousal violence against pregnant women from a Bedouin community in Jordan Youth SGBV A cross-sectional survey with 303 pregnant women who attended antenatal clinics in Al-Mafraq, northern desert of Jordan Overall prevalence of violence was 40.6% during pregnancy. Included women aged less than 20 (but very small sample) and women between age 20–29; no significant association was found with regard to age.
Oweis, A; Gharaibeh, M; Alhourani, R [15]. 2010 Prevalence of violence during pregnancy: findings from a Jordanian survey Youth SGBV A convenience sample of 316 pregnant women was recruited from five Maternal and Child Health Centers, located in Irbid City in the North of Jordan Women between the ages of 15–24 are included in the sample overall, but no disaggregated results for youth. One finding: age is not associated with the prevalence of violence therefore authors conclude that violence occurs frequently throughout marriage.
The prevalence of physical, emotional, verbal and sexual violence by husbands during pregnancy was 10.4, 23.4, 23.7, and 5.7%, respectively.
Safadi, R; Swigart, V; Hamdan-Mansour, AM; Banimustafa, R; Constantino, RE [46] 2013 An Ethnographic–Feminist Study of Jordanian Women’s Experiences of Domestic Violence and Process of Resolution Youth SGBV Narrative life histories regarding women’s experiences with violence. Women between the ages of 22 and 24 years were included in the sample violence and discrimination often begins in childhood, perpetrated by their fathers.
Fathers encouraged the reproduction of abusive behavior and established discriminatory beliefs towards women by their fathers.
of the women described being forced into early marriage by controlling fathers and raped by future spouses
Sahbani, S; Al-Khateeb, M; Hikmat, R [47] 2016 Early marriage and pregnancy among Syrian adolescent girls in Jordan; do they have a choice? Youth Early Marriage Commentary The percentage of underage Syrian refugee girls who registered their marriages in Jordan increased three times from 2011 rates, to reach 32% of all marriages by 2014.
Samari, G [28] 2017 Syrian Refugee Women’s Health in Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan and Recommendations for Improved Practice Youth; Supportive Environment Early Marriage and SGBV Review article and synthesis of assessments between 2011 and 2016 focused on Syrian women’s health in Jordan Need to integrate mental health and sexual and reproductive health services
In camps, prostitution, rape, and forced underage marriages are very common
In 2013, 25% of Syrian refugee girls were married under the age of 18, and continues at this rate. There has been fatwas issues against this practice, but seems of little use.
In 2014, the proportion of deliveries in girls under the age of 18 was 11%.
No policy in Jordan handles gender-based violence or care for survivors of sexual violence
Describes existing UNFPA and Government of Jordan SGBV initiatives.
Save the Children [48] 2014 Too young to wed: The growing problem of child marriage among Syrian girls in Jordan. Youth; Supportive Environment Early Marriage Results from desk review and qualitative interviews Examines reasons for early marriage among Syrians in refugee settings: gender inequality, violence, poverty, and rape, and also impact on girls: forced to marry older men, cannot return to school, pregnancy, and lack of social protection as marriages are often unregistered.
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Sub-Working Group [49] 2015 Sexual and Gender Based Violence Refugees in Jordan Youth SGBV Description of UNFPA’s Safe Spaces program implemented among women and girls in camps In Jordan, UNFPA’s supported safe spaces are closely linked with Sexual and Reproductive Health services. They are either present in the same physical space or are carried out by the same partners to facilitate referral.
Smith, JR; Ho, LS; Langston, A; Mankani, N; Shivshanker, A; Perera, D [50]. 2013 Clinical care for sexual assault survivors multimedia training: a mixed-methods study of effect on healthcare providers’ attitudes, knowledge, confidence, and practice in humanitarian settings Supportive Environment SGBV Survey of 14 health service providers in Jordan working in refugee settings Providers in Jordan demonstrated very limited past experience with sexual assault
Spencer, D [51] 2015 To protect her honour. Child marriage in emergencies-the fatal confusion between protecting girls and sexual violence Youth Early Marriage Focus group discussions Early marriage was seen as a form of ‘protection,’ benefitted families by reducing the total number of people in a household.
Girls begin to feel rejected by their families around age 20, and some experience emotional abuse
Traditional processes to verify husbands no longer exists in displacement, increases risk of SGBV.
Negative view of Syrians by Jordanians – increased harassment of Syrian girls
Description of initiatives to counter child marriage
UN Women [52] 2013 Gender-based Violence and child Protection among Syrian refugees in Jordan, with a focus on early marriage Youth; Supportive Environment Early Marriage and SGBV in-depth interviews with key community informants, FGDs with married and unmarried Syrian refugees of both sexes and different survey questionnaires given to 613 individuals. Data not disaggregated by age: Family members are often the first choice for support in the case of SGBV. Only 3.9% of women said that they would go to a heath center in the case of sexual violence. Most women said they should stay silent and that there is no where to go in their community. 83% did not know services were available in their community for SGBV.
Half of respondents indicated that the normal age for marriage was under the age of 18 years. Most believed the age of marriage had decreased for boys and girls since the war.
Economic pressure was an important reason for marriage. Of the families reporting that bride price was one of the top three sources of income, 80% were in the north of Jordan.
UNICEF [53] 2014 A study on early marriage in Jordan 2014 Youth; Supportive Environment Early Marriage Qualitative and quantitative analysis
Interviews and focus group discussions were conducted in 2013 with mothers, fathers, women who had married early, NGO and government service providers, judges, religious and community leaders.
Quantitative data from the Department of the Chief Justice
Palestinian, Iraqi and Syrian refugees in Jordan all report economic factors as an important determinant of child marriage. Maintenance of tradition also important.
Syrian crisis has added to the number of child marriages in Jordan among Syrian refugees
UNICEF [54] 2013 Shattered Lives: Challenges and priorities for Syrian children and women in Jordan Youth; Supportive Environment Early Marriage and SGBV 27 key informant interviews, six focus group discussions, and a Safety Audit Increased domestic violence, especially against adolescent girls, boys and women
Heightened fear of sexual harassment and sexual violence among girls and women
Women and girls aged 12–18 are the most likely targets for domestic violence, but boys are also affected. Male spouses and male parents/caregivers are considered the main perpetrators
Prevalence of child marriage unknown in Zaatri camp, but anecdotal evidence suggests spousal age gap is increasing, and bail out system is incentivizes early marriage as economic situation worsens.