Jordan | MEPs take a beating during the debate on gender equality

(Amman) Jordanian deputies confronted, on Tuesday, by cutting off a session of Parliament, during a debate on gender equality as part of constitutional reform, according to a TV official.

The government wants to amend the constitution and in particular to include the phrase “Jordanian women” in Chapter Two, entitled “Rights and Duties of Jordanians,” which relates specifically to equal rights among citizens.

A number of deputies opposed this amendment, considering it “unnecessary”, according to Al-Mamlaka TV, which broadcast the session.

One of them, Raed Smeirat, in particular, said, “It is for us to add the word Jordanian,” using an Arabic term that has very negative connotations that can be likened in this context to “shame” or “shame.”

These statements angered Parliament Speaker Abdel Karim Al-Daghmi, who demanded an apology from Mr. Smeirat.

Another deputy, Suleiman Abu Yahya, asked Mr. Al-Daghmi to postpone the session, but he refused, saying, “You don’t understand anything yourself!” From Professor Abu Yahya.

Then the Speaker of the House of Representatives asked him to leave the hall, after which a quarrel erupted between several deputies, according to the pictures broadcast live on the air, as Mr. Al-Daghmi left the parliament.

The hearing was finally postponed to Wednesday.

Other constitutional amendments to be discussed include the creation of a “National Security Council”, and the reduction of the speaker’s term from two years to one year.

The constitution, which was promulgated in 1952 by King Abdullah II’s grandfather, has already been amended 29 times, after previous amendments according to experts that gave the king more powers at the expense of the legislature.

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