Amman, Jordan, May 2021 – Women in Ghor Al Safi town in the Southern Jordan Valley enthusiastically participated in a community consultation on the development of a local community centre and public space.

The meeting was organized by UN-Habitat, in partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and the International Labour Organization (ILO) along with the Zaha Cultural Centre and the Municipality of Southern Jordan Valley.

Many participants emphasized that a public space was essential for the safety and wellbeing of their children.

“Our kids play in the streets due to the lack of parks and play areas in the neighbourhood," said one mother. Another mother called for a park which includes a playground and shaded seating for mothers to meet.

One participant said community centre training facilities should be available for people of all ages and emphasized the need to improve children’s education and training.

There was excitement about the proposal to set up a market in the space.

 “We need training to improve our production and marketing skills. Also, the proposed market is a very good idea that would benefit women in marketing their products and will improve their profits,” said a participant.

The meeting was part of the “The Socio-Economic Empowerment of Vulnerable Women in Ghor Al Safi through Improving Access to Safe, inclusive and Green Public Spaces” project. This aims to empower local women by providing entrepreneurial and business development training and provide a safe and inclusive public space, including a market  and the rehabilitation of the adjacent community centre.

The consultation session was based on the participatory Public Space Site-Specific Assessment tool developed by UN-Habitat’s Global Public Space Programme which provides guidelines on how to achieve quality public spaces at the neighbourhood level.

“These participatory consultation sessions and tools aim to strengthen community engagement in the design, implementation, and maintenance of the public space and the community centre and enhance their sense of ownership,” said Deema Abu Thiab, the UN-Habitat’s National Programme Coordinator. “Such a process provides the foundation on which gender-sensitive, inclusive, and safe public spaces are developed.”

The project is funded by the United Nations COVID-19 Response and Recovery Multi Partner Trust Fund supported by the Governments of The Netherlands, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, The Republic of Korea, Finland, New Zealand, Croatia, Iceland, Thailand, The Slovak Republic and Cambodia.