Students participating in Youth Parliament
Amman, January 13, 2013 – 85 students from the Jubilee School, the Al Nuthum Al Hadeetha School and the Al Jazeerah School registed to participate in the 3rd Jubilee Youth Parliament on Sunday to debate legislation regarding women’s rights and tackling corruption in mock student sessions of Parliament.
The results of a random survey of 240 adults from all across Jordan conducted by Jubilee School students regarding opinions on Parliament and the upcoming elections were also released.
The survey found that 64.6% of respondents indicated that they were not satisfied with the achievements of the previous parliament.
However 71.5% of those surveyed indicated they think that the integrity of the election of the new parliament in 2013 is assured.
47% of registered voters indicated they will participate in the upcoming elections; while 20% of registered voters said they will not vote.
7.3% of registered voters remain undecided and 43.9% of the people surveyed who are not participating believe the election process will not add any value.
In regards to women, 79.4% of respondents indicated they did not believe a woman would get elected to a seat in Parliament without the quota.
Women’s rights ranked high on the agenda of this year’s student sessions during Parliamentary Day; 16-year old Yusra Arafeh says she believes discussing issues in this format can make a difference:
“You actually give people a voice, you actually give them the courage to speak their minds and they might actually say something that none of us know…maybe the kid that never talks actually has something worth saying that could be life changing for all of us.”
9th grader Mofeed Al Qurashi says he and his classmates plan to address the right for the children of Jordanian women to be granted citizenship during the student session on women’s rights.
He believes speaking out on important issues, even at the age of 14, is important:
“We are the builders of the future. We are the leaders of the future, we will make the choice.”
Engineer Mussa Maaytah, the previous Minister of Political Development who delivered the opening remarks, agrees that venues like the 3rd Jubilee Youth Parliament have value for the next generation of Jordan’s decision makers:
“They learn how they can discuss [issues]…how they can accept even all the other opinions, and it’s important for democracy that [they learn] how to make comprises and consensus between them…it’s important to have this dialogue between them.”
Other sessions include Q/A with former MP’s about the new elections law, the impact of the protest movement, and a student session on fighting corruption.