How can ICTs be used to empower female university students in Jordan in their stance against gender-based violence?
RESEARCHER Prof. Arwa Oweis

Being a woman living in a patriarchal society who has been suffering from gender based discrimination and wanting to introduce change in any way I can to contribute to the decrease of violence against women, believing that it could be done if we work with other women to increase understanding of our being and doing.  Maybe we can identify what is it in our being and doing that we need to change to eliminate the different types of violence and discrimination against women.

The role of young women in ending VAW, promotion of women’s groups that are challenging stereotypes and addressing their roles and responsibilities in gender relationships, gender education, etc. are some of the issues that may benefit from the use of ICT tools. Now the question is, given the availability and accessibility of the different types of ICTs to Jordanian women is it possible to use ICTs to contribute to the prevention VAW.
Therefore, the purpose of this qualitative research project is to identify how ICT tools can be used as a tool to empower Jordanian women university students in their stand against violence against women.

Different emancipating participatory activities including focus group discussions, dream drawing, free attitude interviews, presentations, and selected ICTs including online documents and news posted on electronic local and regional or international online newspapers, blogs or TV programs and movies among other activities are being used to explore women’s understanding or perceptions of violence against women. A shared e-mail group list was developed to create the mental space for participants to reflect on VAW and on the way that they and other women may co-create or contribute to sustaining the society’s norms and values in which VAW continues. These reflective participatory processes could be successful in empowering women in their fight against VAW. Understanding how women co-contribute to the existing social norms and values may help Jordanian women change their lives and become effective, confident and capable human beings, who are free of violence and efficiently, contributing to sustainable development of their society.  


On March 24th, 2011 Dr. Arwa Oweis conducted a workshop on her experience with qualitative research with a group of 18 nursing faculty members at Al-Zaytoona University
Al-Zaytoona University is a private university in Amman, Jordan. During the 5 hour workshop, Dr. Oweis gave a quick overview about qualitative research and talked about her experience with GRACE research as an example of a qualitative research experience. After the brief presentation of the GRACE project, the participants were prepared to reflect on qualitative research through the use of the centering egg exercise. They were asked to observe the concept of research and think about it and reflect on what comes to their minds when they think of research, how they feel about it and what it means to them. They then were asked to document their thoughts, feelings and reflections on a paper for 10 minutes. After that they were asked to use the free attitude interview in pairs. The question they asked each other was what research means to you. After that we had a group discussion and reflected on the different experiences and what they learned. The discussion was very rich and responded with their reflections, clarifying the main points about qualitative research. When the participants discussed the barriers and challenges they face when they conduct research, the dream drawing exercise was used to illustrate how we can evaluate our being and doing to identify the sources of the barriers be it our daily thoughts, our identity, or the environment or a combination of all. The participants enjoyed the exercise and indicated that they were able to think about their being and doing and will be thinking about how to manage the different barriers to achieve their dreams to be competent qualitative researchers.

GRACE Jordan Project Photographs

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Grace is an initiative envisioned and funded by
the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), developed by Research For the Future (RFF) and managed by The GRACE Project Voluntary Association
Grace est une initiative initiée et financée parle Centre de recherches pour le développement international (CRDI), développée par Research For the Future,
et gérée par l'Association Volontaire Projet de GRACE .