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Jordanian women expatriates: additional challenges for global equality

Rania Elkouz (Department of Business Administration and Marketing, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
Maria Bastida (Department of Business Administration and Marketing, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
Rola El-Husseini (Department of Political Science, University of Lund, Helsingborg, Sweden)

Gender in Management

ISSN: 1754-2413

Article publication date: 16 May 2022

Issue publication date: 4 October 2022




The purpose of this study is to address the main reasons that limit Jordanian women from undertaking expatriation, based on the assumption that Arab women’s opportunities for international engagement may be compromised by local cultural and institutional issues.


A cross-sectoral survey with 60 Jordanian expatriates (30 women and 20 men) located in EU countries and the UK is used to better explore Eastern women perceptions.


Company’s resistance, a lack of support mechanisms, safety in the destination country and family commitments play a major role in hindering Jordanian women opportunities to be assigned abroad, echoing the commonly recognized barriers identified in previous research. Additionally, the culture of the home country and prejudice toward foreigners act as an additional barrier for women professional development.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation of this study lies in the data collection instrument, that is, the survey. Larger samples are needed to extend these results. The second limitation is that the potential effects of gender differences cannot be examined because the number of men in the sample was small.

Practical implications

The findings bring evidence that could be used by organizations to understand the barriers Jordanian expatriate women face and take informed action to tackle them. Meanwhile, more research on Middle Eastern female roles and views is needed to reduce stereotyping against them. Similarly, regional studies can be an opportunity for future development to identify the impact of the regional context.

Social implications

This research highlights the intertwining of religious and cultural values in influencing Arabic women’s experience in international assignments and thus, would enhance readers’ understanding of women’s career progression in a new context.


This research shows that socio-cultural and political realities need more space in discussions about expatriation. Specifically, the expatriation literature needs more scrutiny and problematizing of the lived experiences of women expatriates from the Global South.



Elkouz, R., Bastida, M. and El-Husseini, R. (2022), "Jordanian women expatriates: additional challenges for global equality", Gender in Management, Vol. 37 No. 8, pp. 969-987.



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