Jordan is a semi-arid, almost landlocked country, on the East Bank of the Jordan River in the heart of the Middle East. Nearly all (91%) of its 9.9 million inhabitants (2018) live in urban areas and the urban population is growing at an annual rate of 2.8%. An upper middle-income country with a predominately service-based economy, in 2017, services contributed 64% of GDP; industry 25%; and agriculture, forestry and fisheries only 4%.
The legal system in Jordan is a mixture of civil, Shari’a, and customary law. Land tenure arrangements are evolving from state ownership towards more private ownership. Current arrangements allow land to be held in three main ways: privately-owned (Miri and Mulk) land that is registered and documented; tribal land (Wajehat El-Ashayeria) that was historically dispersed by Sheiks; and State land (Al Mawat) that includes most uncultivated land and grazing lands operated under common property regimes.
Gender equality in land ownership is an ongoing challenge in Jordan. The regulatory framework does not prevent women from owning land; in practice, social pressures have excluded many women. Reforms and initiatives over several decades have contributed to increased ownership of land by women but obstacles persist: many women lack knowledge of their rights to inheritance and face economic barriers when trying to claim these rights.