Wafaa Bani Mustafa

Member of the Jordanian Parliament

Wafaa Bani Mustafa's Story

Wafaa Bani Mustafa is a delegate from Jordan who participated in the inaugural WPSP Institute at Wellesley College in 2012. She is a two-term Member of Parliament and an advocate for women's leadership in Jordan.

Through networking, she learned about universal best practices through exchanging experiences with other leaders and learning solutions to those obstacles including overcoming issues universal to women. In her role as a Parliamentarian, she refers to examples from other countries to support any of her proposed amendment to the law.

After participating in WPSP, she was elected for a second term to the Jordanian Parliament and won her seat competitively outside the women’s quota. Mustafa is an active Member of Parliament, now well- known and respected as a leading female figure in her country. In this capacity, she has adopted a number of legislative amendments for the benefit of women such as: the right of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians to pass their citizenship to their children; including a new article in the Penal Code criminalizing acts of sexual harassment; and advocating for the elimination of article 308 of the Penal Code which waives the charges against a rapist if he marries his victim.

Parliamentarian Mustafa was the first to hold the seat of Coordinator in the first-ever established Jordanian Parliamentary Women’s Caucus. She is a member of Al-Wasat Al-Islami (Islamic Centrist) Parliamentary Bloc and Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Order & Conduct as well as a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Women & Family Affairs. RASED, a Jordanian NGO that annually monitors the performance of Parliamentarians, ranked her among the top five best performing Parliamentarians for 2014. She was also selected to head the Pan-Arab Women’s Parliamentary Coalition to Combat Domestic Violence. By a Royal Decree issued in March 2013, she was selected by the King to sit on the Advisory Board of the National Center for Human Rights. She have participated in a number of conferences around the world and also served as an international trainer in countries across the Middle East & North Africa region. Wafa also regularly mentor young women by hiring them as both paid and unpaid volunteers in her Parliamentary office. It is only through empowering these young women, training them and simply giving them a chance, she argues, that we can change the face of our countries and achieve the WPSP 50×50 call to action.

Barriers facing women leaders here in Jordan, she states, are the traditional societal perceptions and attitudes towards women and the work-family life balance. She maintains that it is incredibly important for any woman leader to persist in her work and prove herself as a decision-maker. In this way establishing that she is not only capable of leadership but able to often times exceed the performance of her male counterparts.

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The Women in Public Service Project These stories from our Global 50×50 Changemakers, Journeys to Leadership: Narratives from the Field, capture the urgency of that