Offensive Caricature Raises Questions About Women’s Rights in Jordan

Published January 25th, 2021 - 07:53 GMT
The poster is believed to be at one of the recycling centers near the 7th circle in Amman. (Twitter)
The poster is believed to be at one of the recycling centers near the 7th circle in Amman. (Twitter)
'I want to recycle my wife', a cartoon poster in front of a recycling centre in Amman causes stir over women's rights in Jordan.

Women’s rights in Jordan have been questioned after several incidents took place in the last couples of weeks. Starting with a young college female beaten by her brothers causing her severe head injuries ending in brain damage, and septicemia as well as an offensive caricature placed at one of the recycling companies in Amman comparing women to waste.

Both incidents triggered people's anger causing huge debate about where Jordan is heading in treating women and why Jordanian females are silenced about their rights?

Translation: “If this drawing is indeed present in a recycling center in the seventh circle, then it’s a disaster, an insult to women and a disregard for environmental work and recycling. It is necessary to know who is behind this campaign because it carries dangerous, unaware messages.”

In the caricature, appears the famous Jordanian personalities known as ‘Abu Mahjoub’ and ‘Abu Mohammad’ standing near recycling garbage containers with Abu Mahjoub asking his friend: “OMG, what’s all that bag for Abu Mohammad! I didn’t know that you like to recycle a lot of stuff?” with the other one answering “ This is Um Mohammad, I brought her for recycling maybe she can turn into Shakera”

The poster, which is believed to be at one of the recycling centers near the 7th circle in Amman, was seen as super offensive to women as activists called to find the company and sue it. 

Twitter users shared the poster and wrote: “Since when has offending women become a way to support recycling? FYI, this caricature is placed in front of BE recycling centre near Cosmo store on the 7th Circle.”

The recycling company removed the poster and apologized in response to people’s criticism. 

On his part, well-known Jordaninan cartoonist, Emad Hajjaj, who is the creator of Abu Mahjoub character, has taken it to Twitter to deny any relations to this offensive and silly artwork supporting his line by reminding people of his strong positions and ideas against any offending works for women.

Translation: “Important clarification: People are sharing some drawings that are not mine and don’t have my signature: Hajjaj. It is a naive content and it’s not related to my style of drawing or to my clear positions. Anyone who knows me knows that this is not my cartoon. I hope for all ‘Abu Mahjoub’ fans to ignore these posters as he doesn’t have any other replacements.”

Hajjaj’s followers have split between supporters and opponents as some of them said he might be linked to this cartoon while others refused that Hajjaj has any ties with it despite the fact that he might have different opinions.

Translation: “I might disagree with him and his style in presenting the topics as I used to like Abu Mahjoub cartoon before it started to talk about political stuff. However, Emad would never do this woman's offensive work; It is strange that the poster is to raise awareness with lack of human dignity first and then woman.”

Translation: “Can’t you sue them for using your famous characters?”

Emad Hajjaj is a Palestinian-Jordanian editorial cartoonist. He is best known for his work in Al Rai and the Jordan Times daily. He received his art education at Yarmouk University graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1991 after majoring in graphic design and with a minor in journalism. Emad is the brother of Osama Hajjaj who is also a cartoonist and political caricaturist.

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