Cultural and Religious Barriers Influencing the Participation of Women in Research: A Study from Jordan

  • Zeinab Y. Al SubehEmail author
  • Karem H. Alzoubi
Original Article


To assess the general attitude toward women’s participation in research studies in Jordan and determine the various cultural and religious issues that could impact the rate of inclusion of Arab and Muslim women in research studies, a descriptive cross-sectional questionnaire-based survey study was conducted among Jordanian university students using a 17-item opinion questionnaire. A total of 1265 students from different professional disciplines completed the questionnaire. The majority of the respondents (69.1%) believed that females in Jordan do not have full autonomy regarding their decision to participate in research studies. Study findings also showed that females are more likely to avoid participation in research studies that require staying outside the home or involve direct interaction between a researcher and study participants. Females would prefer to deal with female research assistants when participating in research studies. More effort is required to encourage and enhance the rate of participation in research studies among women in Jordan and, probably, other Middle Eastern societies. When designing and conducting research studies in these countries, researchers should seriously consider the cultural and religious beliefs.


Women Research studies Attitude Students Jordan 



The authors thank Dr. Omar Khabour, Professor in the Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences at Jordan University of Science and Technology, for his contribution to the editing and review of this manuscript.


This research project was supported by Grant #5R25TW010026-02 from the Fogarty International Center of the US National Institutes of Health on behalf of the Research Ethics Program in Jordan.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Faculty of PharmacyJordan University of Science and TechnologyIrbidJordan

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