Using data from focus group interviews, this study investigates how the gender system influences employment and unemployment patterns in Jordan. Cultural and family-level factors affect not only whether women are in the labor market but also their success in finding a job. Cultural proscriptions on female mobility are a significant constraint in women's job searches. State and employer-level factors are also important in explaining high unemployment rates among women. The shrinking of the public sector disproportionately affects women, the location of jobs matters more for women than for men, and discrimination in the private sector remains.