Presentation on theme: "Gender Equality and Youth Employment: Reflections on Arab States"— Presentation transcript:
1 Gender Equality and Youth Employment: Reflections on Arab States UNDP/UNDESA Sub-Regional WorkshopYouth Policies and Strategies in the Context of MDGsSana’a, Yemen, June 22-23, 2005Starting from a low level, female labor force participation in MENA has grown by 50% since 1960.
2 Outline Gender Equality, MDGs and Youth Global and Regional Trends Trends and Indicators in MENAGood PracticesNext Steps
3 Defining Gender Equality Gender equality is defined as women having the same opportunities in life as men in three domains:Capabilities (health, education, nutrition)Access to resources and opportunitieseconomic assets (such as land or housing)resources (such as income and employment)Political opportunity (representation in leadership)Security domain (reduced vulnerability to violence and conflict)Women are entering the global labour force in record numbers, but they still face higher unemployment rates and lower wages and represent 60 per cent of the world's 550 million working poor,The capabilities domain, which refers to basic human abilities as measuredby education, health, and nutrition. These capabilities are fundamentalto individual well-being and are the means through whichindividuals access other forms of well-being.• The access to resources and opportunities domain, which refers primarilyto equality in the opportunity to use or apply basic capabilities throughaccess to economic assets (such as land or housing) and resources (suchas income and employment), as well as political opportunity (suchas representation in parliaments and other political bodies). Withoutaccess to resources and opportunities, both political and economic,women will be unable to employ their capabilities for their well-beingand that of their families, communities, and societies.• The security domain, which is defined to mean reduced vulnerability toviolence and conflict. Violence and conflict result in physical and psychologicalharm and lessen the ability of individuals, households, and communitiesto fulfill their potential. Violence directed specifically at womenand girls often aims at keeping them in “their place” through fear.
4 EmpowermentAgency or the ability to use those rights, capabilities, resources, and opportunities to make strategic choices and decisionsTo exercise agency, they must live without the fear of coercion and violenceEspecially relevant for young women considering age and gender hierarchies
5 MDG Goal 3 Indicators• The ratio of girls to boys enrolled in primary and secondary education• The ratio of literate females to males among 15 to 24 year olds• The share of women in wage employment in the nonagricultural sector• The proportion of seats held by women in national parliaments
6 Strategic Priorities for Goal 3 of MDGs 1. Strengthen opportunities for post primary education for girls whilesimultaneously meeting commitments to universal primaryeducation2. Guarantee reproductive health and rights3. Invest in infrastructure to reduce women’s and girls’ time burdens4. Guarantee women’s and girls’ property and inheritance rights5. Eliminate gender inequality in employment by decreasing women’sreliance on informal employment, closing gender gaps in earnings, andreducing occupational segregation6. Increase women’s share of seats in national parliaments and localGovernmental bodies7. Combat violence against girls and women1. Strengthen opportunities for postprimarysimultaneously meeting commitments to universal2. Guarantee sexual and reproductive health and3. Invest in infrastructure to reduce women’s and4. Guarantee women’s and girls’ property and inheritance5. Eliminate gender inequality in employment by relianceon informal employment, closing genderreducing occupational segregation.6. Increase women’s share of seats in national parliaments governmentalbodies.7. Combat violence against girls and women.
7 Proposed Indicators by Task Force Education• The ratio of female to male gross enrollment rates in primary, secondary, and tertiary education• The ratio of female to male completion rates in primary, secondary, and tertiary educationReproductive health and rights• Proportion of contraceptive demand satisfied• Adolescent fertility rateInfrastructure• Hours per day (or year) women and men spend fetching water and collecting fuelProperty rights• Land ownership by male, female, or jointly held• Housing title, disaggregated by male, female, or jointly heldEmployment• Share of women in employment, both wage and self-employment, by type• Gender gaps in earnings in wage and self-employmentParticipation in national parliaments and local government bodies• Percentage of seats held by women in national parliament• Percentage of seats held by women in local government bodiesViolence against women• Prevalence of domestic violence
8 Global and Regional Trends Gender Equality&Youth Employment
9 Gender & Youth Unemployment Globally, 35.8 million young women (15-24) are involuntarily without workIn all regions (except EA and SSA) young women’s unemployment rates are higher than young men’sFemale unemployment rate of 16.5% was 5.9% points higher than the male rate of 10.6 % in 2003 in MENAUnemployment for young women in MENA countries ranges from 13% in Bahrain to almost 39% in AlgeriaUnemployed women are mainly young new labor force entrants (with primary & secondary education), and laid off workers following restructuring and privatization - in Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and EgyptThe pressure of young workers on labor force growth has been persistently high in MENA. Six in 10 people in the region are below age 25. The period will witness the greatest labor force pressures from young male and female workers. Rising female labor participation since the 1980s, constitutes one of the most important developments affecting the size and gender composition of the region’s labor supply. Not only are young men and women entering labor markets in greater numbers but they are also increasingly more education.In East Asia, this turned out to be demographic gift and not a demographic burden which helped accelerate economic growth.Unemployment in MENA is concentrated among youth whose unemployment rates range from 37% of total unemployment to 73 percent in Syria with a simple average of 53% for all countries for which data are available.There is a gender dimension to the profile of unemployment where unemployment rats for the region as a whole are nearly 50% higher for women than for men.Source: ILO Global Employment Trends, 2004; ERF, 2000.
10 Fertility & Employment Link Lower fertility rates & increased employment of women is likely to go hand in hand freeing their time from the care economyIn MENA, fertility rates remained relatively high in 2000 at 3.6 % and the female labor force participation is the lowest of all regions at 27.9 %What are employment to population rations: they indicate the capacity of economies to create employment opportunities for their population. The higher employment to population ratio is, the more people in the working age population are working.One might argue that not all women of working age want to work, but the simple fact that unemployment exists indicates that there are women who want to work but are unable to find work.And since overall unemployment has been higher for women than for man, it is clear that more employment opportunities need to be created for women to satisfy their willingness to work.In very rich economies one can argue that some women can afford to and chose to not work, but in other regions of the world it is more likely that women would work if there were opportunities for them to do so.Attracting more women into the labor force also requires provision of equal access to education, equal opportunities in gaining the skills necessary to compete in the labor market.Employment to Population RatioIn all regions, employment to population ratios are much smaller for women than for menThe difference is highest in MENA where 2/10 working age women work compared to 7/10 menEven if not all women of working age want to work, the fact that there is female unemployment shows that there are women who want to work, but are unable to find work in the region
11 Education & Employment Link Higher enrollment, completion rates and better quality of education for girls and boys is likely to lead to increased employabilityMENA countries have moved toward achieving gender equality in primary and secondary education, BUT THE LINK TO JOBS IS MISSINGIn the past decade MENA governments spent an average of 5.3 % of GDP on education—the highest in the world changing the supply, quality, and profile of the labor force—BUT IT ONLY MARGINALLY TRANSLATED INTO YOUNG WOMEN’S EMPLOYMENT
12 Female to Male Primary Enrollment Ratios, 2000 In Egypt, educated women are more likely to be unemployed than educated menFemale to Male Secondary Enrollment Ratios, 2000In Jordan, educated women, especially graduates of community colleges face high unemployment levels
13 Gender Segregation Across Life Cycle Women obtain “suitable skills” often via shorter training and informal courses compared to menSeparation in training is followed by separation in the workplace/work opportunities creating a vicious cycleYoung women and men are concentrated in different types of work and their ‘paths’ to work are different and so likely are the impacts upon themWomen who spend time outside the labor market find out that lack of training leads to low quality jobs and low paid work that, in turn, offer little additional trainingThe early attempts to provide vocational training services for youth, faced a number of failures due to:generic, and standardized content,supply driven approach where training is determined by trainers rather than the trainees,too little attention paid to quality of trainers and training methods,insufficient investment in training follow-up which reduces the potential benefit of training, and limited proven impacttraining of girls in traditional skills with little returns in the labor market
14 Experience with Young Women Life skills trainingHealth and nutritionSelf esteem, confidence, conflict resolutionCV, interview, presentation skillsVocational skills training in market niches that are not low return and traditionally women sectorsLabour market linksApprenticeship, job placement programs
15 Key Gender Equality Indicators, 2000 Developing regionsMENAFemale life expectancy 100%Seats Held by Womenin ParliamentReducing FertilityRateThe labor abundant and resource rich countries (like Algeria, Iraq, Syria) have slightly lower rates of female labor force participation than the labor abundant resource poor economies (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, and TunisiaRatio of girlsto boys inprimary andsecondaryeducationRatio of Women to Menin Non Agricultural WageEmploymentGDP Per Capita $
16 Public and Private Sector Trends Public sector jobs were safeguards for women in a number of countries in the region, but with the reform and privatization processes, public sector is no longer the main option for young women out of schoolPrivate sector jobs are open to young women, although they come with limited or no job security or benefits. Temporary contracts are common with significant implications for decent workThe main source of employment generation has shifted to the private sector and this has adversely affected opportunities for women. Attention to the equality of opportunity and treatment in employment needs to be sustainedIn most of the region, women have tended to particpate heavily in public sector employment. Reasons include the perception that public service professions such as teaching and nursing are appropriate for women, the public sector’s egalitarian practices in hiring and wage setting and the favorable conditions of work in the public sector including maternity leave benefits. With the share of public sector employment shrinking in many countries, the public sector will not be as important a source of jobs for young women graduates as it was in the past.In the private sector, b y contrast, women have faced significant disadvantages, often working in jobs with low wages and little potential for growth. In Morocco and Tunisia, where manufacturing exports have expanded. They had some success in increasing young womne’s participation in the paid private sector.
17 Employment distribution by sector Young and adult women have a higher share of agricultural employment in MENA. Most are in the unpaid family worker category of employmentWithin services, women are still concentrated in sectors that are traditionally associated with gender roles in community, social and personal servicesWomen’s share in industry is low, but jobs in EPZs are filled by young women (textiles, leather, electronics)Young women work in manufacturing, especially in Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan although there is a high incidence of non-regular and non-salaried activity in this sector and a wide gap in earningsIn professional services, women are still in “women’s jobs” as teaching, nursing where with good education and training continue to be an employment outlet for young women
18 Reasons for Gender Inequality & Youth Employment Trends in MENA
19 Socio-Cultural Constraints Young women have more limited access to labor market relevant capabilities (skills, knowledge, self-esteem, confidence)Across the life cycle women have more limited access to productive resources (land, capital, livestock) compared to their male counterpartsThere is a male-bread winner bias in the labor market despite the pressing economic realities in poor households which require more than one incomeThere are continued mobility constraints on young women and women in general in many communities in the region (some due to security concerns in countries facing conflict like Iraq and Palestine)Young women face employer and lender biases and are overrepresented among unpaid family workers, part time, low wage earners, unemployed & inactiveEarly marriage and child bearing and rearing can also inhibit young women’s integration into labor marketIn MENA there is a high dependency ratio (73%) and a high rate of urban growth, with women constituting just less than 50% of the total population.
20 Market Failures Affecting Young Women Employers may be unwilling to incur the “perceived” transaction costs and risks in hiring young women“Perceptions” hold considering the high levels of male unemployment and expectations of male bread winner despite the changing economic and social realitiesFormal credit markets often exclude women who are less likely than men to own land and other collateralBecause of the uncertainty associated with lending to beginners and informational asymmetries (between older/younger workers and between women/men) formal credit markets are not responsive to young people and especially young womenBeing based in small towns, rural area markets makes it hard to start a business or search for and travel to work or to expand output and sales due to poor infrastructure, lack of information and market thinness
21 Ensuring Gender Equality in Youth Employment in MENA Good PracticesEnsuring Gender Equality in Youth Employment in MENA
22 School to Work Transition Surveys JORDAN Conducted through ILO GENPROM in a number of countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka and JordanFemale and male interviewees from five target groups: in-school youth, job seekers, young employees, young self-employed and own-account workers & employers & managers of young peopleDetermines how well the education/training system prepares young people for the labor market, their perceptions and aspirations for entering the labor market, how they actually conduct the job search, the influence of the family in choice of occupations, whether they prefer wage or self employment, the barriers to and supports for entry into the labor market, attitudes of employers towards hiring young workers, how young people view work, marriage and family responsibilitiesGender differentials - especially why it is harder for young women than for young men to make the transition from school to work
23 IT Training: Partnership with Corporate Sector UNIFEM, Cisco Systems, Government of Jordan, YMCA, UNRWA and UNDPTraining to bridge gender gap in IT sectorOver 200 young women underwent a two-month training in IT skillsTraining designed to help female students build technological knowledge & improve competitiveness in the labor marketA job-placement program helps students put their skills to useTracking of graduates to evaluate the benefits of the training
24 Gender Equality and Youth Employment in MENA Next StepsGender Equality and Youth Employment in MENAYouth employment, for both women and men, need to be a part of the new social contract in the MENA region.
25 Life Cycle ApproachYouth is a challenging stage because individuals are increasingly expanding their roles and responsibilities without the protections often provided other groupsDecisions and investments in youth have implications for labor market in the later stages of life and market relevant skills need to be a part of a life long learningLife long learning is important for women and men, but women’s participation in the care economy mean that their skills can be interrupted and therefore outdated
26 Policy responsesImproving availability & quality of sex-disaggregated data on labor markets including women’s informal employment & gender earnings gapsGender responsive laws and policy approaches inJob creation, finance, micro-finance, safety netsQuality vocational training programsInfrastructure and urbanRural development/agricultureLabor codesPublic sector budgetingNational policy frameworks (PRSPs & Youth Employment Action Plans)Investing in young women by prioritizing theirSecondary educationTransition from education to work through labour marketQuality and labor market relevant trainingPhysical safetyDeveloping positive role models of young women’s work to address attitudes & percetions through media, schools, and communitiesAdopting explicit equal opportunity goals and measures in vocationaltraining systemsIncluding both males and females meaningfully in the full range ofstandard vocational training programmes rather than providing onlytraditionally female-oriented skills to girls and womenRevising all training curricula to avoid gender stereotyping and topromote equality between the sexesEncouraging both boys and girls to enter non-traditional occupationsin order to break existing patterns of job segregation – for examplegirls into scientific and technical fields and boys into jobs in the caresectorEstablishing more effective linkages between training systems andlabour markets so that girls and women are trained in employableskills alongside boys and menOffering special tailor-made training for potentially vulnerablegroups of womenRaising awareness among men workers in workplace-based trainingprogrammes about their role in sharing family responsibilitiesIntroducing prevention of sexual harassment and gender-basedviolence at work into vocational training
27 For more information and a copy of this presentation please contact: Simel Esim, Ph.D.Regional Gender AdvisorILO Regional Office—Arab States