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Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Gender Equality and Youth Employment: Reflections on Arab States UNDP/UNDESA Sub-Regional Workshop.

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Presentation on theme: "Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Gender Equality and Youth Employment: Reflections on Arab States UNDP/UNDESA Sub-Regional Workshop."— Presentation transcript:

1 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Gender Equality and Youth Employment: Reflections on Arab States UNDP/UNDESA Sub-Regional Workshop Youth Policies and Strategies in the Context of MDGs Sanaa, Yemen, June 22-23, 2005

2 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Outline Gender Equality, MDGs and Youth Gender Equality, MDGs and Youth Global and Regional Trends Global and Regional Trends Trends and Indicators in MENA Trends and Indicators in MENA Good Practices Good Practices Next Steps Next Steps

3 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Gender equality is defined as women having the same opportunities in life as men in three domains: Capabilities (health, education, nutrition)Capabilities (health, education, nutrition) Access to resources and opportunitiesAccess to resources and opportunities economic 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)Security domain (reduced vulnerability to violence and conflict) Defining Gender Equality

4 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILOEmpowerment Agency or the ability to use those rights, capabilities, resources, and opportunities to make strategic choices and decisionsAgency or the ability to use those rights, capabilities, resources, and opportunities to make strategic choices and decisions To exercise agency, they must live without the fear of coercion and violenceTo exercise agency, they must live without the fear of coercion and violence Especially relevant for young women considering age and gender hierarchiesEspecially relevant for young women considering age and gender hierarchies

5 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO 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 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Strategic Priorities for Goal 3 of MDGs 1. Strengthen opportunities for post primary education for girls while simultaneously meeting commitments to universal primary education 2. Guarantee reproductive health and rights 3. Invest in infrastructure to reduce womens and girls time burdens 4. Guarantee womens and girls property and inheritance rights 5. Eliminate gender inequality in employment by decreasing womens reliance on informal employment, closing gender gaps in earnings, and reducing occupational segregation 6. Increase womens share of seats in national parliaments and local Governmental bodies 7. Combat violence against girls and women

7 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO 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 education Reproductive health and rights Proportion of contraceptive demand satisfied Adolescent fertility rate Infrastructure Hours per day (or year) women and men spend fetching water and collecting fuel Property rights Land ownership by male, female, or jointly held Housing title, disaggregated by male, female, or jointly held Employment Share of women in employment, both wage and self-employment, by type Gender gaps in earnings in wage and self-employment Participation 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 bodies Violence against women Prevalence of domestic violence

8 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Global and Regional Trends Gender Equality & Youth Employment

9 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Gender & Youth Unemployment Globally, 35.8 million young women (15-24) are involuntarily without work Globally, 35.8 million young women (15-24) are involuntarily without work In all regions (except EA and SSA) young womens unemployment rates are higher than young mens In all regions (except EA and SSA) young womens unemployment rates are higher than young mens Female unemployment rate of 16.5% was 5.9% points higher than the male rate of 10.6 % in 2003 in MENA Female unemployment rate of 16.5% was 5.9% points higher than the male rate of 10.6 % in 2003 in MENA Unemployment for young women in MENA countries ranges from 13% in Bahrain to almost 39% in Algeria Unemployment for young women in MENA countries ranges from 13% in Bahrain to almost 39% in Algeria Unemployed 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 Egypt Unemployed 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 Egypt Source: ILO Global Employment Trends, 2004; ERF, 2000.

10 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Fertility & Employment Link Lower fertility rates & increased employment of women is likely to go hand in hand freeing their time from the care economy Lower fertility rates & increased employment of women is likely to go hand in hand freeing their time from the care economy In 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 % In 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 % Employment to Population Ratio In all regions, employment to population ratios are much smaller for women than for men In all regions, employment to population ratios are much smaller for women than for men The difference is highest in MENA where 2/10 working age women work compared to 7/10 men The difference is highest in MENA where 2/10 working age women work compared to 7/10 men Even 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 Even 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 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Education & Employment Link Higher enrollment, completion rates and better quality of education for girls and boys is likely to lead to increased employability Higher enrollment, completion rates and better quality of education for girls and boys is likely to lead to increased employability MENA countries have moved toward achieving gender equality in primary and secondary education, BUT THE LINK TO JOBS IS MISSING MENA countries have moved toward achieving gender equality in primary and secondary education, BUT THE LINK TO JOBS IS MISSING In the past decade MENA governments spent an average of 5.3 % of GDP on educationthe highest in the world changing the supply, quality, and profile of the labor forceBUT IT ONLY MARGINALLY TRANSLATED INTO YOUNG WOMENS EMPLOYMENT In the past decade MENA governments spent an average of 5.3 % of GDP on educationthe highest in the world changing the supply, quality, and profile of the labor forceBUT IT ONLY MARGINALLY TRANSLATED INTO YOUNG WOMENS EMPLOYMENT

12 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Female to Male Primary Enrollment Ratios, 2000 Female to Male Secondary Enrollment Ratios, 2000 In Egypt, educated women are more likely to be unemployed than educated men In Jordan, educated women, especially graduates of community colleges face high unemployment levels

13 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Gender Segregation Across Life Cycle Women obtain suitable skills often via shorter training and informal courses compared to men Separation in training is followed by separation in the workplace/work opportunities creating a vicious cycle Young women and men are concentrated in different types of work and their paths to work are different and so likely are the impacts upon them Young women and men are concentrated in different types of work and their paths to work are different and so likely are the impacts upon them Women 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 training

14 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Experience with Young Women Life skills training Life skills training Health and nutritionHealth and nutrition Self esteem, confidence, conflict resolutionSelf esteem, confidence, conflict resolution CV, interview, presentation skillsCV, interview, presentation skills Vocational skills training in market niches that are not low return and traditionally women sectors Vocational skills training in market niches that are not low return and traditionally women sectors Labour market links Labour market links Apprenticeship, job placement programsApprenticeship, job placement programs

15 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Female life expectancy 100 Reducing Fertility Rate Ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education GDP Per Capita $ Ratio of Women to Men in Non Agricultural Wage Employment Developing regions MENA %Seats Held by Women in Parliament Key Gender Equality Indicators, 2000

16 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO 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 school Private 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 work The 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 sustained

17 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO 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 employment Young and adult women have a higher share of agricultural employment in MENA. Most are in the unpaid family worker category of employment Within services, women are still concentrated in sectors that are traditionally associated with gender roles in community, social and personal services Within services, women are still concentrated in sectors that are traditionally associated with gender roles in community, social and personal services Womens share in industry is low, but jobs in EPZs are filled by young women (textiles, leather, electronics) Womens 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 earnings 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 earnings In professional services, women are still in womens jobs as teaching, nursing where with good education and training continue to be an employment outlet for young women In professional services, women are still in womens jobs as teaching, nursing where with good education and training continue to be an employment outlet for young women

18 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Reasons for Gender Inequality & Youth Employment Trends in MENA

19 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Socio-Cultural Constraints Young women have more limited access to labor market relevant 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 counterparts Across the life cycle women have more limited access to productive resources (land, capital, livestock) compared to their male counterparts There is a male-bread winner bias in the labor market despite the pressing economic realities in poor households which require more than one income There is a male-bread winner bias in the labor market despite the pressing economic realities in poor households which require more than one income There 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) There 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 & inactive Young women face employer and lender biases and are overrepresented among unpaid family workers, part time, low wage earners, unemployed & inactive Early marriage and child bearing and rearing can also inhibit young womens integration into labor market Early marriage and child bearing and rearing can also inhibit young womens integration into labor market

20 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Market Failures Affecting Young Women Employers may be unwilling to incur the perceived transaction costs and risks in hiring 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 realities Perceptions hold considering the high levels of male unemployment and expectations of male bread winner despite the changing economic and social realities Formal credit markets often exclude women who are less likely than men to own land and other collateral Formal credit markets often exclude women who are less likely than men to own land and other collateral Because 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 women Because 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 women Being 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 Being 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 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Good Practices Ensuring Gender Equality in Youth Employment in MENA

22 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO School to Work Transition Surveys JORDAN Conducted through ILO GENPROM in a number of countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Jordan Conducted through ILO GENPROM in a number of countries including Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Jordan Female 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 people Female 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 people Determines 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 responsibilities Determines 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 responsibilities Gender differentials - especially why it is harder for young women than for young men to make the transition from school to work Gender differentials - especially why it is harder for young women than for young men to make the transition from school to work

23 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO IT Training: Partnership with Corporate Sector UNIFEM, Cisco Systems, Government of Jordan, YMCA, UNRWA and UNDP UNIFEM, Cisco Systems, Government of Jordan, YMCA, UNRWA and UNDP Training to bridge gender gap in IT sector Training to bridge gender gap in IT sector Over 200 young women underwent a two-month training in IT skills Over 200 young women underwent a two-month training in IT skills Training designed to help female students build technological knowledge & improve competitiveness in the labor market Training designed to help female students build technological knowledge & improve competitiveness in the labor market A job-placement program helps students put their skills to use A job-placement program helps students put their skills to use Tracking of graduates to evaluate the benefits of the training Tracking of graduates to evaluate the benefits of the training

24 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Next Steps Gender Equality and Youth Employment in MENA

25 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Life Cycle Approach Youth is a challenging stage because individuals are increasingly expanding their roles and responsibilities without the protections often provided other groups Youth is a challenging stage because individuals are increasingly expanding their roles and responsibilities without the protections often provided other groups Decisions 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 learning Decisions 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 learning Life long learning is important for women and men, but womens participation in the care economy mean that their skills can be interrupted and therefore outdated Life long learning is important for women and men, but womens participation in the care economy mean that their skills can be interrupted and therefore outdated

26 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO Policy responses Improving availability & quality of sex-disaggregated data on labor markets including womens informal employment & gender earnings gaps Improving availability & quality of sex-disaggregated data on labor markets including womens informal employment & gender earnings gaps Gender responsive laws and policy approaches in Gender responsive laws and policy approaches in Job creation, finance, micro-finance, safety netsJob creation, finance, micro-finance, safety nets Quality vocational training programsQuality vocational training programs Infrastructure and urbanInfrastructure and urban Rural development/agricultureRural development/agriculture Labor codesLabor codes Public sector budgetingPublic sector budgeting National policy frameworks (PRSPs & Youth Employment Action Plans)National policy frameworks (PRSPs & Youth Employment Action Plans) Investing in young women by prioritizing their Investing in young women by prioritizing their Secondary educationSecondary education Transition from education to work through labour marketTransition from education to work through labour market Quality and labor market relevant trainingQuality and labor market relevant training Physical safetyPhysical safety Developing positive role models of young womens work to address attitudes & percetions through media, schools, and communities Developing positive role models of young womens work to address attitudes & percetions through media, schools, and communities

27 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO For more information and a copy of this presentation please contact: Simel Esim, Ph.D. Regional Gender Advisor ILO Regional OfficeArab States

28 Simel Esim, Regional Gender Specialist, Arab States, ILO THANK YOU!


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