Presentation on theme: "Young Arab Women Leaders The Voice Of The Future Haneen Sayed Human Development Coordinator Regional Youth Co-Coordinator Middle East and North Africa."— Presentation transcript:
Young Arab Women Leaders The Voice Of The Future Haneen Sayed Human Development Coordinator Regional Youth Co-Coordinator Middle East and North Africa Region World Bank Beirut – Lebanon 1 September 20, 2012
MENA countries have made impressive achievements in closing gender gap in education 2
However, aspirations are unmet in economic sphere: Low rates of workforce participation, high rates of unemployment Female labor force participation in MENA is half the world average Young women face high rates of unemployment across the region 4
And, aspirations are also unmet in the political life: Women are heavily underrepresented in politics 5 Percentage of Women in Legislatures (Lower or Single Houses)
Female unemployment is higher among the better educated 6
Public sector employment is a dominant source of employment, especially for women Public sector employment (share of total employment) 7
In many countries, the public sector also pays better, especially for women 8 Public employees are offered higher pay, subsidies, pensions, and relatively more generous working conditions than similarly qualified workers in the private sector.
In MENA, both male and female-owned firms hire fewer women than world averages Worldwide, female-owned firms hire more women than male owned firms (27% men and 36% women) Source: World Bank Enterprise Survey Data Employment opportunities in the private sector are limited, especially for women 9
Source: World Bank Enterprise survey Data Women-owned firms hire more women as professionals and managers than male-owned firms–across all regions 10
So, why is female labor force participation low? …It is not about religion Average for Muslim majority countries 11
So, why is female labor force participation low? …It is not about being oil-rich versus oil-poor states 12
It is partly about social norms… Disagrees that "Men make better political leaders than women” (Percentage of respondents) 13
And partly about laws… Family codes may limit decision-making: head of household laws, permission to work, selecting matrimonial residence, unilateral divorce laws etc. Low or no legal minimum Age of Marriage Laws for girls may limit decision-making power within the household, with respect to education, work. Labor laws may limit opportunities: restrictions on industry and hours worked; maternity leave and childcare; legislation that discourages or does not recognize part-time work. 14
And other factors… Educational segregation influences occupational segregation (women’s fields of study geared towards public sector employment and certain disciplines – education, health) Skills mismatches Gender stereotypes of employers and misperceptions about the private sector Limited opportunities and skills for entrepreneurship Limited access to networks and lack of labor market information 15
The time for reform is now Women are more educated than ever before, have fewer children and are looking for work If all those in the working age population look for work, the number of jobs needed in MENA will increase exponentially—200 million jobs by 2050, three-quarters of them for women 16
Conclusions and The Way Forward (1) 17 Priorities for reform are: job creation for all, and legal reform to improve women’s agency. Essential for governments to focus on reforms that support economic diversification, private sector investment and growth, and boost the employability of the growing class of educated young men and women future job creation must be led by the private sector. Reforms are needed to remove bottlenecks in terms of skills shortages and mismatches, overregulation of labor markets and limited support for entrepreneurship (access to finance and complex regulations). Giving women the capacity to create their own businesses can boost innovation, growth and employment. Women entrepreneurs face significant barriers in accessing credit.
Conclusions and The Way Forward (2) 18 Policies to encourage women to work, and increase their attractiveness (employability) to employers (incentives to employers). Legal reforms are urgently needed to give women freedom of mobility, ensure their safety in the workplace, relax restrictive regulations on their employment, encourage their entrepreneurship, and advance their participation in the legal profession and politics. Paucity of relevant data in MENA on women’s issues and evidence on the effectiveness of policies to address them.