A recent study revealed that Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Oman are the least to integrate women in the job market.
According to a report issued by the Gallup institute published in the Saudi newspaper al-Riyadh, the percentage of women working in Saudi Arabia is below 22 percent, compared to the average 40 percent in the Middle East and 43 percent worldwide.
The report added that Qatar and Oman are also amongst the countries with the least percentage of women employment together with other non-Arab countries like Ecuador, Bolivia, Botswana, and Rwanda, where there is a gap of around 22 percent between male and females in the job market.
In contrast, the percentage of women employment in Kuwait is about 88 percent high and male employment stands at 89 percent. Kuwait was listed as one of the world’s first countries in women employment together with Singapore, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Estonia, and Malta.
As for other Gulf countries, the report noted that female employment in Bahrain has reached 61 percent compared to 80 percent for males.
In other countries the percentage of the employment of females exceeds that of males. These include Ireland, Mongolia, Finland, and Serbia.
It was also noted that countries with a high level of local production are ones in which there is a gap between male and female employment. The report revealed that women across the world do not generally contribute to global economy as much as men do.
In the case of Saudi Arabia, official statistics revealed that the number of working women is 100,000, all in professions deemed “primary” according to the Saudi Professional Classification Manual.
The Saudi Ministry of Labor is currently launching several initiatives that aim at enhancing the role of women in the job market in a way that does not violate social norms.
Towards this end, the ministry issued last week a decree to hire female shop attendants in stores selling women items like clothes and accessories. A second decree allowed women to work as cashiers in supermarkets and a third gave women the chance to work in family public parks. A fourth ministerial decree stated that cooks in restaurants can be women provided that the illicit privacy laws, where a woman is not allowed to be with an unrelated man, are strictly followed.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid.)