Thursday, October 20, 2005

National female labour: Participation and policy implications :: Khaleej Times

Today's Khaleej Times includes an extensive article on UAE females in the labor force. The article is based upon a new study from the National Bank of Dubai. NBD appears to have had good access to data.

Read the whole thing.

Some extracts from the KT article:

According to a recent study by the National Bank of Dubai, the UAE's national labour force has been growing at an annual average of five per cent over the past decade and it is more likely to continue growing at the same pace over the medium-term. This is justified by the fact that more than 40 per cent of the local population is still below the age of 15 in 2003, and the percentage reaches almost 45 per cent for national females.
. . .
In 1995, the UAE's population was estimated at 2.4 million, of which 24.4 per cent were nationals. The high growth rates of foreign labour inflows into the country have reduced that percentage to 19.5 per cent in 2003.

Due to the unique nature of UAE's labour policies, two-thirds of the population were males in 1995 and increased slightly to 68 per cent in 2003.

For the national segment of the population, the split between the two sexes is almost 50:50 over the last decade. At the labour force level, these percentages change dramatically. For the UAE, women constituted 11.7 per cent of the country's labour force in 1995 and rose to 14.7 per cent in 2003. For nationals, the share of female labour increased from 13 per cent to 25 per cent over the same period.
. . .
Females formed only 15.2 per cent of the country's workforce in 2004. At the emirate level, there was remarkable difference of females presence in local labour markets.

While female labour constituted only 10.5 per cent in Abu Dhabi, it reached 29.5 per cent in Ajman and around 17 per cent in both Dubai and Sharjah. However, 36.1 per cent of the 401,000 female employees in the UAE were absorbed by Dubai's labour market. The shares of others stood at 27.6 per cent for Abu Dhabi, 16.2 per cent for Sharjah, and 10.9 per cent for Ajman.

National females represented 14.2 per cent of the total female employment in 2004. However, their presence in the country's total female workforce showed remarkable disparity among various emirates. While national females occupied 27.3 per cent of the total employed females in Fujairah, this percentage dropped to 4.5 per cent in Ajman. Emirates with high national presence among female workers include Abu Dhabi (23.4 per cent) and Ras Al Khaimah (21.1 per cent).
. . .
The female adult illiteracy rate in UAE during 2001-04 was 19.3 per cent (compared with 24.4 per cent for males) and the female youth illiteracy rate is five per cent (11.8 per cent for males). In terms of qualifications, the number of national female graduates from higher education institutions is almost double the number of male graduates.

National females constituted 71.2 per cent of national higher education graduates in the academic year 2002-03 and 68.6 per cent in 2003-04. Due to limited opportunities after secondary education (where other choices for males could be the armed forces, the police, studying abroad, etc.), females consider a university degree as the best option to enter the job market.

UPDATE. USA Today reports:
As women march forward, more boys seem to be falling by the wayside, McCorkell says. Not only do national statistics forecast a continued decline in the percentage of males on college campuses, but the drops are seen in all races, income groups and fields of study, says policy analyst Thomas Mortenson, publisher of the influential Postsecondary Education Opportunity newsletter in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Since 1995, he has been tracking — and sounding the alarm about — the dwindling presence of men in colleges.
. . .
But even as evidence of a problem — a crisis, some say — mounts, "there's a complacency about this topic," McCorkell says.

There has been no outcry, for example, on the scale of a highly publicized 1992 report by the American Association of University Women, How Schools Short-Change Girls, which compiled reams of research on gender inequities.
. . .
meaningful change must take place well before the college years, says Gurian, who acknowledges a personal interest in the subject: He has two daughters. "We all know a boy that's struggling," he says. "If we create a generation of men who aren't getting an education, that's bad for women."


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