Profiles of Women in STE in Algeria

Education:

Literacy Rate  60%
Primary School Enrollment (2006)  95%
Secondary School Enrollment (2006)  68%
Tertiary School Enrollment (2006)  20%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Science
(1995/1996 school year)
 52%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Medicine
(1995/1996 school year)
 45%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Engineering
(1995/1996 school year)
 27%

Employment:

2006 Female Labor Force Participation Rate:  36%
Wage Equality for Similar Work (Ratio of women’s wage to men’s wage)  0.74
Enterprise-Level Policies to Combat and Prevent Sexual Harassment  3.94
    • Article 53 of Algeria’s constitution establishes mandatory education for all children ages six to 16; however, this statute lacks the enforcement and funding necessary to achieve its goal. While primary school enrollment demonstrates quite a good record of 95% of girls attending school. This number drops to 68% for secondary school enrollment and continues to descend, with enrollment at 20% for tertiary school. Generally, the drop in numbers is attributed to poverty and families are torn between continuing a girl’s education and keeping her at home to work. However, female literacy rates in 2006 were recorded at 60%, a large leap from 24% in 1980. Of the women who are able to continue to university education, many do pursue degrees in science and technology, as evident in the distribution of women in scientific fields
    • As of 2006, women comprised roughly 36% of the Algerian workforce. This number has continued to rise despite unemployment and recession problems facing the country. However, women are not represented at the higher level of decision-making in their professions .
  • Legal institutions and social norms further constrain women when choosing professions. Husbands have the authority to determine which field their wives can work, and although Algerian women are no longer legally restricted in this choice, the Family Code clause, which mandates that women must abide by the duty of obedience, has been interpreted by many as indirectly condoning these social norms. Because of this, many female professionals work in fields such as nursing and education, which are considered more socially acceptable and gender appropriate. However, the state has been involved in passing legislation aimed at protecting women’s rights, including those that mandate wage and salary equality and those that require state employers and private companies to give women at least 3-months paid maternity leave .

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