Profiles of Women in STE in Lebanon

Education:

Literacy Rate (2001)  80.4%
Primary School Enrollment (1995-1999)  N/A
Secondary School Enrollment (1995-1999)  84%
Tertiary School Enrollment (1995-1999)  27%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Science
(1995/1996 School Year)
 44%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Medicine
(1995/1996 School Year)
 61%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Engineering
(1995/1996 School Year)
 18%

Employment:

2006 Female Labor Force Participation Rate:  20.3%
Wage Equality for Similar Work (Ratio of women’s wage to men’s wage)  N/A
Enterprise-Level Policies to Combat and Prevent Sexual Harassment  N/A
    • Primary education is free and compulsory in Lebanon, resulting in high female enrollment in primary and middle school with little-to-no gender disparity. More girls are enrolled in primary school than boys, the gender equality index at 1.08; secondary school enrollment for girls was at 84% for the same time period. Tertiary school enrollment for the same period shows no gender-disparity, as the gender equality index at the university level is 1.00. While no fields are off limits to women at this level, there are more women enrolled in what are considered to be more traditionally female fields, such as the social sciences and humanities, while men tend to enroll in science and engineering. In 1990-1991, women comprised 41% of students studying science and 18% studying engineering illustrating no apparent shifts in interest in comparison to the 1995-1996 school year. However, there was an increase of women entering the field of medicine, as evident in 1990-1991, women comprised only 36% of medical students, the figure rising to 61% in 1995-1996 .
    • While no fields of employment are explicitly off limits to women, they continue to be poorly represented in the labor force due to social customs and gender discrimination. Although Lebanese women comprised 20.3% of the workforce in 2000, they tend to be more educated than their male counterparts. Almost a quarter of employed women work in the public or private sector. Women have found opportunities in government, medicine, the law, academia, the arts, and business. Unfortunately, few women have achieved senior positions in their fields. Further discrimination can be seen in the composition of the faculty at Lebanese universities, where female professors only comprise 6.6% of those teaching in math, 7.6% in physics, 27.2% in chemistry, 30.1% in biology, and 14.2% in medicine.
  • Lebanese women have the right to engage in business and to own property. Most discrimination originates in societal norms, not in the law.

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