Profiles of Women in STE in Palestinian Authority

Education:

Literacy Rate (2003)  87.4%
Primary School Enrollment (1995 – 1999)  97%
Secondary School Enrollment (1995 – 1999)  68%
Tertiary School Enrollment (2000)  23%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Science(1995/1996)  17.1%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Medicine(1995/1996)  3.8%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Engineering
(1995/1996)
 2.8%

Employment:

2006 Female Labor Force Participation Rate:  9.5%
Wage Equality for Similar Work (Ratio of women’s wage to men’s wage)  0.65 – 0.77
Enterprise-Level Policies to Combat and Prevent Sexual Harassment  N/A
    • Education is free and compulsory for both girls and boys. However, schools are gender segregated and unevenly distributed; more facilities were built for boys than girls. The Ministry of Education is now in the process of building additional schools for girls, particularly in rural areas. Until recently, married women were dismissed from school; however, the ministry is making efforts to encourage these women back into schools to finish their education. Primary school enrollment for girls is at an impressive 97%, and though this is a high percentage, there remains a high drop out rate among girls in secondary schools, and continues into tertiary school. The syllabi for girls’ school reflect gender stereotypes, teaching women that their proper roles are in the home. Regardless, there are still women that pursue science and engineering at the university level.
    • Most women in the Palestinian Authority, regardless of education, are not present in the workplace. According to UNDP, 90.7% of women in the PA are outside the workforce. Of the women who receive more than 13 years of education, 55.7% are outside the formal labor force. This low number may result from women succumbing to pressures to resign once they are married. Maternity leaves and benefits are not adequate for a woman to successfully balance her roles as a mother and employee. Women are also prohibited from working jobs that are deemed hard or dangerous. In addition, women earn about 65% of men’s wages in the West Bank, and about 77% of men’s wages in Gaza .
    • Women still face inequalities that limit their ability to enter the workplace. They do not have freedom to movement, and must have a male’s permission to attain a passport. Because of separation walls and checkpoints enforced by Israeli government, it is even harder for women to travel and access education or healthcare .
    • The Women’s Affairs Technical Committee (WATC) has set up workshops focusing on leadership training. This programs hopes to build empowerment among women and give them a sense of inclusion and confidence. In addition to the leadership workshops, the WATC also provides workshops on information communications technology. These skills will make participants more marketable.

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