Profiles of Women in STE in Yemen

Education:

Literacy Rate (2003)  28.5%
Primary School Enrollment (2006)  63%
Secondary School Enrollment (2006)  21%
Tertiary School Enrollment (2006)  5%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Science
(1995/1996)
 1.3%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Medicine
(1995/1996)
 7.9%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Engineering
(1995/1996)
 1.9%

Employment:

2006 Female Labor Force Participation Rate:  38%
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
    • By law education is compulsory, though it is not fully practiced resulting in large gaps between girls and boys primary enrollment rates. It often the discretion of male family members whether a girl is allowed to attend school. There are no legal rules restricting women to education at any level, however, there are technical institutes and schools that do not admit women . There are clear disparities in enrollment rates in urban and rural areas. In rural areas, only 30% of girls enroll in primary school, while the enrollment rate for boys is 73%. The low enrollment rate may be due to poverty and social biases, where families prefer to send boys to school instead of girls, keeping them from a gender-mixed environment. High drop out rates among women can also be attributed to early marriages . In 2006, the enrollment of women into tertiary schools was only 5%, and of that population, only a small population studied the sciences. Overall, women make up about 25% of the university student population. About 50% of that female population studies education, a traditionally female-dominated field of study .
    • There are laws that prohibit discrimination against women in the workplace; however, they are loosely enforced; there is a clear nepotism for hiring men. There are limited skilled-job centers that offer employment opportunities to women, and a women’s family usually determines the career she pursues. Women have started working in engineering offices and shops; it is socially preferred for women to work in fields like teaching or medicine. According to a 2004 survey done by the National Women’s Committee, women represent about 24.6% of the workforce, and 86% of these women work in the agriculture. Many women work non-wage work, only 8% of women are working paid jobs .
    • Women in Technology (WIT) in Yemen is a pilot program that was funded by Middle East Partnership Initiative of the US Department of State that trains women in technical skills that make them marketable. This program provided 400 scholarships to Yemeni women to train in Cisco and Microsoft systems. The goal of this program is to train the women properly so they have more career options and can be gainfully employed. An additional goal is to empower women and to participate in policymaking decisions. The program also reaches out to employers globally to encourage the hiring of the women that were trained through the program. For the future, there are hopes to bring similar programs to Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, and Saudi Arabia .

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