Profiles of Women in STE in Libya


Literacy Rate (2005)  70.7%
Primary School Enrollment (1990-1994)  N/A
Secondary School Enrollment  N/A
Tertiary School Enrollment (1990-1994)  15%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Science
(1991/1992 School Year)
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Medicine
(1991/1992 School Year)
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Engineering
(1991/1992 School Year)


2006 Female Labor Force Participation Rate:  22%
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
    • The government provides free education to all Libyan citizens, which is compulsory up to the intermediate level. However, this mandate is rarely enforced, particularly in the rural areas. At the university level, all academic fields are open to women, although they tend to shy away from subjects that have traditionally been considered in the male domain, such as engineering, as demonstrated from the figures above. Literacy among women is on the rise, from 67.6% in 2000 to 70.7% in 2006; however, it still remains behind men’s literacy, which in 2002 was recorded at 90%.
    • Women only comprised 22% of the labor force in 2006 and substantial discrimination still exists in the workplace. Women continue to work mainly in the service sectors, especially in education and health. Male family members have wide control over what types of jobs women may pursue, and families still tend to prefer their daughters to work in traditionally female jobs, such as education, nursing, and cleaning.
  • The Department of Women’s Affairs was established by the government to collect data on women in the workplace and to oversee the integration of women into public life. The government has also established the General Union of Women’s Associations as a network of non-governmental organizations that address women’s employment needs.


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