Profiles of Women in STE in Syria


Literacy Rate (2004)  73.6%
Primary School Enrollment (2004)  96%
Secondary School Enrollment (1995 – 1999)  40%
Tertiary School Enrollment (2000)  12.6%
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Science
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Medicine
Percentage of Women among Students Studying Engineering


2004 Female Labor Force Participation Rate:  30%
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
  •  Education is compulsory to the age of 11, and is free at all levels. The Kurdish children in Syria have a difficult time attaining an education because they do not hold Syrian citizenship . In 1995-1999 the ratio of girl to boy students enrolled in primary school was 0.91, and secondary school it was 0.89, exhibiting a fairly small gender gap . The ratio in tertiary school falls to about 0.72, with enrollment for women at 12.6%. The drop in enrollment from the primary level to secondary and tertiary levels is attributed to students leaving school to enter the workforce or marriage. According to Freedom House, the Syrian government is often criticized for the lack of efforts made to combat the large drop-out rates for girls. There is still a portion of women that went on to study sciences at the university-level. In 1995/1996, 10.2% of students studying sciences were women, in medicine 12.3% were women, and 15.9% of engineering students were women.
    • Women are making their presence in the scientific workplace. In 1989-1990, the total number of female faculty members was 118 out of 1473 (8% of faculty). In 1993-1994, there were 245 women out of 2971 faculty members (8.2%). In 1997, there were 4 female PhD holders, out of 64 (6.25%) at the Syrian Atomic Energy Commission. At the Center for Testing and Industrial Research, there were 23 women out of 49 people with either a BSc or Engineering degree (46.9%). At the Center for Management and Productivity Development, there were 12 women out of 23 total people with either a BSc or Engineering degree (52.2%). At the Higher Institute of Applied Science and Technology, there were 6 women out of 41 that held PhDs (14%). At the Directorate of Scientific Agricultural Research, there were 2 women out of 39 that were PhD holders (5%). At the Arabian Medical Company, there were 45 women out of 111 that had either a BSc or Engineering degree (41%) .
    • There are no laws protecting women from sexual harassment in the workplace. Over the years, the government has been easing restrictions on women in the workplace and education, but they still face discrimination and the government still deny women of their and social rights. Penal and social codes force women to be dependents of their fathers or husbands. Only husbands are able to authorize travel for his wife.

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