Women empowerment in the Middle east

Nations commitments to the advancement of women began with the signing of the UN Charter in San Francisco in 1945.

Women empowerment in the Middle east


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ments, UN entities, NGOs, and other international and regional organizations to promote womens rights and advance gender equality.


1.2 The U.N. Millennium Summit

of the greatest steps was the U.N. Millennium Summit, held in September 2000, produced a set of eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) covering a range of development issues, including reducing child mortality, fighting various infectious diseases, eradicating illiteracy, and empowering women. The MDGs and their associated targets and indicators were designed as benchmarks for monitoring progress in developing countries and to provide a framework for sustaining development and eliminating poverty. The international community recognizes that unless girls education improves, few of the MDGs will be achieved. Two of the goals deal specifically with female education and womens empowerment.2: Achieve universal primary education. Target: Ensure that, by 2015, all children, boys and girls alike, will have access to a full course of primary education. Indicators for this goal: the net enrollment ratio in primary education; the proportion of pupils starting grade 1 who reach grade 5;3: Promote gender equality and empower women. Target: Eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and at all levels of education no later than 2015. Indicators for this goal: the ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary, and tertiary education; the ratio of literate females to males among 15-to-24-year-olds; the share of women in wage employment in the nonagricultural sector; and the proportion of seats in national parliament held by women. In addition, the benefits of female education for womens empowerment and gender equality are broadly recognized:female education rises, fertility, population growth, and infant and child mortality fall and family health improves.in girls secondary school enrollment are associated with increases in womens participation in the labor force and their contributions to household and national income.s increased earning capacity, in turn, has a positive effect on child nutrition.especially daughters-of educated mothers are more likely to be enrolled in school and to have higher levels of educational attainment.women are more politically active and better informed about their legal rights and how to exercise them.



2. Problems of Education for Women


Education is a key part of strategies to improve individuals well-being and societies economic and social development. In the Middle East region access to education has improved dramatically over the past few decades, and there have been a number of encouraging trends in girls and womens education. Primary school enrollment is high or universal here, and gender gaps in secondary school enrollment have already disappeared in several countries. And of course women here are also more likely to enroll in universities than they were in the past.great challenges remain. Many people-especially girls-are still excluded from education, and many more are enrolled in school but learning too little to prepare them for 21st-century job markets. In some of these countries, access to the secondary and higher education that helps create a skilled and knowledgeable labor force continues to be limited; even where access is not a problem, the quality of the education provided is often low. It must be improved and also it should be more widely available. Many experts say that education systems may split into two tiers, with high-quality private education available only to the wealthy minority and low-quality public education the sole option for most citizens. Such a trend would turn education into a «means of perpetuating social stratification and poverty» rather than a means of increasing social equality. Gender sensitivity is a key aspect of the quality of education.systems should be sensitive to the specific needs of girls and women. Yet the curricula and teaching materials-and the media, which has a powerful role in shaping peoples knowledge and opinions-in the Middle East region often reinforce traditional roles that may deny women opportunities for full and equal participation in society. As radio, television, and the Internet reach more people in the region, it becomes even more important that students learn to analyze and judge the medias messages for themselves., many people still dont understand that education is a key strategy for reducing poverty, which is also the problem of Middle East countries. But still these countries generally have lower levels of womens education and labor force participation than other regions with similar income levels. Efforts to improve female education in these countries need to go beyond rhetoric and should involve policies and programs with measurable results. Governments need to make an extra effort to ensure that education is more accessible to low-income families and rural populations, with special attention to the quality of the education provided and the need for girls to complete school. Richer countries both inside and outside the region are encouraged to help resource-poor countries improve their educational systems and collect data on their progress. Improving access to and the quality of education is the most rewarding investment a country can make. Investing in female education will accelerate this regions economic and social development by enhancing human capital, slowing population growth, and alleviating poverty.



3. Educations Effects on Reproductive Choice

helps women take advantage of opportunities that could benefit them and their families, preparing women for the labor force and helping them understand their legal and reproductive rights. Educated women generally want smaller families and make better use of reproductive health and family planning information and services in achieving their desired family size. Most women in the Middle East region know something about modern contraception, but more-educated women tend to know about a wider range of available methods and where to get them. Women with more education are also more likely to discuss family planning issues with their husbands. Womens ability to choose the number and timing of their births is key to empowering women as individuals, mothers, and citizens, but womens rights go beyond those dealing with their reproductive roles. Women should be able to fulfill their aspirations outside the home, to the benefit of themselves, their families, and their countries. Opening economic opportunities to women has far reaching effects, but those benefits can be reaped only if women receive at least a basic education.ability of women to control their own fertility is absolutely fundamental to womens empowerment and equality. When a woman can plan her family, she can plan the rest of her life. When she is healthy, she can be more productive. And when her reproductive rights-including the right to decide the number, timing and spacing of her children, and to make decisions regarding reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence-are promoted and protected, she has freedom to participate more fully and equally in society.education of parents is linked to their children's educational attainment, and the mother's education is usually more influential than the father's. An educated mother's greater influence in household negotiations may allow her to secure more resources for her children.mothers are more likely to be in the labor force, allowing them to pay some of the costs of schooling, and may be more aware of returns to schooling. And educated mothers, averaging fewer children, can concentrate more attention on each child. Besides having fewer children, mothers with schooling are less likely to have mistimed or unintended births. This has implications for schooling, because poor parents often must choose which of their children to educate.



4. Education and Economic

commission women summit education

Nowadays, the interaction between the regions economic structure and its conservative culture, in which traditional gender roles are strongly enforced, is largely responsible. Womens employment options have been limited to a small number of socially acceptable occupations and professions, such as teaching and medicine. In many countries in the region, women must obtain permission from a male relative, usually a husband or father, before seeking employment, requesting a loan, starting a business, or traveling. Such laws often grant women a smaller share of inherited family wealth.the result, families tend to make greater investments in education for boys than for girls. As womens educational attainment in Middle East countries has increased, more women have moved into the job market. But womens participation in the labor force is still low: Only 20 percent of women ages 15 and older in Middle East countries are in the labor force-the lowest level of any world region. But economic activities are not the only vehicle for helping women escape from poverty and advancing gender equality and empowerment. There needs to be a combination of activities in various spheres of a womans life that address the dynamic and relational nature of poverty. Economic empowerment can, however, provide incentives to change the patterns of traditional behavior to which a woman is bound as a dependent member of the household. In short, gainful employment empowers impoverished women in various spheres of their lives, influencing sexual and reproductive health choices, education and healthy behavior.



5. Women Employment

nearly every country, women work longer hours than men, but are usually paid less and are more

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