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Bahrain Women Outscore Men in Top Jobs

Middle East : 22 April 2012

Source: Trade Arabia

Bahrain has topped the Middle East in a new report on women’s empowerment, which measures female education opportunities, business ownership and workforce participation.

The country outscored its Middle East neighbours in the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement 2012 with a total score of 69, says a report in the Gulf Daily News, our sister newspaper.

The UAE came second in the region with 67.5, followed by Qatar (67.1), Kuwait (63.5), Oman (63.4), Lebanon (51.8), Egypt (49.8) and Saudi Arabia (36.9).

Bahrain was found to have three times more female business and government leaders than males – and was the only country in the region where more women than men occupy such posts.

“It is interesting to note that there are 313.6 women business/government leaders (in Bahrain) to every 100 males in the same position in this market,” says the study.

The second placed country in this category was the UAE (84.1), followed by Oman (80.7) and Qatar (63.9). Lebanon came last with 27.8.

The annual index, which measures women’s socio-economic situation across the Middle East and Levant compared to men, found women have seen increasing advancements in recent years.

It evaluated each country based on five key indicators: business ownership, business and government leadership, workforce participation, regular employment opportunities and tertiary education.

The ratio of women to every 100 men was measured in each category, with a score of 100 in any category meaning equal gender representation.

A score below 100 indicated men outnumbered women, while a score above 100 indicated women outnumbered men.

In business ownership Bahrain came second with 32. Only Oman scored better with 38.9, while the UAE scored 31.5, Qatar scored 26.7, Kuwait scored 22.9 and Saudi Arabia scored nil.

Meanwhile, Bahrain came third in the Middle East in terms of the employment opportunities for women.


It scored 113.5, behind Oman (122.6) and Lebanon (150.2) – but ahead of the UAE (105.8).

Across the region, overwhelmingly more women were enrolled in tertiary or post-secondary education than men.

This is most evident in Qatar, which scored 558.7, followed by Bahrain in second with 273.1, Kuwait (243.1), the UAE (181.6), Oman (156.8), Lebanon (119.6) and Saudi Arabia (109.5).

However, most Middle East countries ranked poorly in terms of the number of women in the workforce. Qatar (54.3) and Kuwait (52.7) were the only markets with more than 50 women in the workforce for every 100 men, followed by the UAE with 46.9 and Bahrain in fourth with 45.3.

“Women’s socio-economic advancement starts at the basic level from fostering confidence in girls through education, to giving women opportunities for skills development and regular employment,” said MasterCard Communications group head for the Middle East and North Africa and Asia/Pacific Georgette Tan.

She said the results of the latest MasterCard Index showed that even in challenging times, societies were taking women’s empowerment seriously

“We believe that increasing awareness about the important role of women in societies will ultimately improve their socio-economic standing,” she added.

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