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Women, Work, and Welfare in the Middle East and North Africa: Introduction and Overview

In: Women, Work and Welfare in the Middle East and North Africa The Role of Socio-demographics, Entrepreneurship and Public Policies

Author

Listed:
  • Massoud Karshenas
  • Valentine M. Moghadam
  • Nadereh Chamlou

Abstract

Providing an empirical and conceptual context for the volume, this chapter discusses patterns and trends in women's social and economic participation in the region, draws together the themes explored in individual chapters, and offers policy recommendations and suggestions for future research. Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries have made good progress in educating women, whose schooling attainments often outstrip those of men, and in reducing fertility rates, but most of MENA women remain out of the labor force, and those who do work outside the home face a wide range of difficulties associated with their gender. Having so few women working is costly for the countries in the region, limiting their economic size and growth prospects. From a policy perspective, it is important to understand why so few women work. Reasons include discriminatory practices in the workplace and difficulty in obtaining access to credit and productive assets; women's reservation wages and internalized gender roles in traditionally patriarchal societies; and discrimination by government policies against female market-based activities. The chapter seeks to understand the links between these causual factors within a coherent analytical framework that can handle both diversity and difference.

Suggested Citation

  • Massoud Karshenas & Valentine M. Moghadam & Nadereh Chamlou, 2016. "Women, Work, and Welfare in the Middle East and North Africa: Introduction and Overview," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Nadereh Chamlou & Massoud Karshenas (ed.), Women, Work and Welfare in the Middle East and North Africa The Role of Socio-demographics, Entrepreneurship and Public Policies, chapter 1, pages 1-30, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  • Handle: RePEc:wsi:wschap:9781783267347_0001
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