SWEDISH DIALOGUE INSTITUTE FOR THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA Stockholm

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Webinar on Female Economic Participation in the MENA region

10 Jan 2022

On December 8, the Swedish Dialogue Institute for the Middle East and North Africa hosted a webinar entitled, “Female Economic Participation in the MENA region – Opportunities and Challenges”, with a panel consisting of Dr. Gaëlle Ferrant, Mary Nazzal, Rania Tarazi, and Professor David Yanagizawa-Drott. The female labour force participation rate in the MENA region is the lowest in the world, at around 20 percent (as compared to the global average for women of about 50 percent and the male labour force participation rate in MENA being approximately 75 percent). The panel emphasized obstacles such as legal discrimination, conservative social norms, and lack of attention by policy-makers to low levels of female employment. Yet new research and data suggests that the depth and strength of conservative social values may in fact be exaggerated, with many men in the MENA region actually being in favour of women working.

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