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Gender

Tunisia’s window of opportunity is still open, for now

Antonio Nucifora's picture
Also available in: Français
        World Bank | Arne Hoel

Last Thursday I had dinner with my friend Youssef. He told me he was disappointed with the way things were turning out in his country. A young Tunisian educated at the Sorbonne, Youssef took leave from his cushy management consultant job to volunteer for the government after the revolution. Like Youssef many Tunisians feel disillusioned. I replied that now is the time to redouble the efforts.

The rhythm of empowerment: female rappers from Morocco to Gaza

Amina Semlali's picture
Also available in: العربية | Français
        Rapper Shadia Mansour. Photo credit: Ridwan Adhami

“It’s messed up, I had to lose an eye to see things clearly” Alia said, shaking her head. My charismatic and confident classmate then carefully tucked her hair under her veil. “Bushwick Bill?” I asked. She smiled and showed off her perfect row of teeth. “Yes!” She seemed pleased, yet slightly embarrassed that I had noticed that she was quoting an old-school rapper.

If it’s not social, it’s bad business

Guest Blogger's picture

        Wikipedia Zabbaleen

I was a high school teacher in the Bay area in California and reverse immigrated to Egypt. I had a few hours available to me and I wanted to teach, so one day by coincidence someone in my church asked me to teach Arabic in Cairo’s “Garbage City.” What I witnessed was a horror initially, but then fell in love with a group of people with such an incredible work ethic. Over the years, I’ve watched an amazing transformation of their trade.

Beyond war and internal conflict: How should the World Bank support Iraq now? Have your say

Marie-Helene Bricknell's picture
Also available in: العربية
        Kim Eun Yeul

As the Arab Spring swept through the region, Iraq was at war and fighting a homegrown insurgency. Since the war’s end, Iraq has had to pick up the pieces and come to terms with its sanctions and bloody sectarian conflict. How Iraq addresses these challenges in the medium term will have a long-term effect on its stability and development.

The egg or the chicken: A new way to look at female labor force participation

Nadereh Chamlou's picture

World Bank | Arne HoelI recently heard a comment that greater female labor force participation will hike up the already high unemployment rate in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).  The figure from Scarpetta and Pierre‘s 2003 presentation (see chart below), which I have updated, plots female participation rates against unemployment rates across OECD and MENA countries.  It indicates that some countries with low female participation are also those with high unemployment rates. 

Is patriarchy on the rise?

Nadereh Chamlou's picture
Also available in: Français
Last Spring, I wrote a about the rise of conservatism among 15-35 year old men in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) despite higher education and better connectedness to the world than the previous generation.  The level of conservatism was measured by the number of objections toward women working outside their home: based on a 2008/09 survey of 40,000 individuals in Amman, Cairo, and Sana’a across income, age, and educational groups, over 40 percent of young men objected.  I then asked whether, voting and voter preference would help advance women’s rights.

Women in transition

Caroline Freund's picture
Also available in: Français
In a new study, Mélise Jaud and I examine how countries transit from autocracy to democracy.  We find that 86 countries have tried over the last 50 years, with 42 successful and quick, 13 successful but slow, and 31 failed.  We also look at the determinants of attempting transition, given you are in autocracy--as well as the determinants of sustained success, given that you try to transit.

Alert! Arab world women at bottom of global workforce participation

Tara Vishwanath's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
World Bank | Arne Hoel | 2011Worldwide, women remain at a disadvantage relative to men and the same is true in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. But, there is a stark paradox in gender equality: while, for the most part, MENA countries have made admirable progress in closing gender gaps in education and health outcomes, these investments in human development have not yet translated into commensurately higher rates of female participation in economic and political life. For example, female labor force participation rates at 25 percent are half the world average and the lowest among other regions.

The missing “Killer App”: Women's empowerment & their economic contribution

Nadereh Chamlou's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية
World Bank | Arne Hoel | 2012Before the holidays, World Bank staff was treated – and I mean treated in its true and exquisite sense – to two fascinating speakers and groundbreaking books, both explaining underlying reasons for the “divergence” between Western economies and other regions of the world that were ahead of the West for much of humankind’s history in terms of culture, science, and prosperity. In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and elsewhere, there has been a longstanding discussion about what helped the West to speed ahead, and what held others back.   

Gender equality in time

Aida Haddad's picture
Also available in: Français | العربية

Every year, during a time oscillating between summer and autumn, my institution the World Bank and the IMF jointly hold their Annual Meetings. Often, concerns about the global economy dominate the discussions.  With all that is going on this year, I wondered why the main theme of the meeting was gender equality. As important as the topic may be, it was not going to deliver a tangible outcome in the near future, especially when developing countries in particular are facing uncertain horizons. And yet, I must say I felt a sense of pride in, and belonging to, this message. The message was bold and visible: In their different tongues they asked the same question: “Equal?”

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