Arab women look for financial independence
CHEW on this for a second: 57% of the Middle East’s working women choose to work because they want financial independence. Yet, a whopping 41% of them feel that they receive less pay than male colleagues.
This is what we at Bayt.com, the Middle East’s leading job site, discovered when we questioned our female members on their daily lives and careers as working women in the region. The research paper “The Status of Working Women in the Middle East” (released in June 2012) sheds light on their responses.
Cha-ching! Money talks
One of the things that came across very clearly in the research is that money matters, regardless of your gender. When asked about the key reason for working, 57% stated that they work because they seek financial independence.
Interestingly, this is most true for women with jobs in KSA, with 65% of respondents claiming to work for that particular reason.
The second most-cited reason is also financial, though related to support of household instead of independence, with 52% of women saying they work because they want to financially contribute to their households.
Salary takes the top spot when it comes to benefits of working. Three in five claim higher salary as an extremely important benefit, followed by opportunities for long term career growth (31%) and health insurance (28%).
When quizzed on salaries in the Middle East, opinion seems to be divided equally amongst those who feel they receive less pay than male colleagues and those who feel they receive equal pay (41% each). Then, it is no surprise that ‘less opportunity for job promotions’ is the key challenge faced by working women.
The sentiment of equality of pay is stronger in North African countries like those who hold jobs in Algeria (50%), jobs in Egypt (49%) and jobs in Tunisia (49%). Lebanon also ranks high on the list (48%).
Pic credit: freedigitalphotos.net
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