Study: Working women’s contribution in economy is not recognized [Archives:2006/908/Business & Economy]

January 2 2006

A recent social study has revealed the extent of injustice inflicted on Yemeni woman, especially those in the rural areas. Research and national reports reveal that Yemeni women in countryside work very hard and generally without remuneration or recognition of her role or economic contribution. Rural women's income generating is not registered in the national economy and they are not included in the organized labor sector. Moreover, working Yemeni women, suffer from the double burden of bearing both productive and reproductive responsibilities. A study on working women's conditions in Yemen, prepared by Dr Sukaina Ahmed Mohammed from Sana'a University presented recently at the regional forum of the rural woman, disclosed that the presence of the woman at work was still mediocre and modest to a great extent.

There are around 890,110 workingwomen in Yemen, equaling 25% of the labor force over the age of 15. Unfortunately 62% of those women (about 550,667) are unpaid laborers generally working in the farms or family business.

He study also reveals that the percentage of unemployed women who are able to work reaches 24.6% of the total unemployment rate. Around 9.3% of the employed women work in the public sector, whereas 49.7% work in the agricultural and fishing industries of the private sector. Women working in education do not exceed 4.3% of the educational work force while 2.6% work in conversion industries. The study also unveiled that only one out of four women in the rural areas receive health care. And only 22% of deliveries take place under medical supervision and only 27% of the rural pregnant rural women avail prenatal health services. Only 61% of the women with venereal disease received medical treatment, whereas 39% of those infected women did not receive medical advice because of financial, geographical obstacles or due to social constraints. Poor living conditions in the rural areas, as indicated by the report, increase women's susceptibility of suffering from multi diseases such as anemia, kidney and contagious ills.

The study concluded that the most prominent of challenges working Yemeni woman are facing are: the cultural constraints against accepting working women in the organized sector, unfriendly and inconvenient working environment, and absence of protection against harassment and discriminative practices.