GRM 2010 GRM 2011

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The GCC Labour Market and Indigenous women Participation: Dynamics of Inclusive Policy
Paper Proposal Text :

The GCC Labour market and Indigenous Women Participation: Dynamics of Inclusive Policy

The majority of women in the GCC are literate (negative start and contradictory), and have made rapid advancements on the education front. The adult literacy rate among women (in the 15+ age group) in the GCC stands at 84 percent. In fact, women in most GCC countries represent a better-educated talent pool than men. Women in Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE comprised more than 60 percent of all graduates in 2009. (Al Masah capital Management Limited :2012)
However, female labour participation in the GCC is low. At 26.9 percent, women's participation in the labour force in the region is nearly half that of the world average (51.7 percent). Research reveal that females (comprising 41 percent of the overall population of the GCC region) account for just 16 percent of the overall labour market. Lower participation of women in the workforce can be primarily ascribed to socio-cultural customs and restrictions that exist in many GCC Countries. Subsequently, out of the 10.2 million literate women in the working age group (15+ age group), only 3.3 million have jobs, while nearly 6.9 million are unemployed.
This untapped pool of educated women would be a huge loss to the economy and society if left unutilized. However, regional governments have taken note of this and are taking concrete steps to address this issue. For instance, Saudi Arabia issued a royal decree in 2011 to create 52,000 new job opportunities (at government schools) to address unemployment among educated men and women. It reserved 39,000 or 75percent of these jobs for women.
According to the world Bank Data based on ILO labour market database out of six GCC countries the percentage of female labour force participation is lowest in Saudi Arabia with 20 percent in 2014, standing at only 14 percent in 1990. Second lowest female labour force participation country is Oman with 29 percent in 2014 and 17 percent in 1990. Whereas Qatar is standing almost at world average at 51 percent female labour force participation in 2014. Kuwait and UAE are also show sizeably good share of female in labour force with 46 and 44 percent in 2014.
Besides over all female labour force Participation It is decernible from the Statistics of International Labour Organization (ILO,Key Indicators of the Labour Market database: 2015) that youth unemployment rate (labor force ages 15-24 ) among female is generally high in all GCC countries except Qatar, but particularly very high with 56 percent in Saudi Arabia in 2011-2014.
While taking the above as the context , the paper shall look at how indigenous women can contribute in the GCC labour market, moreover what are the dynamics of inclusive policies to tap untapped human resource. Following are key issues those shall be explored and analysed :
1. Total and sector-wise participation of Women in the labour force of all six GCC countries, similarities and differences between countries will also be examined to suggest future policies and plans of action to bring women into the mainstream of labour market of GCC countries, so that labour force of GCC countries can be comprised of more indigenous population rather non nationals.
2. Future Prediction in each and every sector if educated but unemployed women can be employed, how much dependence can be minimised on foreign labour.
3. What are the dynamics of inclusive policies that can be adopted to remove stumbling blocks on the path of optimum women participation in the labour market of GCC countries.