Female unemployment soars in the Arab world

Foreign female workers gather outside Saudi immigration department as they try to get visas and legalize their work situation in Riyadh. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 08 March 2018
0

Female unemployment soars in the Arab world

BEIRUT: Unemployment among women in the Middle East is twice that of men, the United Nations said on Wednesday, pointing to low wages, a lack of skills and a belief among some that a woman’s place is in the home.
About 16 percent of women in Arab states are unemployed, compared to a global average of 6 percent, the UN’s International Labour Organization (ILO) said.
“The incentive for women to work in the Middle East is not there,” said Emanuela Pozzan, a gender specialist with the ILO, pointing to poor maternity provisions and costly childcare.
“The jobs are not attractive because the salaries are not attractive,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone.
Getting more women into work globally was essential to achieve a global goal of gender equality by 2030, the ILO said, calling for policymakers to recognize the “unequal demands” on women at home and in caring for others.
Farah Nawayseh, 29, said she had been looking for work in her home country of Jordan for nearly nine months. Traditional male views of women were a significant roadblock, she said.
“Because I am female it is harder for me to find jobs,” she said by phone from Amman, the capital. “It has to do with a conservative mindset that men don’t want women to work — they are for marriage and to be in the home.”
She said the monthly wage for the sales jobs she sought was about 200 Jordanian dinar ($282).
“A lot of the time when I go for jobs they are asking for males and the salaries are so low,” she said.
Middle Eastern countries are among the worst in the world for unequal pay between men and women, according to the World Economic Forum, a Swiss charity.
The five lowest ranking countries for women’s economic participation and opportunity are Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Iran, with a gap of at least 65 percent, it said. ($1 = 0.7080 Jordanian dinars)


Prosecutor charges Netanyahu’s wife with fraud: justice ministry

Updated 21 June 2018
0

Prosecutor charges Netanyahu’s wife with fraud: justice ministry

  • The allegations announced last year are that she and an aide falsely declared there were no cooks available at the prime minister’s official residence and ordered from outside caterers at public expense.
  • Benjamin Netanyahu is also under investigation on suspicion of corruption offenses.

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara was charged on Thursday with fraud and breach of trust after a long police probe into allegations she falsified household expenses, the justice ministry said.
“The Jerusalem district prosecutor a short time ago filed charges against the prime minister’s wife,” the ministry said.
The allegations announced last year are that she and an aide falsely declared there were no cooks available at the prime minister’s official residence and ordered from outside caterers at public expense.
The cost amounted to “over 350,000 shekels ($97,000)),” the justice ministry said.
She has denied any wrongdoing.
Her husband is himself under investigation on suspicion of corruption offenses.
In one case, he and family members are suspected of receiving one million shekels ($285,000, 240,000 euros) worth of luxury cigars, champagne and jewelry from wealthy personalities in exchange for financial or personal favors.
In the other case, investigators suspect the premier of trying to reach an agreement with the owner of Yediot Aharonot, a top Israeli newspaper, for more favorable coverage.
Netanyahu has protested his innocence and vowed to remain in power, saying he is the victim of a “witch-hunt.”
He also faces suspicions of government favors that allegedly saw regulatory breaks go to Israel’s largest telecom firm Bezeq, in return for favorable coverage of him and his wife by a news website.
Despite his troubles, opinion polls suggest Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party would remain the largest in parliament if elections scheduled for November 2019 were held now.