Nadereh Chamlou's blog
The Financial Times issued its ranking of the world’s top 70 executive business programs. Nearly all successful emerging economies are on the list, as are advanced economies, but no program in MENA has made the list. Several countries have multiple programs represented in their domain, such as Chile, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Singapore, to name a few. Executive programs are an important indicator for future top management and leadership role jobs.
I 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.
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.
Before 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.
The democratic movements sprouting all over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are arousing high optimism for greater voice and inclusiveness. Democracies are about sharing power, and about reflecting the will of the people through peaceful processes at the ballot box. But, will the will of the people and people power usher in greater gender equality and women’s empowerment, particularly as women fought shoulder to shoulder with men for change?