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Opening Doors : Gender Equality and Development in the Middle East and North Africa

access to education access to health care adolescent girls adolescents age of marriage babies basic health care basic human right Births Bulletin catalysts Child Care Child Marriages children per woman citizens citizenship community development contraceptive use democracy Demographic Transition demographic trends developing countries discrimination discrimination against women divorce domestic violence early childhood economic empowerment economic growth economic opportunities economic productivity educated women educational attainment employment opportunities Empowering Women Empowerment of Women enforcement of laws equal access equal opportunities equal opportunities for women equal partners equal treatment equal work Female Education Female Immigrants Female Labor Female Labor Force Female Labor Force Participation Female life expectancy Female Literacy Female Mortality Female Workers Fertility Fertility Rates fewer children fewer women focus group discussions Forms of Discrimination future generations gap between girls Gender gender balance gender differences gender disparities Gender Equality Gender Equity gender gap gender gap in education gender gap in literacy Gender Gaps gender inequalities gender issues Gender Norms gender parity gender perspective Gender Policy Gender Unit Girls in School Gross domestic product health care health services Household Chores household duties household income household level household responsibilities Household surveys human capital Human Development Human Rights husbands illiteracy Immigrants Importance of Education Inequality infant infant mortality international conventions International Cooperation investment in children Investment in Education job creation job opportunities job security Labor Market labor markets labor supply Labour Market Labour Organization legal rights legal status levels of education life expectancy Lives of Women local community low-income countries Low-income country lower fertility Marital Status marriage age Married Women maternal mortality maternal mortality rate maternal mortality rates maternity leave minority mother national level natural resource newborn number of girls number of women Opportunities for Women parliamentary seats Parliamentary Union participation in society participation of women Peace pensions Personal Status Laws political participation political parties political rights political support polygamy Population Council Population Division Population Estimates Population Reference Bureau prenatal care primary education Primary school Progress Public Policy Public Sphere quality of education rate of growth reform laws religious leaders reproductive health reproductive health services respect right to education Rights of Women Salaried Workers Secondary Education service delivery Sex Sex discrimination Sex discrimination against women Sex Ratios single mothers Single Women skilled workers Social Affairs social barriers social cohesion Social Institutions Social Norms Social Security social unrest son preference spouses status of women Sustainable Development tertiary education tertiary level traditional gender roles traditional media transportation treaties UNDP Unemployment Unemployment Rates UNESCO UNFPA UNIFEM United Nations United Nations Development Fund for Women United Nations Development Programme United Nations Population Fund urban community Wage Gap War WDR Woman Workforce working conditions Working Women working-age population World Health Organization young girls young men young mothers Young People Young Women
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Washington, DC
Middle East and North Africa | North Africa | Middle East
2013-02-27T20:39:09Z | 2013-02-27T20:39:09Z | 2013-02-06

Since the early 1990s, countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region have made admirable progress in reducing the gap between girls and boys in areas such as access to education and health care. Indeed, almost all young girls in the Region attend school, and more women than men are enrolled in university. Over the past two decades, maternal mortality declined 60 percent, the largest decrease in the world. Women in MENA are more educated than ever before. It is not only in the protest squares that have seen women whose aspirations are changing rapidly but increasingly unmet. The worldwide average for the participation of women in the workforce is approximately 50 percent. In MENA, their participation is half that at 25 percent. Facing popular pressure to be more open and inclusive, some governments in the region are considering and implementing electoral and constitutional reforms to deepen democracy. These reforms present an opportunity to enhance economic, social, and political inclusion for all, including women, who make up half the population. However, the outlook remains uncertain. Finally, there are limited private sector and entrepreneurial prospects not only for jobs but also for those women who aspire to create and run a business. These constraints present multiple challenges for reform. Each country in MENA will, of course, confront these constraints in different contexts. However, inherent in many of these challenges are rich opportunities as reforms unleash new economic actors. For the private sector, the challenge is to create more jobs for young women and men. The World Bank has been pursuing an exciting pilot program in Jordan to assist young women graduates in preparing to face the work environment.

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