Educated Women in the Labour Market of Iran: Changing Worlds and New Solutions

Chapter
Part of the Lifelong Learning Book Series book series (LLLB, volume 15)

Abstract

Women’s access to education and training , as well as to measures supporting labour market insertion, can be key factors in increasing the role that women play in the socio-economic growth and development of any society. It is a role that is well recognised in Europe where increasing numbers of economists argue that rising rates of female employment represent a major driving force of growth in the past two decades (Finance and economics 2006). Outside the EU, research has also shown that women can be key players in economic development particularly if their economic involvement is combined with increased access to education and training (Murthy et al. 2008). Realising that potential, however, is not easy, particularly in the region that is the focus of this chapter—the Middle East (ME). Labour force statistics show, for example, that women’s employment rates in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are amongst the lowest in the world, despite marked increases in the levels of education achieved by women. In Iran , one of the most powerful countries of the ME , the overall increase in women’s participation in education , particularly since the 1990s, has been outstanding (Bahramitash 2003) but the rise of women’s employment has been much slower and limited. So, whereas a number of studies indicate a close relationship between education /training and employment (Shanahan et al. 2002), in Iran , where there has been a dramatic increase in the number of educated women , this relationship does not fully appear to apply. Higher rates of educational achievement have simply not been matched by a similar rise in participation in the labour market. Statistics indicate, for example, that 58.6% of university entrances in 2006 were women but only 12.4% of women were economically active in the same year, compared to 65.6% of men (Statistics Centre of Iran 2007). This chapter will attempt to explore some of the reasons behind this paradox and why it is a paradox most keenly experienced by graduate mothers .

Keywords

Labour Market Middle East Iranian Woman Education Education Female Graduate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Law & Social SciencesGlasgow Caledonian UniversityGlasgowUK

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