Top 10 Low Female Workforce Participation Countries

Women in the Middle East are less likely to be actively employed than those from anywhere else in the world. Here is the list for Low Female Workforce Participation Countries.

Women’s labor-force participation is influenced by a number of factors, including economic health, gender equality, and cultural attitudes, to name a few. Religion has an important role in the establishment of cultural values. Women’s ability to work outside the home is usually limited by religious beliefs. Furthermore, the local economy has an impact on women’s labor-force involvement. Female involvement rates may be low due to a lack of job opportunities or an underdeveloped economy. This article identifies and lists some of the countries with the lowest female labor force participation rates.

Female Workforce
Female Workforce ( Image Credit: Flickr )

Countries with Low Female Workforce Participation

As can be seen from the list, a large number of Middle Eastern countries are represented. This is attributable to a number of causes, but the countries share one common pattern. Their cultural views and practices are generally conservative, mandating that women do not work outside the home.

Syria has the lowest female labor-force participation rate. Women account for only 15% of the total labor force. Families here follow strict gender norms, with women frequently staying at home to care for domestic duties. The majority of people feel that women should not go out in public without a male chaperone, which makes it impossible for them to function in official positions.

However, due to the present conflict in Syria, many women have found it necessary to search for employment outside the house, and gender norms are gradually altering.

Following Syria, other nations in the Greater Middle East include Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria (located in North Africa but considered a Greater Middle East country), and Palestine. Each of these nations reports 16% female labor-force participation. Jordan is also on the list, with women accounting for 17% of the workforce.

The Middle East continues to top the list, with Iran accounting for 18% of female participation. Women’s labor-force participation in the United States remains low, but has increased considerably since the 1970s. Women used to need their husbands’ consent to work.

Because this license was rarely acquired, women were effectively prevented from entering the labor force. Economic considerations, as previously indicated, impact female labor-force participation. In 1979, the United States put an economic blockade on Iran, which affected the carpet industry. Weaving is a feminine vocation that can be done at home, hence the carpet industry employed many women. They lost their employment as a result of the boycott.
Saudi Arabia has a somewhat greater participation rate than its neighbors, with 22% of the labor force being female. This is due to Saudi Arabia’s significantly more developed economy, which provides more work options. However, another impediment is that the bulk of employment in the oil business are dependent on foreign labor.

Female labor-force participation rates are low in countries other than the Middle East. East Timor, a Southeast Asian island, has a female participation rate of 25%. Again, the majority belief is that women should prioritize domestic responsibilities. Under present laws, women are even forbidden from owning land. Another impediment to women’s growth in the workplace is the underdeveloped economy. Private sector investment is rare due to the country’s small population and unstable legislative system.

Samoa, a Polynesian island, comes after East Timor. With a female labor-force participation rate of 26%, this country ranks last on the list. The industrial sector, dominated by men, employs the most people in this region.

Effect of Low Female Workforce Participation

While a lack of jobs is undoubtedly a factor in women’s low labor-force participation, the inverse may also be true. According to studies, declining female labor-force participation may cause economic activity to stagnate or decline. Countries lose economic advantages because they do not encourage women to work professionally. Gender equality is linked to higher per capita GDP.

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Where are Women Least Likely to Be in the Labor Force?

Women in the Middle East are less likely than women elsewhere in the globe to be actively employed. In Syria, women make up barely 15% of the labor force.

Countries Where Women Are Least Active In The Labor Force

RankCountries Where Women Are Least Active In The WorkforceWorkforce Participation
1Syria15% female participation rate
2Iraq16% female participation rate
3Afghanistan16% female participation rate
4Algeria16% female participation rate
5Palestine16% female participation rate
6Jordan17% female participation rate
7Iran18% female participation rate
8Saudi Arabia22% female participation rate
9East Timor25% participation rate
10Samoa26% participation rate

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