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Women in STEM fields in Muslim countries

  • Most Western countries have very low percentages of women who study in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. These fields are of economic importance as they are essential for innovation - the key to the creation of new products, ideas and processes. Especially in developed countries, the STEM sector is one of the largest growth factors. Having mainly men studying in STEM fields limits the available talent and thus the quality of human resources; therefore, it is important that more women study in STEM fields for more efficiency and increased economic development. In contrast to Western countries, Muslim countries exhibit large numbers of women in STEM majors. This thesis analyses different aspects of Muslim countries to determine reasons for more women in these countries to study in STEM fields. The current study is based on literature such as journal articles, textbooks and online sources. The following factors are studied to answer the first research question: social reasons (including religion, history, perception of women, wealth and social status, and educational system), legal framework, technological reasons and economic reasons. The findings indicate that a combination of aspects and circumstances leads to the large numbers of women in Muslim countries in STEM majors. Among the analysed factors the educational system and economic situation of Muslim countries seem to be the root cause. Furthermore, the current study analyses consequences of the high number of women in STEM fields in Muslim countries in the labour market, to answer the following questions: (1) Do educational opportunities lead to equal opportunities in the labour market? (2) Is it respectable for women in Muslim countries to work? (This question addresses factors such as Islam, tradition, a woman’s role as a mother, mixed-gender workplaces, demography and legal restrictions) (3) In which sectors do women work? (sectors and leadership positions) (4) What is the relation of female labour to the economy? (impact of economic situation, economic landscape, globalisation, and importance of female employment for the economy). The result is that educational opportunities for women in Muslim countries do not translate into equal chances in the labour market. Regarding STEM fields the employment of women ranges from gender equality to nearly no opportunities at all, depending on the country. The small numbers are most likely due to the lower position of women in society, the generally less opportunities for women in the labour market and women’s rights issues.

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Author:Larissa Haake
Advisor:Heike Stengel
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2017
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Date of final exam:2017/02/21
Release Date:2017/03/01
Tag:Education; Muslim; STEM; Women
Page Number:49
Degree Program:IBW - Internationale Betriebswirtschaft
Functional area:Andere/Other
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt