According to Yousef (2004), the Middle Eastern countries have the lowest levels of social and economic development in the world. The population in this region is approximately 313 million with a GDP of $732 billion (Yousef, 2004). Unemployment rate in Middle East is 15% which is among the highest rates globally (Yousef, 2004). This includes women rate of unemployment which is higher than the males.
The role played by the women in the Middle East workforce is very little but very crucial. As more and more women enter the workforce, it is encouraging for the new generation women to take education which was once thought as an unnecessary thing (Ross, 2008). As women participate in the workplace, it open ups the view that they can earn their own income and thus contribute to the household besides the traditional household duties. For this reason, many Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia and UAE are increasing the women percentage in the workplace by expanding the jobs available to them. Most of the employment sectors heavily populated by women are education and health care (Rubin, 2007). According to a census in 2000, the women workforce occupied 74% of primary school, 54% of secondary school and a certain percentage of them were involved as police officers, military officers and taxi drivers (Rubin, 2007).
The role of women in the workplace in Middle East is increasing especially in countries such as Egypt, Bahrain, Lebanon, Morocco and Kuwait as the governments are trying to provide better facilities to increase female participation. Female entrepreneurs are increasing rapidly. Many firms are operated by females in the aforementioned regions which are well-established, technologically advanced, productive and comparable to the male-owned firms not just regionally but globally (Ghimire, 2006). Most of these firms, according to Ghimire (2006), are 1.7 times more productive as compared to those owned and run by men.
For example, a B2B trading