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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

The irrelevance of gender in tech makes it the optimal sector for Arab women’s inclusion in the labor force

The irrelevance of gender in tech makes it the optimal sector for the inclusion of Arab women in the labor force, Ahmed El Alfi and Iris Boutros write for the Cairo Review of Global Affairs. Women in the Arab world tend to outperform their male peers — “often by the largest margins globally” — when it comes to test scores in math, engineering, and computer information. However, there is a gap between women’s education and their entrance into the workforce with marketable skills, which partially arises from gender-based cultural restraints.

The upside of the tech sector is that it is a largely gender-blind industry that allows women to rise above these restraints. “Technology companies can provide fairer job [openings] … What they all have in common is the need for a technical skill-heavy workforce with technical knowhow. The fact that this knowhow can be tested without regard to gender, makes the tech industry a place in which women can work on a more level playing field.”

It’s worth noting that the IMF sees narrowing the gender the gap as crucial to reducing the Arab World’s 25% youth unemployment.

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