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GCC heads need to narrow the youth gaps. Or else.

GCC heads need to narrow the youth gaps. Or else.

Regional leaders must address the various disconnections youth are experiencing, from involving the private sector in youth integrations to bridging gender gaps in society. Or face the consequences.


September 26, 2011 3:46 by

For example, 59 percent of men believe women should first be wives and mothers while only 22 percent of women felt that to be true. Additionally, 27 percent of men felt that women should seek employment for financial support or independence and 71 percent of women believed that they should do so.

So clearly there is a cultural and traditional disconnect among men and women that needs to be addressed. This can only affect the future of the nation and the Emirati population as a whole. Disappointingly, the study showed that while young men accept that more women are getting an education, they are still resistant to the idea that women should have the same opportunities as men in the workforce. Could it really be true that while women are moving towards a desire for more education and career aspirations, the men (and these are young men, remember) still see women in the workplace as a kind of hobby or fad?

We forge on to find out that there was a significant gap between men’s and women’s responses when we asked what governments should do to improve the status of girls and women:

-          Encourage women to work in different fields: 44 percent (men); 70 percent (women)

-          Encourage education of girls inside and outside the country: 38 percent (men); 60 percent (women)

-          Encourage women’s promotion to prominent decision-making posts: 36 percent (men); 69 percent (women)

-          No need to improve: 24 percent (men); 5 percent (women)

These all sound like uphill battles for the government and the wider community need to face. There is no avoiding it. It is an undeniable part of the challenge for policymakers to create opportunities to assist young women without upsetting strongly held traditions.

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