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Volume :14 Issue : 3 1986      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

The Work of Women in the Arab World

Auther : Khoder Zakaria

According to the thesis of this essay the work of Arab women cannot be understood adequately except as a part of the larger problem of the socio-economic underdevelopment of the Arab world as a whole. Thus any treatment of the situation of Arab women in isolation from the prevailing socio-economic structures and the historical process leading to their format in is bound to remain marginal and superficial.

The author tries to demonstrate his thesis by studying the status of women in the labor force of several Arab states. The evidence leads him to conclude that woman’s share in the Arab labor force is meager indeed. The main cause of this is the general scarcity of productive labor both for men and women.

The author also investigates the distribution of  working women among the various sectors of the economies of several Arab states. He points out that the general tendency is for women to work either in the backward agricultural sector or in the unproductive services sector. He concludes: (a) that improving woman’s share in the labor force does not, by itself, necessarily indicate social and economic progress; and (b) that the growth of industry does not, by itself, necessarily lead to the improvement of woman’s contribution to economic activity in general.

The essay, the, takes up the question of the relationship of the work of women to some salient elements of the socio-economic structure, such as: foreign and indigenous capital, petty production and the public sector. The author ends by presenting some observations about the relationship of women to men in the light of his preceding sociological analysis.

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