Women, Work, and Economic Reform in the Middle East and North Africa

By Harik, Iliya | The Middle East Journal, Autumn 1999 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Women, Work, and Economic Reform in the Middle East and North Africa


Harik, Iliya, The Middle East Journal


Women, Work, and Economic Reform in the Middle East and North Africa, by Valentine Moghadam. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1998. xi + 235 pages. Acronyms and Abbrevs. to p. 238, Refs. to p. 253. Index to p. 258. $55.

Reviewed by Hiva Harik

This volume on women in the labor force during the 1990s is a welcome addition to the increasingly informative literature on women's status in the societies and cultures of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It is the product of the author's extensive field work, consulting work for international financial institutions, and reliance on statistics from various sources. Of the book's ten chapters, four are thematic, while the rest cover in depth Jordan, Syria, Turkey. Iran, and the Maghrib countries (i.e., Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia). The thematic chapters deal with women's employment, education, mobilization, and the gender contract. The author's purpose is to "examine the ways in which the economic reform process in the MENA region is affecting or is likely to affect the economic status of women, gender relations, and women's empowerment" (pp. 7-8). Thus, in every case study, there are sections devoted to economic liberalization and globalization; employment profiles; gender constraints in employment, training and education; the informal sector; social policies; labor legislation; and practical suggestions for redressing adverse conditions and for reform.

Moghadam's study confirms that women's employment rates in the MENA region remain the lowest in the world, a ranking that has not changed for the last 30 years. Progress in the Middle East East and North Africa has indeed occurred, but does not compare favorably with advancements in other regions. Trying to account for this, the author explains that oil-driven economies tend to under-represent women in the work force; however, because the oil industry is capital intensive, there also tend to be low employment opportunities for men. In order to cope with this difficulty, the author falls back on cultural. educational and legal impediments. Most interesting is Moghadam's description of the status of women in Iran, a country which the media has, for years, portrayed as a prime example of Muslim oppression of women. According to Moghadam's findings, the bad publicity that Iran has received in this respect is due to its cultural conservatism (which imposed a strict code of behavior on women) and stringent moral demands.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Women, Work, and Economic Reform in the Middle East and North Africa
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?