Gender, Work, and Ideology in the Middle East

Publication Abstract

Price AM. 2008. "Gender, Work, and Ideology in the Middle East." Presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, November 2009.

Women’s low employment rates in the Middle East have long been recognized, but less is known about how men’s and women’s attitudes toward dual-providing vary across the region, or what factors explain women’s low labor force participation in the Middle East in comparison to the rest of the world. Using the 2000 World Values Survey, this paper combines contextual factors with individual socio-demographics in hierarchical models explaining women’s low employment and both genders’ less egalitarian views regarding dual-providing. Findings reveal that being single and greater education are the best predictors of women’s employment in the Middle East, but predictors are not uniform across all nations. Results also show that women’s attitudes toward dual-providing are favorably influenced by education and work experience, while men’s attitudes are negatively impacted by belonging to the younger generation and being married. Women’s low employment in the region is explained by female tertiary enrollment, democracy, and oil wealth. However, these predictors are less successful in explaining men’s and women’s less egalitarian attitudes toward dual-providing.