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English Title: The educated unemployed : women seeking semi-professional employment
Author/Creator: Hammami, R.
Type of publication: Other Publication
Bibliographic reference: Hammami, R. 2011, ‘The educated unemployed: women seeking semi-professional employment’ in UN Women, Who Answers to Gaza Women? An Economic Security and Rights Study, UN Women, Palestine, pp. 44-57, Downloaded on 10/03/2014, Available at:
Abstract: This section focuses on women’s higher education in the Palestinian context. Higher educational attainment is one of the few ways for women to mitigate the gender biases of Gaza’s labour markets. Over the last decade the numbers of young women going on to higher education has doubled, attesting to the growing importance families give to their daughters as future breadwinners. However, while the majority of female labour force participants in Gaza have post secondary education, these educational levels also represent the greatest percentage of unemployed women. Increasingly since 2000, male and female university graduates in Gaza spend years suspended in a series of short-term volunteer and job creation schemes without ever accessing permanent employment. However, young women face a much more multilayered set of obstacles both in the pursuit of their educational aspirations and in their post-graduation transition to employment. Young women’s access to university is often contingent on them finding scholarships and financial aid, given that parents continue to financially prioritize sons’ higher education. Parents also tend to impose specializations on daughters that are perceived as leading to gender appropriate jobs in the over- subscribed education sector, making them less competitive in Gaza’s job market. Familial restrictions often undermine young women in their job search by limiting their physical mobility, restricting the types of employers to whom they can apply and limiting the types of short-term training opportunities they can take advantage of. As well, parents can veto hard-won job offers if they perceive the workplace as gender inappropriate. In contrast, when facing Gaza’s extremely difficult job market, young men confront none of these additional social barriers. Both young male and female graduates interviewed for the study expressed deep frustration that participation in short-term job creation schemes had not led to their permanent employment, but they rated very positively the life and career skills they had gained from them. For the long term, young women still preferred to find employment in the public sector rather than NGOs, assessing the former as more amenable to balancing paid work with the high domestic workloads expected of women in Gaza.
Original abstract of the author: No
Field of science: All/General
Relation with Gender and Science topics: Underlying Causes and effects
Geographical coverage: Palestine-administered areas
Time coverage: 2000s
Methodological approach: Empirical research. Qualitative techniques
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