By Shane McGinley
Only 30% of women say they control household spending, compared to 60% last year.
Women in the UAE feel less empowered this year than they did last year, according to the results of survey announced in Dubai on Wednesday.
The latest MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement declined from 122.24 last year to 105.94 in this year, representing a steep drop in how empowered women feel in Emirati society.
Women in the UAE said they feel they make less financial decisions in the household this year and the number that said they felt they were in a managerial position dropped by nearly half.
Only 30 percent of women questioned said believe they had control over the household purse strings this year, compared to 60 percent last year.
Additionally, the number of women who perceive themselves to be in managerial positions fell from 140 women per 100 men in 2009 to 71 women per 100 men in 2010.
While the proportion of women to men in the UAE workforce continued to increase, up to 42.41 in 2010, from 42.01 in 2009, the number enrolling in tertiary education decreased. The proportion of women to men enrolling in tertiary education fell from 222.56 in 2009 to 213.91 in 2010, the research found.
“While these results are clearly positive, we also need to note that UAE women are feeling less empowered in 2010 compared to the previous year, with scores for tertiary education and incidence of management positions registering a decline,” said Eyad Al-Kourdi, country manager and vice president, Southern Gulf - UAE, Qatar and Oman, MasterCard Worldwide.
The index figure represents “socioeconomic parity with men” and a score under 100 indicates gender inequality in favour of males, while a score above 100 indicates inequality in favour of females. A score of 100 indicates equality between the sexes.
The drop in the UAE’s score from 122.24 to 105.94 is similar to the region as a whole as the overall score in the Middle East has decreased from 89.74 in 2009 to 80.72 this year.
There were some major differences in scores across the region, with women in Qatar feeling the most empowered, with a score of 120.04, and women in Egypt feeling the most downtrodden, with a score of only 75.90.
Second was Kuwait (114.07), followed closely behind by the UAE (105.94), Saudi Arabia (81.41) and Lebanon (77.23).
What has finanicial decision in the houshold got to do with women empowerment? if the stastics contained this, then the women empowerment survey wold be completely wrong. work related empowerment has nothing to do with household empowerment. i suggest the survey to be retaken and done on a sample of work related women.
Why are they feeling less empowered, have they had their credit cards taken off them? Is Mastercard sad that less women have control of credit cards - boo hoo. I am sure national men with breathe a sigh of relief!