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Sun 8 Mar 2015 12:48 PM

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Women becoming more equal in the workplace in MENA region – survey

International Women's Day 2015: Survey showed two-thirds of women in the region earn between $200 and $2,000 a month

Women becoming more equal in the workplace in MENA region – survey

Almost three-quarters (67 percent) of women working the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region believe that the workplace is on a par with Western countries, according to the results of a new survey released on International Women's Day 2015 (March 8).

The Bayt.com ‘Status of Working Women in the MENA’ survey shows that close to half (49 percent) of women say gender has no role when it comes to receiving a promotion, while 51 percent of respondents supporting the fact that they are being treated equally at work.

When it comes to pay, however, 43 percent of women believe they are paid less than their male counterparts, while 39 percent said they feel they receive the same pay as their male counterparts. Only 3 percent state they earn more than men in a similar role.

Most women who completed the survey state they earn $200-500 per month (21 percent), $501-1,000 per month (19 percent), or $1,001-2000 per month (20 percent).

Women working in GCC countries tend to earn more, although 68 percent of women in Lebanon claim to earn upwards of $1,001 per month according the survey, which spoke to women from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia.

The majority of working women in the MENA (77 percent) region said they currently work for a male manager, though they have no preference of working for a man or woman (66 percent), and that there are more men than women in their workplace (58 percent).

When it comes to treatment of women versus men in the workplace, women believe that they are mostly on par with men when it comes to working hours, opportunities for training and development, advice and support, and in terms of recruitment and selection for roles.

However, women believe they are treated less favourably when it comes to benefits (27 percent said less favourably; 49 percent for equal treatment), salary (31 percent for less favourably; 46 percent for equal treatment), and career progression opportunities (33 percent feel women are discriminated against; 42 percent state opportunities are equal).

Close to half (49 percent) of women believe that gender has no role to play when it comes to receiving a promotion, with career advancement opportunities based entirely on job performance. However, 34 percent claim that their company favours promoting men over women, which is especially strong in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Syria.

Data for the Bayt.com ‘The Status of Working Women in the MENA’ survey was collected online between October 22 and November 20, 2014, with 1,543 female respondents aged 18 years and above.

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