Sample Women and Gender Studies Essay Paper on Gender Inequality

Gender Inequality

Gender inequality is a common problem in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The issue can be approached through the social, political and social angle. However, the most evident problem is the manner in which women in particular are denied opportunity at the work place which prevents them from taking part in the economies of the nation. This has left most women without any form of security that they can use to protect themselves thus majority have to undergo through horrible social experience because men have taken control of all the power in the society. Nevertheless, MeNA’s regional fertility rates, high levels of education and the age structures among the female population makes it unfair for them to undergo just kind of inequality in the economy (Markle, 2013). The effects of gender inequality is that it denies access to economic opportunities which acts as a barrier that reduces the level of competition in the nation as talent is only drawn to one particular gender  which may end up affecting productivity and growth.

MeNA economies are at a risk because these nations can no longer rely solely on the oil that is produced in the area. This means that they need other things that would drive growth and development in the nation instead of relying mostly on private investments and exports. Women who have been discriminated against in these nations are valuable resources that need to be tapped (McKinsey & Company, 2011). Women in MeNA nations comprise of 49% of the entire population and 63% of them are well educated. There are only 28% of women who forms part of the labor force meaning that the remaining women are wasted potential and resources (World Economic Forum, 2015). This has greatly reduced the level of competition in these nations as majority of the jobs are occupied by men.

Nevertheless, gender inequality has put much weight on the male population. This is because in every homestead in MeNa, the working individuals have to support two individuals who are non-working and greatly dependent on them. At the same time, the burden of the old population and the young people who are not able to work also depends greatly on the working individuals (The World Bank, 2011). It means that the dependency ratio in MeNA’s economy is not proportional because of gender inequality. This makes it difficult for some individuals to live a good life that is appropriate to their standard of education or age due to the high level of dependency. There is, therefore, a need to bring down the rates of unemployment in the MeNA nations for it to lower down the dependency ratio that is affecting the economy of the country.

One lesson that can be learnt from MeNA nations is that discrimination of a particular segment of population because of race, ethnicity or gender can greatly influence the social and economic development of a nation. Important decision making needs to be made to eliminate these forms of discrimination in order to increase dominance and empower certain individuals who can effectively improve the economy of a nation. Women have been victims of gender inequality, but they have the same potential as men to improve the lifestyle of people in MeNA nations and also create a great influence in the political arenas (SAHWA Policy Paper, 2016). There is a need for policies to be formulated to change cultures such as those experienced or seen in MeNA nations.


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Markle, L. (2013). Women and economic development in the middle East and North Africa. Student Papers in Public Policy 1(1), 1-8

McKinsey & Company. (2011). Unlocking the full potential of women in the economy. Retrieved from

SAHWA Policy Paper (2016, June, 1). How gender affects young women’s opportunities in the Arab Mediterranean countries. CAWTAR 1, 1-11

The World Bank. (2011). Gender and development in the Middle East and North Africa. Retrieved from

World Economic Forum. (2015). The global gender gap index 2015. Retrieved from