WOMEN PLAY A PIVOTAL ROLE IN BAHRAIN’S DEVELOPMENT

A recent report, released in June, by the Economic Development Board (EDB) reports how women are playing an increasingly important role in Bahrain’s economy, particularly in the private sector. More women are also gaining higher educational attainments than men in the kingdom. The report anticipates an increase in women’s participation in the economy by 5% to reach 45.6% in 2020 from the current level. The average wage for Bahraini women grew from BD317 ($840) in 2006 to BD457 ($1222) in 2011.

However, the difference between the average wage for men and women in the private sector still stands at 30%, in contrast to the public sector where women receive on average of 10% higher wages than men. The rate of unemployment amongst women decreased to 3% in the last quarter of last year, compared to 12% in 2002. In comparison the number of business and commercial licences for women increased to 29% last year, which is 23% higher than its previous figure in 2008.