Publication: Gender-Based Differences Among Entrepreneurs and Workers in Lebanon

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World Bank
Lebanon has faced a continuous series of economic setbacks fueled by mounting political uncertainties and war over the decades. The current global financial crisis compounds the levels of uncertainty and anxiety facing households with regards to their future security. The need for earned income and employment is therefore higher than ever and an increasing number of women are entering the labor market as a means of generating additional income for themselves and their families. Women in Lebanon enjoy high social indicators both in education and health. The female to male ratios in secondary and tertiary enrollment are 110 and 116 percent respectively. However, women's participation in the economy whether in the labor market or private sector investment is relatively low, especially when compared to their female counterparts in other similar middle income countries. Female labor force participation in Lebanon is 37 percent compared to 84 percent for men and according to the Lebanese national survey of household living condition (2004), which includes information on 20,000 individuals across Lebanon, female employers account for only one percent of total economically active females compared to almost seven percent of males who are categorized as employers. There are some clear indications that women business owners contribute positively to private sector employment in addition to investment. However, there remain limited availability of in depth information about women entrepreneurs and the dimensions that male and female entrepreneurs play on private sector employment, particularly for women. Chapter one covers the characteristics of female and male entrepreneurs. Chapter two focuses on the workers and their characteristics in terms of age, experience, education, skills, and marital status. Chapter three quantifies the level of the gender gap and identifies its sources in view of the different demographic characteristics of the worker. Finally, chapter four lays down the conclusions, examines the related policy and regulatory environment, and provides recommendations.
World Bank. 2009. Gender-Based Differences Among Entrepreneurs and Workers in Lebanon. © World Bank. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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