What is the relationship between gender inequalities in education and the intergenerational mobility of women in countries of the southern Mediterranean shore? In a FEMISE report entitled “Inequality, Intergenerational Mobility of Women Educational Attainment and Inclusive Policies in Arab Countries”, FEMISE experts stress the link between inequality and social immobility.
Gender inequalities in education and schooling are decreasing in countries of the southern shore of the Mediterranean, even though the improvement in the level of schooling is more important for men than for women, as found by FEMISE researchers of Al Akhawayn University in Morocco and the Bucharest Academy of economic studies in their report (FEM41-01) « Inequality, Intergenerational Mobility of Women Educational Attainment and Inclusive Policies in Arab Countries ».
Intergenerational mobility allows a person to change his/her social position in relation to that of his parents. Thus, the report compares inequality and intergenerational mobility of women in Arab countries compared to that of Central and Eastern European countries. In all countries, researchers find a link between the level of inequality and intergenerational immobility. This concept is called “the Gatsby curve”. Specifically, the higher the inequalities, the more the social situation remains “frozen” from one generation to the next. Few Arab countries see their children reach a higher level of education compared to that of their parents.
Despite a reduction in inequalities and a growing feminization in the field of education, researchers do not see any real progress on the labor market of Arab countries because of rigidities that penalize all women, whether they are employees or business creators.
What recommendations to encourage intergenerational mobility?
“Unemployment can become a real barrier to change,” stated Ahmed Driouchi, one of the authors of the report. This economics professor at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco, confirms that women are more affected than men. Arab countries will have to create significantly more jobs than at present to simply succeed in stabilizing the unemployment curve.
The report calls on Arab countries to promote intergenerational mobility, particularly among women. To achieve this, Professor Ahmed Driouchi points out many tools such as “schooling, the fight against educational wastage, transportation, housing, school canteens, student grants.” He stresses that other instruments such as evaluation in relation to international standards (TIMSS, PISA ..), as well as student exchanges or joint activities with EU countries can allow new generations to access higher levels of education than their parents.
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