Bahraini women urged not to set unrealistic conditions
Manama, February 4, 2014
Bahraini women should stop setting unrealistic conditions when offered jobs and should be open to working evening shifts, according to a top government official.
Their lack of "flexibility" is preventing them from getting jobs in the private sector, he said in a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Labour Ministry Under-Secretary Sabah Al Dossary said one of their biggest challenges was to encourage job-seekers, especially women, to take up specific professions.
He said Bahraini women continue to reject job offers, despite the private sector creating hundreds of vacancies.
"Unemployment among women is a big problem in the GCC, including Bahrain, with an estimated 75 per cent not taking up jobs available to them, which affects the jobless rate," he said.
"Women do not want to work in shifts and demand fixed timings such as 7am to 2pm, similar to the public sector.
"The private sector cannot accept such demands as they want the job done. These workers shun jobs and are not flexible."
He was speaking to the GDN on the sidelines of a training workshop organised by the Council of Ministers of Social Affairs in GCC States Executive Bureau.
The five-day event, which focuses on developing employment policies in the Gulf, was opened yesterday at the Ramee Grand Hotel and Spa, Seef.
More than 30 experts from GCC countries are taking part in the workshop including International Labour Organisation (ILO) representative Dr Mary Kawar.
Al Dossary, who was representing the ministry in the meeting, said they faced difficulties in breaking stereotypes among women job-seekers.
"They do not want to do jobs that have two shifts as they want to go home early," he said. "It is not easy to find such jobs that suit their timings, shifts and other demands.
"There are lot of employment opportunities but we need job-seekers to give up all their demands and take up the offer and this will help in reducing the jobless rate."
The GDN yesterday reported that a total of 4,888 Bahraini job-seekers gained work in the last three months.
Labour Minister Jameel Humaidan said during Cabinet's session on Sunday that unemployment rate dropped to 4.3 per cent, which he said was below the international average.
He also said the unemployment rate among women dropped by 6 per cent from 9,022 to 8,468 by the end of the fourth quarter.
The event also highlighted challenges in raising awareness among students to take up vocational subjects.
"The problem we have now is that 80 per cent of students who complete their secondary education opt for academic studies and only 20 per cent pursue vocational subjects," said Al Dossary.
"We need to understand that there are less job openings in the public sector and it is important to meet the requirements of the private sector."
He said the growing political situation in the Arab world has also led to increasing unemployment rates in the region.
He also dismissed calls by critics to reduce dependency on foreign workers to make way for more job availability for citizens.
"Expatriates have played an immense role in the development of our economy and the government acknowledges their efforts," he said.
"Expatriate workers are here to stay and majority of the semi-skilled are working only in the construction sector."
Meanwhile, Dr Kawar said there was a three-fold increase in global unemployment levels among youths compared with adults.
It comes as the latest ILO report shows there are 200 million unemployed people globally. The figures also state that Arab countries have the highest youth unemployment rates in the world.
Executive Office of GCC Social Affairs Ministers general director Aqeel Al Jassim said they needed co-operation and assistance from GCC countries, including Yemen, to work on new employment policies.
He said Gulf nations realise the importance of developing these policies to create more jobs. - TradeArabia News Service