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In all societies, women have different roles to play in economic prosperity. However, women have fewer rights than men in terms of marriage, legal status, education, professional life, divorce, as well as, dress code.
Therefore, the society feels that the restrictions accorded to women’s rights are mandated. The oppression of women causes them to be pressurized into lower class citizens. This study evaluates whether the oppression of women’s right could affect the economy growth in a country by using quality of life as the measurement (Gilbert 23).
Why is quality of life index a critical factor in determining whether women’s oppression could affect the economy growth of a country?
According to the National Ranking, quality of life index use several elements, such as, the health level of the average individual, environment, and peacefulness of a country (World Bank 2). These elements could tell the condition of a country whether the majority are happy or unhappy. If the majority of the populations are happy, the quality of life would be high and vice versa.
Quality of life index is scaled from 0.000 for the unhappiest country and 1.000 for the happiest country. In order to have a high level of quality of life, a country must maintain its medical policies so that a majority of people will have easy access to healthcare; maintain the quality and preservation of the environment, and security from crime, oppression, and war (Graham and Stefano 34).
Looking at the gender gap inequality index, Saudi Arabia, Mali, Pakistan, Chad, and Yemen are countries that have high gender inequality in the world. These countries are ranked 131st to 135th. Meanwhile, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Ireland are the top five countries that have the lowest gender inequality in the world.
Most countries in rank 131st to 135th do have oppression of women’s right due to a higher gender-gap (gender inequality). They face many problems because their rights are infringed as well as their full legal status that has been excluded from their rights. There are unjust laws that women face due to unbiased mentalities that have made them not to be recognized as equal citizens.
There is a close relationship between a nation’s wealth (GDP per capita) and individuals’ levels of happiness (quality of life), which is why quality of life plays a pivotal role to know the wealth of a country. The level of happiness increases as the GDP increases.
The study considered 30 random countries to know the relationship between quality of life and GDP per capita in the real world. Quality of life does have a strong positive relationship with the nation’s wealth as they score 0.7543 in the correlation coefficient analysis. Therefore, a country will have high GDP per capita when the society is happy. Countries with high gender gap are expected to have low GDP since the majority of people are not happy (Oswald 24).
The correlation coefficient of countries such as Yemen, Pakistan, Chad, Mali, and Saudi Arabia are expected to have low GDP per capita as they have low quality of life due to the oppression of women’s right. Different with countries where majority of the individuals are very happy, they will have large GDP per capita.
This can be Iceland, which ranked 1st in the world for having the lowest gender inequality rate, have an index of 0.935 in the quality of life and 0.926 for the health index. For instance in Iceland, the high level of quality of life and health is one of the factors that lead to a GDP per capita of $54,291
On the contrary, there are situations where women have conquered the rights that are exclusively of the male domain. For instance Yemen has a quality of life index of 0.362 which means that the majority of the people there are not happy due to the oppression of women (Tzannatos 3).
Yemen also has a low health index of 0.360, meaning that many people do not have access to health care. Yemen’s GDP per capita is low ($855). On the other hand, Chad, which has a quality of life with an index of 0.189 and health index of 0.173, has a GDP per capita of $521. Yemen, which has a quality of life with an index of 0.362, does have higher GDP per capita ($855) than Chad ($521), which has an index of 0.189 for the quality of life.
Another data supporting our correlation analysis is Finland with an index of 0.896 for the quality of life and health index of 0.896, it has a GDP per capita of $41,440. Finland’s quality of life index is lower than Iceland (0.935) thus it also has lower GDP per capita than Iceland ($54,291).
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However, our correlation coefficient analysis may not be applicable to Saudi Arabia that has a high GDP per capita ($14,585.85) but low quality of life rate (0.578). Even though it does hold the principles of our analysis, where Saudi Arabia have the highest quality of life between Yemen and Chad, our findings of the average countries’ GDP per capita with an index ranges from 0.500 to 0.600 is $2,754.90.
This could happen due to the high production of oil in Saudi Arabia (“world’s largest oil producer”) that causes its GDP per capita is very high compare to other countries with similar quality of life index. More than 40 percent of Saudi Arabia’s GDP is come from the oil export revenues which cause Saudi Arabia to have a very high GDP per capita. However, women are still unhappy despite having high GDP per capita compare to other Middle East countries (McGillivray and Matthew 38).
Countries with high gender inequality, where most women are oppressed, do have lower wealth than countries with low gender inequality. Countries that have high quality of life, associated with health index, global peace index, and environment performance index, are strong economically.
To have high quality of life means a country must have high health, global peace, and environment performance index. A high health index increases the economic growth of a country because it brings happiness to the people in the country, making the country be more productive as most people are healthy (Sumner 29).
A country with high global peace index means that it has good relationships with other countries, which could lead to make trade easier between countries. Thus it will increase the growth of nation’s wealth (GDP per capita). Maintaining the quality and preservation of the environment of a country also play a crucial part in affecting the nation’s wealth.
A considerable impact of the oppression of women on economic growth is robust to changes in specifications and controls for potential endogeneities and is a pervasive future in most countries since the opportunities and outcomes are present in dimensions that include education, earnings, employment as well as access to productive inputs (Rosen 24). The rising vulnerability of women over the course of economic development is shaped by institutional arrangements such as the family structures and other discriminatory practices.
Gilbert, Daniel. Stumbling on Happiness, New York: Alfred A Knopf. 2006. Print.
Graham, Carol and Stefano Pettinato, Happiness and Hardship: Opportunity and Insecurity in New Market Economies. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. 2002. Print.
McGillivray, Mark and Matthew Clarke. Understanding Human Well Being, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. 2006. Print.
Oswald, Andrew J. Happiness and Economic Performance. Economic Journal. 107(5), 1997. 1815–3. Print.
Rosen, Sherwin. Authority, control, and the distribution of earnings. Bell Journal of Economics, 13 (2). 1982. pp. 311-23.
Sumner, Andrew. Economic Well-being and Non-economic Well-being, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan. 2006. Print.
Tzannatos, Zafiris. Women and labor market changes in the global economy: Growth helps, inequalities hurt and public policy matters. World Development Vol. 27, No. 3, 1999. pp. 551-569.
World Bank. Engendering Development. Washington, DC: World Bank. 2001.