Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

Reclaiming Women’s Rights in the Arab World

Reclaiming Women’s Rights in the Arab World

In today’s world, where things are moving fast but some old ideas still stick around, let’s talk about something hopeful in the Arab world. More women are learning to read and write, which is amazing. But here’s the tricky part: even though women go to school a lot, they still have a hard time finding good jobs, while guys who didn’t study much do better. Is that fair? It’s like, why go to school more if people still think women should only do certain jobs at home?

In the quest for progress, Arab countries often look to others as role models, aspiring to match the development seen in more advanced nations. But here’s the thing: it’s not just about having the latest gadgets or the tallest buildings. Real progress means changing how people see and treat men and women. It’s like saying, “Hey, everyone should have the same chances, no matter if they’re a guy or a girl.” So, while having awesome things is cool, what makes a country strong is when everyone gets a fair shot and people’s attitudes about men and women start to change for the better.

To make things fair for everyone in the Arab world, we need to do a few important things. First off, let’s promise to give both men and women the same chances at work, not just in how much money they make but also in getting jobs and balancing work with the rest of life. We also need to change how people think. The Changing Attitudes Advocate is there to show everyone that women are great at lots of different jobs, breaking old ideas. And let’s make workplaces more interesting by welcoming everyone, no matter how they’re different, with the Inclusion Supporter. Lastly, ensure women have an equal say and leadership chances in politics, business, and public life, in line with Sustainable Development Goal #5. All these efforts, with the Fair Rule Adjuster, aim to create a fair, inclusive, and equal work environment for everyone.

Do you know Angela Merkel? She is a Chancellor of Germany from 2005 to 2021, who played a crucial role in navigating Germany through economic challenges, fostering international cooperation, and providing steadfast guidance during critical times like the Eurozone and refugee crises. Merkel’s influence extends beyond Germany, making her one of the most influential political figures of her time.


So, the big question isn’t just about going to school; it’s about changing old ideas that hold women back. Imagine a world where Fatima, and others like her, can be engineers, leaders, or whatever they dream of, without anyone saying they should only stick to traditional roles. That’s the kind of world we’re aiming for – where everyone, no matter their gender, gets a fair shot at making their dreams come true.

United Arab Emirates Revolution: Women Empowerment vs Fertility

United Arab Emirates Revolution: Women Empowerment vs Fertility

The history of women’s empowerment in the United Arab Emirates’ social progress is framed by declining fertility rates and a concerted attempt to incorporate women into the workforce. In the midst of this fascinating journey, where the fertility rate has gradually dropped from 4.54% in 1990 to a measured 1.46% in 2021, the United Arab Emirates is at a turning point in its history, overcoming both obstacles and successes as it works toward a future characterized by demographic transitions.

In the face of economic fluctuations, exemplified by a decline in GDP from $417 billion in 2019 to $349 billion in 2020 before peaking at $508B in 2023, UAE remains steadfast in its commitment to stability. This commitment is reflected in the deliberate strides towards gender equality within the workplace, transforming a historical landscape of imbalance. Political leadership, once devoid of female representation at 0% in 1997, has evolved to an inspiring 50% in 2022. Similarly, management roles have seen growth from a modest 12.20% in 2017 to a commendable 23.6% in 2021, portraying a nation charting new territories with determination. Moreover, as shown in the heat map, female percentage of 6.31% among the total female employed population, compared to a male percentage of 4.92% among the total male employed population, the overall self-employment rate stands at 5.15%. This signifies that, in the realm of self-employment, women play a more substantial role, surpassing their male counterparts and collectively making a significant impact on the overall self-employed landscape in the UAE.

To address the challenges faced, a multifaceted approach is recommended. Firstly, actively promoting women’s participation in politics has proven to be transformative, exemplified by successful models achieving 50% female representation in national parliaments. Additionally, supporting and fostering women’s career advancement is crucial, evident in the rising trend of increased female presence in senior and middle management roles. Furthermore, it’s vital to prioritize maintaining healthy fertility rates. This can be achieved through the implementation of comprehensive family-friendly policies, encompassing affordable childcare, flexible work arrangements, and robust support for parental leave. Low fertility rates, prevalent in Western countries, pose significant concerns, and safeguarding against this trend is crucial, especially in the context of an Arab country like the UAE.

This complex journey has not been without its achievements. The increased representation of women in parliamentary roles and senior management positions serves as evidence of the UAE’s holistic approach to women’s empowerment. These accomplishments underscore the significance of an unwavering dedication to gender-inclusive policies, showcasing the nation’s commitment to ensuring continual progress. As the UAE confidently embraces change, it invites the world to witness a seamless blend of demographic adaptability and a resolute embrace of women’s empowerment, illustrating a nation shaping its future with foresight and purpose.

Gender Parity: A hidden opportunity for sustainable economic growth

Gender Parity: A hidden opportunity for sustainable economic growth

“Hiring and promoting talented women is the right thing to do for society, and its economic imperatives.”                                                                                                                                                     Carlos Ghosn

Despite the economic and technological development, gender equality remains a topic of debate and the patriarchy still poses obstacles against women development and leadership. What if we can prove that promoting and sustaining an equality between genders results in high return on investment and creates an opportunity of economic expansion especially in developed as well as emergent nations?

The united nations created the Women Business and Law Index that assesses the performance of each country in tightening the gender gap through businesses, laws, and female integration.

Canada ranks first globally with an overall score of 97.8% indicating the successful effort the country is making towards gender parity and the high degree of female contribution to the business world. On the other hand, 4 Arab countries rank last, with United Arab Emirates interestingly being one of them with an overall score of 33.8%.

To understand the implications of the difference of gender gap on the country’s development, we will compare Canada to the UAE on different levels.

Canada, with the higher WBL index, has a higher economic growth compared to UAE. However, UAE, which ranks last, has much more developed infrastructure and better investment performance than Canada. Thus, there must be some other factors affecting the GDP Growth.

Between 2003 and 2016, UAE’s GDP had a noticeable increase of 170% parallel to an increase in female employment percentage of 14%.

Similarly, between 2010 and 2019, Canada’s GDP also had increased remarkably, parallel to a 10% increase in the proportion of female leaders in the parliament.

On the level of the population, Canada has a higher and healthier population growth compared to UAE, as well as Human Capital Index.

Thus, gender parity is more than giving rights to women; it is a critical factor to a healthy and sustainable economic growth. It is crucial to focus the efforts towards equality in order reach a holistic success especially for the underdeveloped countries.

To achieve gender parity, nations should:

  • Relax the restrictions on women’s time and schedule
  • Eliminate the legal and organizational barriers (Glass Ceiling) to women’s economic and political leadership
  • Promote the entrepreneurship and self-employment among young females

Women Inclusion in the Workspace

Women Inclusion in the Workspace

Women participation in the labor force in numbers

The fight for women empowerment and inclusion in the workspace has been an ongoing fight in our world. Although female participation in the labor force has seen an ongoing increase from 1980 till 2021, however, as per the World Bank Gender Data Portal: “The global labor force participation rate for women is just over 50% compared to 80% for men. Women are less likely to work in formal employment and have fewer opportunities for business expansion or career progression.”

Education as a direct road to employment

There are different opportunities to invest in to further increase this female participation in the labor force on the long run and make sure that women are getting the opportunities they deserve. One important opportunity which has a direct impact on women employment is education as shown in the results from year 2000 onwards. The more women are educated, the higher their chance of inclusion and employment. This is verified through different studies done across countries by IZA Institute of Labor Economics and on Science Direct, which show that “educated women were said to increase their problem solving, life skills, flexibility and openmindness” which in turn had an effect on their increased participation in the workplace. Therefore, to increase labor force participation for women, the focus should also be directed to the countries with the lowest rates which are mostly, as shown in the results in the map, countries in Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.

The road to achieve Gender Equality and increase women inclusion in the workplace

Investing in scholarships and school programs/workshops targeted to women, is a long term solution to increase the global labor force participation rate for women. These scholarships and development programs/workshops should also be targeted towards topics of high impact and high demand in the job market. Later stages can also include legal reforms to achieve gender equality and decrease gender discrimination in the workplace. Therefore, we call all advocates, politicians in donor countries, and international organizations to have action plans in process in countries that need it the most to make sure that we reach SDG #5 by 2030.

Gender Inequality in India

in 2015, the United Nations Member States adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development that provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership. One of those goals is gender equality (i.e., goal #5).

Gender Inequality has been an imperative social issue in India for centuries. India lags behind when it comes to education for women, and this lag hinders a woman’s role in their society. Some symptoms of the problem are:

  • The role of women living in a traditional Indian society is to look after the home and children which requires no schooling.
  • The Indian society is organized in a way that it is patriarchal i.e., it revolves around the male and the female occupies a negligible role. The sons are considered as assets whereas the daughters are considered as liabilities
  • If the family is living in poverty, then the female child is tasked with household chores and taking care of her siblings. Thus, no time nor money is spent on the female child’s education
  • If a woman is able to earn money after receiving education, then there is a concern that she will hurt the male ego due to her independence.

According to the above bar chart, the literacy rate of Indian women as a percentage of the total population of women in India in the year 1981 was found to be approximately 25.68%. However, India did not remain idle when faced with such a conundrum.  In 2009, they implemented a program called the Saakshar Bharat program that aims to promote and strengthen adult learning, reaching out to those who missed the opportunity to access or complete formal education as well as basic literacy/education. This program involves the government of India acting as a facilitator and resource provider while simultaneously working closely with many local communities in order to design educational programs tailor-made to their specific needs. After the implementation of the program, the literacy rate among Indian women reached 65.78% in 2018.

This result alone proves that the program has been successful in eliciting change for Indian women via education. Therefore, the Indian government should continue offering the program and invest more funds into it to target more local communities within the region.