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

Violence Against Women

Violence Against Women

Women all over the world are abused on a daily basis for a variety of reasons, or at least for one.

Men abuse women every day for inconvenient reasons. Following a survey of a few women from various backgrounds, the average number of violated women for the following reasons was determined:

  • A husband is beating his wife if she burns the food 9.20 on average
  • A husband is beating his wife if she argues with him 19 on average
  • A husband is beating his wife if she goes out without telling him 20.5 on average
  • A husband is beating his wife if she neglects the children 23.46 on average
  • A husband is beating his wife if she refuses to have sex with him 13.21 on average
  • A husband is beating his wife for at least one specific reason 33.22 on average

Domestic violence legislation exists in at least 155 countries (World Bank 2020). Nevertheless, challenges in upholding these laws persist, restricting the safety and justice of women and girls. Despite the fact that violence is adequately prevented, it happens and goes unnoticed.

As a result of violence, women’s overall well-being suffers, and they are unable to fully participate in society. It has an impact on their families, their communities, and the entire country. So, how can we assist?

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.

Will BRICS pave the way to finally end the battle between the sexes?

Will BRICS pave the way to finally end the battle between the sexes?

Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa ranked among the world’s fastest-growing market economies. In the early 2000’s, Jim O’Neill coined the term BRICS and anticipated that by 2050, China and India will become the first and third largest economies while Brazil and Russia will rank fifth and sixth respectively.

Throughout the years, BRICS have proved to be a force whereby the GDP of each country has increased substantially indicating the effectiveness of the joined association. Today, BRICS make up 42% of the World’s Population, 27% of the Global GDP and 17% of Global trade.

What’s the next step for BRICS?

The United Nations set up the 2030 Agenda that included 17 Sustainable Development goals to be implemented worldwide and started raising awareness regarding the need to effectively integrate these goals in every country. UN considered the BRICS countries to be essential in leading global efforts to achieving the SDGs and in helping other less developed countries work toward these sustainable goals. Even though BRICS started implementing some of these goals, whereby a study on BRICS’ companies indicated the following;

In India and China, the emphasis is on Industry Innovation and Infrastructure

In Brazil and South Africa, the emphasis is on Peace Justice and Strong Institutions

In Brazil and India, the emphasis is on Decent Work and Economic Growth

However, several goals were still being overlooked, mainly Gender equality SDG-5 at the workplace whereby the gap between male and female workers remains substantial throughout the years with minimal increase in female participation. Moreover, the change over time of women taking on managerial and leadership positions remains low whereby India witnessed the highest increase rate of 13%, Russia’s increase was 9%, Brazil and South Africa had the lowest increase rates of 6% and 4% respectively. However, Russia has the largest number overall of Women in Managerial Positions (as we notice the high increase in India, 13%, was due to having very low overall female participation rate in the work place).

What’s the problem? Why should the BRICS countries care about huge discrepancies in female participation in labor force?

The United Nations considers Gender equality SDG-5 a fundamental goal, not only because it consists of empowering young girls and women which is a basic human right, but also because it implements a foundation for peace, prosperity and longevity. Working on eliminating gender inequality in the workplace and allowing women to thrive with their careers and lead companies, countries and households will help achieve overall sustainability and viability.

“I raise up my voice—not so that I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. … We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.”
– Malala Yousafzai

It is best described by the above saying of activist Malala Yousafzai, how are countries supposed to thrive when half their populations (which is consisted of women) are being held back, overlooked, and denied their basic rights. Having low levels of female participation rates in labor can have a negative impact on the economies in the five BRICS countries which could lead to reducing their growth rate as well.

BRICS countries need to implement social and economic policies to re-enforce equal participation of females in the workplace; Women would have new employment and business opportunities thanks to gender-responsive trade policies.

  • It would be easier for women to transition from hazardous work to more secure and well-protected employment if they had better access to education and training options.
  • A wider range of social services would reduce the burden of caring on women and provide them more time for paid work and leisure activities.
  • Flexible employment arrangements, which are already in place in response to the epidemic, ought to be maintained once it has passed and offer a fresh framework for household shared responsibility.

In conclusion, we cannot stress enough the negative impact that gender inequality will keep having on overall countries’ economic, political and social performance.

Morocco: Understanding Female’s Low Participation in the Workforce

Morocco: Understanding Female’s Low Participation in the Workforce

Underemployment and low-skilled work are among key characteristics of female employment in Morocco where the integration of women into the labor market is a chronic difficulty for policymakers.

The labor force participation rate of women, in Morocco,  is significantly regressing over the past 20 years. The International Labor Organization data shows a significant slump in the labor force participation of Moroccan female, with this rate decreasing from 24.7% in 1990 to 23.47% in 2019. In other words, around 75 percent of Moroccan women are neither in the labor force nor looking for work. On the other hand, this same ratio has been nearly unchanged for the Moroccan male population over the years with an average rate of 79%. Both these rates explain how Morocco ‘s female to male labor participation ratio remains one of the lowest in the world at 33.37% as of 2021.

The low participation of women in the labour market can be explained by a set of obstacles from gender norms, the legal framework to the structure of the economy and of the labour market. Actually, the limitations on female demand for employment is believed to be hugely attributed to the traditional view of women’s work that excludes them from the workforce as they are expected to fulfill other social roles such as getting married and taking care of the household. However, it is also important to note and investigate the limited access to education for female students especially in rural and excluded areas in Morocco.

Aware of the important role of women as a key player in Morocco’s economic growth, the Kingdom has put in place a range of institutional and societal reforms to guarantee to the female population broader rights and to also promote their emancipation and contribution to the country’s development. However, these measures are not sufficient and their impact shies out from the promised objectives to place moroccan women as a corner stone of the country’s ongoing development. The quantitative presence of Moroccan female on the labor force is still very low, hence long- term reforms are called for to enhace women’s education and participation in the economy . It is worth mention that a significant economic cost is beared by the country due to the gender gap created from human capital diparities. Hence, a first step to capture the gains of better gender equality is to increase the rate of women enrollment in schools and limit female drop-outs all while provide financial and social support for women to remain an active part of the country’s economy.

The benefits of increasing women’s participation in the labor force are clear, both at the macroeconomic level, where it would improve the country’s productive capacity and sustain growth, and at the microeconomic level, where it would lead to greater social recognition of women. While many women are challenged to reconcile family and professional life, Moroccan women need to be supported, to be accompanied and above all to be reassured by a set of laws and initiatives that would guarantee for them similar opportunities as their male counterparts in today’s Morocco where female economic activity is key to the development of the country.

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.