A recently issued United Nations (UN) report indicates that Kuwait is among the most attractive countries for migrant workers worldwide. The report, titled 'The world's women 2010, trends and statistics,' was issued by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat. According to the data in the report, Kuwait is among one of the 30 countries that 75 percent of the world's migrants live.
The report indicated that the life expectancy for females in Kuwait between 2005 and 2010 was 80 years and 76 years for males. Also, it notes that girls made up the majority of school children beyond primary school, at 58 percent, between the years 2005 and 2008. According to the report, between the years 2000 and 2007, women's share in total tertiary education enrollment was at 65 percent. The report indicated that women's participation in the labor market increased from 34 percent in 1990 to 43 percent in 2010 while men's participation dropped from 81 to 80 percent for the same time period.
Globally, women's participation in the labor market remained steady in the two decades from 1990 to 2010, hovering around 52 percent," the report read. "In contrast, global labor force participation rates for men declined steadily over the same period, from 81 to 77 percent. In 2010, women's labor force participation rates remain below 30 per cent in Northern Africa and Western Asia." The report was first published by the United Nations in 1991. A new edition has been issued every five years since 1995. The report covers 196 countries, or areas with a population of at least 100,000 people, as of July 1 2010.
The World's Women 2010 is intended to contribute to the stocktaking being done to mark the fifteenth anniversary of the Beijing Conference," said Ban Ki-Moon, the UN's Secretary General, in the report. "It addresses the critical aspects of life: population, families, health, education, work, power and decision-making, violence against women, environment and poverty. It finds that progress in ensuring the equal status of women and men has been made in many areas, including school enrolment, health and economic participation.
The secretary general's preface continued; "at the same time, it makes clear that much more needs to be done, in particular to close the gender gap in public life and to prevent the many forms of violence to which women are subjected. It is my hope that the insights and information contained in the present publication will help governments, researchers, scholars, non-governmental organizations and concerned citizens around the world in their efforts to ensure that every single woman achieves her full potential.
Sha Zukang, The UN's Undersecretary General for Economic and Social Affair said that the 250 page report covers eight key areas: population and families, health, education, work, power and decision-making, violence against women, environment and poverty. "In some areas of statistics we are witnessing an increased stock of available statistics, such as on work and education," said Zukang on the report's information. "However, the availability of gender statistics is still sporadic and weak in many countries and areas of the world, limiting the comprehensive statistical analysis of social phenomena and the status of women and men.
The report revealed that there are currently 57 million more men than women in the world. "This surplus of men is concentrated in the youngest age groups and steadily diminishes until it disappears at about age 50, thereafter becoming a surplus of women owing to their longer life expectancy," the report reads. "A surplus of men characterizes the world's most populous countries - China and India - hence the large surplus of men worldwide. In most other countries there are more women than men. The surplus of women in older age groups is significant and is increasing, with obvious implications for health care and other social needs.
According to the report, people are marrying at older ages than in the past - especially women. "In Europe, the average age at which women first marry is 30 or older in many countries. In some less developed countries, however, such as Mali, Niger and several other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the average age at which women first marry is still below 20," the report explains.
In the area of education, the report reveals that women account for two thirds of the world's 774 million adult illiterates - a proportion that has not changed in the past two decades. On the political scene, the report indicates that the share of women among ministers averages 17 percent. "The highest positions are even more elusive: only 7 of 150 elected Heads of State in the world are women and only 11 of 192 Heads of Government," the report reads.
On the issue of violence against women, the report points out that in many regions of the world longstanding customs put considerable pressure on women to accept being beaten by their husbands, even for trivial reasons. "Whether for burning the food, venturing outside without telling their husband, neglecting children or arguing with their husband, in quite a few countries a very high percentage of women consider such behavior sufficient grounds for being physically hit," the report indicates. The full report is available in all the UN's official languages, including Arabic, at the United Nations Statistics Division on unstats.un.org