MDG3: Promote gender equality
As for the Annual Report, promote gender equality and empower women shall mean: eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015.
According to Article (17) of the Basic Law of the State, equality in rights and duties should be a right for all citizens, without prejudice to gender, color, or origin. Thus, the Sultanate is committed to achieve gender parity in all areas, especially in education, which is the backbone of development in Oman. For this, it adopted special policies and programs for women’s education and work in all fields.
According to Article (10) of the Convention of Eliminating All Forms of Discrimination against Women, member states should eliminate partiality to men in education by providing equal opportunities for women, focusing on the content of curricula. They should also guide women in their professions and careers in all spheres, encourage co-education in order to eliminate the stereotype of the typical roles of men and women, and the necessity to review all curricula to delete all that would refer to discrimination between men and women. The conviction also stresses on giving women equal opportunities of scholarship and continuing education programs, as well as taking the necessary measures to reduce girls’ breaking from schools at an early age. It also calls for giving women the opportunity to participate in sports, and insures that they obtain certain information to keep them healthy.
In fact, the Sultanate has extremely committed to this convention. It provides learning opportunities for women, by which it surpassed men in high education. The percentage of female in high education reached 1.24% in 2013, confirming the sultanate’s extreme efforts in this field. Curricula, moreover, has been standardized for both men and women in all levels of education, with the freedom to choose certain curricula in secondary level. Regarding career guidance, special instructors have been employed in schools and universities in order to guide students towards available training opportunities and academic rehabilitation. In addition, training sessions and traveling exhibitions have been made to introduce such topic. Regarding co-education, it has been applied in private schools, while limited to primary level (grade 1-4) in governmental school for social and cultural considerations. Moreover, reasons that would lead women to leave schools have been studied and faced and solutions have been suggested like raising awareness of the importance of education. Women in Oman, additionally, has the right to do sports either through sport classes in schools or by joining women athletic clubs.
Women work has been explained in Article (11) of the same convention. The Article states the necessity of having equal rights to work for men and women, especially in job opportunities, job tests, job security, benefits, right of training and re-training, and equality in wages, treatment in job place, and in assessing job nature. The Article, also, confirms women’s right of having social insurance, and right of having paid leave. Additionally, it guarantees their rights of health assurance in work, and inadmissibility of dismissing women from job for reasons of pregnancy, maternity, or because of being married or not. Article (11) also calls for providing women with social clearance and supporting services like facilities for children care as for parents to be able to balance between work and social life.
In this regard, statistics of NCSI shows that about 22% is the percentage of women’s part in paid works except in agricultural field in 2010. It is also worth mentioning that women in Oman has reached administrative posts; in which the percentage of seats that women served in national parliaments in the period between 2011-2015 reached 9.5% in Oman Council, 17.9% in State Council, and 1.2% in Al-Shura Council.
With a view to empower women socially and culturally, Ministry of Social Development pays particular attention to empowering women by establishing special institutions for them like Omani Women Associations