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In three of the four countries identified (Jordan, Malaysia, and Tunisia), women’s participation in engineering is much higher than in the US.
Tunisian policymakers have historically embraced gender equality (Murphey, 2003). Yet recent studies found that Tunisian engineers indicate that traditional gender perceptions and expectations tied to familial roles did not fit with women’s engineering participation (DeBoer, 2007; Zghal, 2006). The overall educational enrollment figures are approximately equal for women and men in the secondary (89% for boys and 93% for girls, respectively) and tertiary (25% for men and 21% for women) levels (UIS, 2015). Researchers in STEM fields are nearly half women (UIS, 2015). The overall population female-male literacy gap (71% for women, 87% for men) is smaller among those ages 15-24 where (96% for women, 98% for men, UIS, 2015). Tunisia’s secularism, active civil institutions, and the longstanding involvement of groups like the National Tunisian Women’s Union have improved women’s general employment and their engineering participation.
Research team: École Nationale d'Ingénieurs de Tunis