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The Hidden Gender Gap in Education in the UAE

Published on: August 2009​
Genre: Education​ Category: Policy Brief/ Policy Note​

An increasing number of global comparison studies rank countries on everything from carbon footprint to educational performance to gender equality. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a focus on improving competitiveness has coupled with growing attention to gender issues to ensure that two reports published annually by the World Economic Forum (WEF) have received significant attention. While useful in many respects, global comparisons such as the WEF’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) and the Global Gender Gap Index (GGGI) fail to capture a growing gender gap in education that is adversely affecting males in the UAE.

This brief will examine current trends in gender and education in the UAE, as well as possible explanations for the male gender gap. It will outline why a gender gap which adversely affects males should be of concern to policy makers in the UAE and the region at large, highlighting some of the problems surrounding the use of global comparison reports. The brief concludes with recommendations on how to address the situation.

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