When the world is celebrating the Women’s Day, some facts about Omani women indicate the country’s concern for the welfare and empowerment of women.
According to the Public Authority for Social Insurance, the number of insured women in the social insurance system till the end of March 7, 2021, reached 67,088.
The Sultanate paid attention to women in all areas with a focus on their involvement in development plans and programmes, as also on efforts to support and empower them in various sectors. The Sultanate gained international praise for having Omani women in constructive roles, achievements, and successes over the past fifty years in various fields of national work.
The Sultanate has been successful in making remarkable progress in gender equality, eliminating all forms of discrimination against women and giving them all their rights at various social, economic and political levels. This is based on the Basic Law of the State, speeches of His Majesty the Sultan, and international agreements on human rights, Oman Vision 2040, and the Social Action Strategy 2016-2025.
49.7% OF TOTAL POPULATION
Furthermore, Omani women constituted 49.7 per cent of the total Omani population till the end of August 2020. Female children in the age group (0-17 years) constituted 42.8 per cent of the total Omani females in 2019.
Women’s access to education, jobs, and their participation in various development fields have contributed to enhancing their role in society and developing their active participation in all areas of national work. Equal opportunities in education, both basic and higher, and encouraging them to choose in different disciplines and colleges, whether inside or outside the Sultanate, have enabled them to achieve higher ranks in jobs and in many specialised fields. The total enrollment rate for females in grades 10-12 was 96.5 per cent in the academic year 2018/2019, while the female illiteracy rate decreased from 11.4 per cent in 2014 to 6.5 per cent in 2019. As for higher education, the percentage of Omani females in higher educational institutions increased to more than 73 per cent, and they constituted nearly 40 per cent of the total number of students on scholarships. The successes achieved by Omani women in public and private work have varied, and the government has affirmed that it will spare no effort to provide more support to Omani women and involve them in all sectors of work and production to continue to fulfil their responsibilities in the country’s comprehensive development process.
The percentage of Omani women working in government and private sectors reached 33.2 per cent of the total workers until the end of July 2020. However, their percentage in the private sector reached 26.4 per cent.
The economic activity of Omani women is concentrated in the wholesale and retail trade sector, followed by construction, financial activities, insurance activities and then the manufacturing sector. The data also indicated that the number of females in crafts industry constitutes 88 per cent of the total number of craftsmen.
Besides, the ninth period of the Shura Council elections (2019-2023), which took place in October 2019, witnessed an increase in the number of female candidates compared to the previous period, as their number reached 40 out of 637 candidates who competed for 86 seats in the council. The number of women voters reached 337,543 represented 47.3 per cent of the total number of voters. For the current period, two women won the membership of the Council.
Omani woman carried the Sultanate message of peace to various countries of the world and represented her country in an ideal and honourable manner while building bridges of close relations with the countries of the world. Omani women have also participated with their male counterparts in representing the Sultanate in international forums, as many Omani women employees work in the diplomatic services and the Sultanate’s embassies.