CAIRO: The unemployment rate among youth has reached 22 percent in 2009, with 47.2 percent among women and 13.7 among men, according to a recent government study.
The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics issued a study on Wednesday, offering statistics that describe the situation of Egyptian youth, regarding employment, education and marriage.
The study was conducted on youth ranging in age between 18 and 29.
“There is no balance between the labor market and the education system; there’s a surplus in some areas and a shortage in others. There needs to be a plan to organize this issue,” Madiha Al-Safy, sociology professor at the American University in Cairo told Daily News Egypt.
“If housewives are included in this study, that would explain the significant difference in the percentage of unemployment between males and females,” she added.
The study shows that youths represented 24.2 percent of the population in 2009, including 50.3 percent men and 49.7 percent women.
The study also found that the divorce rate reached 30.1 percent in 2009 among men and 53.6 percent among women.
Al-Safty found the discrepancy in the numbers between genders here surprising. They should be equal, she explained, as men divorce women and vice versa.
“Divorce in Egypt has definitely increased because the value of family has disappeared, and youth are no longer concerned about keeping the family united,” she said.
Women’s attitudes towards divorce have changed, as women now are economically and financially independent, she added.
The study was issued to coincide with International Youth Day, an awareness day designated by the United Nations to draw attention to youth issues worldwide.
According to a UN Human Development report issued in June titled “Youth in Egypt: Building the Future,” 27 percent of Egyptians in the 18-29 age bracket have not completed their basic education, including 17 percent who dropped out of school and 10 percent who didn’t enroll to begin with.
Al-Safty described the educational system in Egypt as “a tragedy”.
She explained that there are many factors causing this low percentage of education. “There is no enforcement of the laws governing compulsory education; poverty is another factor,” she said
“The syllabi and the teaching methods don’t comply with international standards and the teacher training [programs] are very poor,” she added.