Unemployment and Gender: Malaysia

According to statistics, the Malaysian unemployment rates have increased from 2,6% in 1996 to 3,6% in 2003. Majority of young people were facing difficulties in securing their jobs or were holding jobs unrelated to their education. Therefore, one of the major concerns of the Malaysian government was to pay attention to the labour market, because imbalances between higher education and labour market may worsen the problems of job mismatches. However, if we look deeper, one of the key factors which negatively influence unemployment situation in Malaysia is gender inequality. This example can be used to explain issues of unemployment faced by many countries around the world. Malaysian female graduates are more likely to take fields of study such as humanities, social science and law, which do not offer technical skills and provide lower labour market prospects. It was proved by many researches, for instance Allen in his work highlights that social science students are more likely to be disadvantaged by the lack of technical content. Even though the number of female students in higher education is higher than male students, the rate of unemployment among females is much greater, therefore in this case female graduates can be considered as losers. There is another article which focuses on Europe, it states four key factors that contribute to gender inequality in the labour market and one of them is an educational qualification in term of level and field of study. It mentions that gender differences in the field of study is expected to impact on individuals in the labour market and gender pay differentials. I have discussed only one factor; there are two more factors which determine the increase of unemployment in Malaysia, I would prefer to do more research on them so to provide real examples from other countries.




Madina Orazakynova (Dubai Campus)


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