Focus on Yemen | Educational Attainment and Career Aspirations Topic Brief

Publication Date: 
7 Dec 2010

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Educational Attainment and Aspirations

This topic brief presents the main findings on educational attainment from the SWMENA survey in Yemen.1 The analysis centers on differences between Yemeni men and women, and among Yemeni women of various ages, regions, income levels, and marital statuses. It also reports on the educational and career aspirations of young adults under age 25 in Yemen.

Educational attainment among women in Yemen is currently very low: over half (56%) of women and nearly one in five (18%) men have no formal schooling (Figure 1). Eighty-six percent of women and 60% of men report that they have less than a secondary-level education. A very low rate of formal schooling among women limits their ability to pursue careers, contribute economically to families, or to be self-sufficient if they so desire. Women without a formal education may lack basic literacy and math skills, which leaves women vulnerable to economic insecurity and limits their power in the workplace and at home.

Education rates in Yemen do appear to be increasing among the younger generation of women (Figure 2). Only 29% of women 18 to 24 have no formal education, compared to 98% of women 65 or older (Figure 2). In addition, among women in the younger age group, 21% have at least a secondary degree, while none of the 47 women 65 and older interviewed has that much schooling.

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