The Yemeni government is seeking to draw more women into the labor market, according to the Labor and Professional Training minister.
Talking to al Hayat, the minister said that women constitute 50.1 percent of the country's population, but only 15.58 percent of the workforce. Female workers equal 21 percent of Yemen's total female population, many of whom are employed by the government. They also dominate the agricultural sector comprising 54 percent of that workforce.
Other figures indicate that 64.5 percent of the total population are between the ages of 6-15. The country's illiteracy stands at 58 percent, although among women it rises to 63.3 percent. Based on 1997 estimate the unemployment rate ranges between 25-30 percent. The labor force in Yemen expands by an average of 4.4 percent per annum, meaning that every year between 130,000 to 150,000 Yemenis enter the labor market. The sad story is that 21 percent (about 2.2 million) of the population live under the poverty line.
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