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The Middle East Beats the West In Female Tech Founders 156

Posted by timothy
from the domestic-relations dept.
PolygamousRanchKid writes with this except from the Economist: "Only 10% of internet entrepreneurs across the world are women, according to Startup Compass, a firm that tracks such things. Except in Amman and other Middle Eastern cities, it seems. There, the share of women entrepreneurs is said to average 35% — an estimate seemingly confirmed by the mix of the sexes at 'Mix'n'Mentor,' a recent gathering in the Jordanian capital organised by Wamda, an online publication for start-ups. Reasons abound, and they are not always positive, says Nina Curley, Wamda's editor. Although more than half of university graduates in many Middle Eastern countries (51% in Jordan) are women, the workforce is dominated by men (women provide only 21% of it overall, and a paltry 16% in Jordan). The internet, however, is a new space that is more meritocratic and not as heavily male. The technology also lets entrepreneurs work from home, making it easier to raise children."
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The Middle East Beats the West In Female Tech Founders

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  • Re:Oh yeah? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 14, 2013 @06:29PM (#44280473)

    Says the person who uses arabic numerals instead of the more cultured roman ones.

  • Arab potential (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @06:36PM (#44280509)
    Up to about the years 1200-1400 the Arab world was pretty cool. While we Europeans were living in an age appropriately designated the Dark Ages much of the Arab world was doing cool math, Cool science, Exploration, trade, arts, and medicine. They were fairly tolerant of other religions and were one of the few bright spots on this planet. Then around 800 years ago it all seems to have gone wrong. "Trouble in the Middle East" has been a newspaper headline since the invention of the newspaper. Personally I would love to know what changed 800 years ago as it might give a clue as to how to make it right again. Maybe lots of female internet entrepreneurs is a step in that direction. I wonder if there were more female entrepreneurs in the middle east 1000 years ago?

    So all I can say is good luck!
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @07:13PM (#44280703)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1te01rfEF0g [youtube.com]

    In particular the part you are interested in starts at 23:45, though the overall segment starts at around 19:20.

    The short version? Religious fundamentalism.

  • Re:4. ??? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icebike (68054) on Sunday July 14, 2013 @08:49PM (#44281105)

    Breastpounding of this being a western influence aside, if the times for women to be tech founders in the ME is now, then as a result it will be more popular and more will do it (and this is all good) but that does not mean it is a lasting effect, it could level out much lower than in the west or it could level out much higher, only time will tell - but for now we should be happy for the people who now have one more choice of path to make their life better.

    Large percentages of the ME men, (yes, even in fairly tame countries like Jordan) have been shunted off to jihadism or the armies that attempt to control it. So they have had a decade of war (or closer to two decades), with disproportionate male losses.

    Meanwhile the women start "companies", although the story says "Many firms run by women entrepreneurs deal with what are labelled female issues (weddings, parenting advice, recipes, and web businesses)". So other than keeping other women entertained, these are hardly the same thing as running industry, developing resources or running banks.

    If you count these empty-afternoon enterprises as business you have to realize that this kind of stuff doesn't even get counted in the west. (And in the US you can't even tell except by inspecting first names if businesses are owned by men or women, gender tagging business licenses just isn't done).

    It seems likely, when when the ME men settle down and stop trying to force Islam on the world, they will start forcing it on their families, and this "trend" of female entrepreneurship will disappear.

    When you can look at a news photo of an Arab street and see 50/50 ratio of men to women (instead of 100males to 1), call me. Because until then, all the filling of afternoons while the children are at school with pretend companies means nothing.

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