Urbanization and Women’s Access to Tertiary Education: Case of 11 Middle East Countries


This paper discusses the causal relationship between urbanization and women’s access to tertiary education in a sample of Middle East countries. The study obtained and analyzed data from the world bank 2018 database. The study applied a multiple linear regression for one dependent variable (School enrollment, tertiary, female (% gross)) and two independent variables (Urban population (% of total population)) & GDP per capita (current US$)) over a period of 45 years. The study assesses a positive impact of both urbanization and GDP per capita on women access to tertiary education in the sample countries, where urbanization impact is even stronger than that of the GDP per capita. In the countries that have a big share of the rural population, women access to tertiary education is still less than what it should be. In areas where female education is low, there is a need to create awareness about the importance of female higher education. Also, to provide rural communities with decent academic facilities and infrastructures to ease women access to tertiary education. Moreover, to provide women from rural and remote communities with scholarships and female-only safe and cheap dormitories in case they move to study in faraway urban areas. This can promote equal access to tertiary education between rural and urban women, and improve their status and the economic growth in their countries.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Abdullah Bataineh, Lecturer at Prince Al Hussein Bin Abdullah II School of International Studies (University of Jordan)

Abdullah Bataineh is a Ph.D. graduate from the Sapienza University of Rome in the field of (Political Studies — International cooperation). He is interested in international cooperation studies, more specifically in the areas of political, social and economic development. He got the Minerva Award for scientific research on 7th of March 2019, Rome (Menzione Di Merito), Italy.


Al Tamimi, J. (2014). Associate Editor at the Gulf News, '65% of females in Yemen marry underage'. [Available at] https://gulfnews.com/world/gulf/yemen/65-of-females-in-yemen-marry-underage-1.1282224

Annie Akkam (2017). Women’s Education In The Middle East | Facts About Lack Of Women’s Education. Women’s Forum. [Available at] https://women-s.net/womens-education-in-the-middle-east/

Ayad al-Qazzaz (2017). Education of Women in the Arab World. Reprint of an original piece published by Arab Perspectives in its October 1980 issue, Vol. 1, No. 7. Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853-5301.

Catriona Davies (2012). CNN, Mideast women beat men in education, lose out at work. Wed June 6, 2012.

Chafetz, Janet S. (1984). Sex and Advantage: A Comparative Macro-Structural Theory of Sex Stratification. Totowa: Rowman&Allanheld.

Gregory. Mankiw, David. David N. Romer. A CONTRIBUTION TO THE EMPIRICS OF ECONOMIC GROWTH*, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, May 1992.

Psacharopoulos, G. &Patrinos, H. (2018). Returns to Investment in Education, A Decennial Review of the Global Literature. WPS8402, JEL codes: C13, J31.

RaguiAssaad, R. & Hendy, R. &Lassassi, M. &Yassin, S. (2018).Explaining the MENA Paradox: Rising Educational Attainment, Yet Stagnant Female Labor Force Participation. IZA – Institute of Labor Economics, IZA DP No. 11385.

Robert Cross (2015). The Borgen Project, IMPROVING EDUCATION LEVELS FOR WOMEN IN THE MIDDLE EAST. [Available at] https://borgenproject.org/women-in-the-middle-east/

Satterthwaite, David (2007). The transition to a predominantly urban world and its underpinnings, Human Settlements Discussion Papers Series - Urban Change 4, IIED, London.

Tacoli, C. (2012). IIED: InternationalInstituteforEnvironmentandDevelopmentUnitedNationsPopulationFund (2012). UrbanizationandEmergingPopulationIssues Working Paper 7; Urbanization, gender, and urban poverty: paid work and unpaid care work in the city.

The World Bank (2009). World Development Report 2009: Reshaping Economic Geography, The World Bank, Washington DC.

The World Bank (2011). World Development Report 2011, Conflict, Security, and Development. Washington DC, ISBN: 978-0-8213-8439-8.

Valentine M. Moghadam (2003). Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East. Lynne Rienner, ISBNs: 1-58826-195-6 hc, 1-58826-171-9 pb.
How to Cite
BATAINEH, Abdullah. Urbanization and Women’s Access to Tertiary Education: Case of 11 Middle East Countries. Journal of Social Sciences (COES&RJ-JSS), [S.l.], v. 8, n. 4, p. 669.682, oct. 2019. ISSN 2305-9249. Available at: <http://centreofexcellence.net/index.php/JSS/article/view/jss.2019.8.4.669.682>. Date accessed: 05 july 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.25255/jss.2019.8.4.669.682.
Share |