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How male and female assignees are being treated differently across the globe

It is not uncommon knowledge that male and female expatriates can be treated differently in countries around the globe. Despite the increasing focus on gender equality in the work place over the past decade, the number of female participants in overseas work assignments is still significantly lower than that of males. Here, we’re taking a look at how male and female assignees are being treated differently across the globe.

Discriminatory Work Regulations

In some countries, women are  rejected from certain industries and roles. In Russia, women have been prohibited by law from 456 different types of jobs which have been considered harmful or dangerous, including driving trucks, transporting agricultural produce and woodworking. Overall, this accounts for between two to four per cent of all Russian economic activity.

In 2016, a report by the World Bank revealed that almost each economy in the Middle East and North Africa has at least one restriction on women’s work. This also applies to high-income economies, including:

  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • France
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Poland
  • Slovenia

Dealing With Culture Shock

It is evitable that moving to another country will be incredibly disorienting for a lot of people, and for women in particular, there is a notably added aspect – sexism. In different parts of the world, women have experienced various levels of discrimination, and have been forced to develop long-term strategies to gain respect from males. For example, in Saudi Arabia, women are prohibited to wear what they please, and have restricted access to transport. Similarly, men and women are not entitled to work in the same office, and this can even be put in place in multi-national companies who has assigned their employee to a particular country.

As a result, experts have recommended that female expatriates develop coping mechanisms to help avoid feelings of loneliness and isolation. Seeking relationships with expats with a similar, if not the same, value system is a great place to start, and enables female expatriates to have a better outlook on work and life in a foreign country.

Laws Deviated Towards Males

Some ways in which countries are treating male and female assignees differently is through religious ideology, which may have laws that are noticeably disadvantageous to female expatriates. In Dubai, for example, the Sharia Law can be used by an ex-husband to gain custody of a child in the event of a divorce. This applies even if both parties are non-Muslim and the marriage took place abroad. As a result, it is paramount that female expatriates research the regulations of a country before accepting a job assignment in order to ensure that they are aware of any restrictions they may face.

Today, male and female assignees continue to be treated differently across the globe. From laws deviated towards males and unsafe conditions, to female assignees’ discriminatory work regulations, preventing them from partaking in strenuous work activities. Whilst this has considerably improved over the years, female assignees still face numerous challenges.

If you are considering relocating an employee abroad on an international work assignment, and you want to discuss how we can help, get in touch with a member of our expert team today!

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