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The Gender-Biased Wording of Recruitment Advertisements in Iraq

Abdulla Ibrahim Aziz, Sarkhel Shawkat Mohammed, Hazhar Omer Muhammed, Zana Majed Sadq, Bestoon Abdulmaged Othman
Published: 28 December 2021

Abstract: This research studies the nature and the scope of gender discrimination in job advertisements across Iraq’s various business sectors, segments, and hierarchical levels. It also attempts to understand the correlation between the language of the vacancy announcements and the level of the gender discriminatory content in them. This study is conducted with the hope of contributing to gender equality at the workplace in Iraq and the wider region. The current study adopts a content coding and analysis method that depends on the analysis of job advertisements (n=1015) by organizations operating in Iraq published in the leading recruitment websites and social media pages for a period of about four consecutive months from June to October 2017. The analysis is conducted using descriptive statistics and tested using simple cross tabulation method. Although the topic has been studied in various countries and contexts, it lacks academic attention in the Middle East, which can be seen as a unique area for research. Also, this research is the first attempt, as far as we are aware of, to comprehend the correlation between the choice of language (English, Arabic or Kurdish) and gender-biased wording of vacancy announcements. Understanding the relationship between language and gender discrimination in job advertisements might as well unveil a new area of study and aid in the quest for gender equality in the Iraqi workplace. This paper provides scientific evidence that more than 41% of all job advertisements in Iraq commit gender discrimination. The majority of them indirectly favor male candidates. Additionally, the nature of the vacancies for which women are preferred is different from the ones that target men. The adverts generally try to segregate women into non-managerial and administrative jobs. The study also infers a statistically significant correlation between the language of the advertisement and gender discrimination rate.
Keywords: Gender Biased Wording / job advertisements in Iraq / discrimination / vacancy announcements

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