Population size and demographic: 5.45 million. 34.08% of the population is female and 65.92% is male.
Women at Work
In 2021, 12.57% of the labour force were women, and 28.72% of women were part of the labour force (1). The unemployment rate for women aged 15 and over stands at 7.1%. In 2018, women owned 14% of businesses in Oman, with men owning the remaining 86%. Women in Oman have a higher participation in the public sector, making up 38.4%, than in the private sector, where they make up only 18%. About 86.6% of women working in the private sector in Oman earn less than 300 Omani rials per month (2).
Women’s Participation in Parliament
Women hold 2.33% of seats in the Omani parliament, meaning that out of 86 members, only 2 are women. The percentage of female candidates in the last elections was 6.28%, 40 out of the 637 total number of candidates (3). The first women in parliament in Oman were indirectly elected in 1994. The percentage of women in ministerial positions stands at 6.7% and Oman ranks 150 out of 153 countries in the Global Gender Gap Report of 2021 (4).
Violence against Women
Not a lot of statistics are available when it comes to violence against women in Oman, but the child marriage rate is 4%, meaning 4% of girls were married before reaching 18 years of age (5). In a study done with 978 Omani women, 28.8% reported they had experienced domestic violence. About 21% reported emotional violence, 18% physical violence and 10.1% reported having experienced both types of violence.
Results showed that women who had suffered domestic violence were more likely to also report suffering from depression, anxiety and insomnia (6).
Only 5.4% of women who experienced emotional violence and 6.3% who experienced physical violence ever sought help from doctors. Only 5.3% of these women had reported it to the police. About 30.5% of women who had suffered from emotional or physical violence reported the perpetrator was their father (6).
When it comes to literacy, there is a slight difference registered between men and women, with women having a 92.7% literacy rate while men stand at 97%. Enrolment in primary education stands at 96.2% for girls, dropping slightly to 93.2% for secondary education and falling to 55.6% for tertiary education, a percentage quite much higher than that of men, who have a 26.4% enrolment rate in tertiary education (4).
Healthy life expectancy for Omani women is 67.7 (4). Maternal mortality stands at 19 deaths for every 100,000 births. About 12 in every 1000 girls aged between 15 and 19 gave birth (7). The percentage of births attended by skilled personnel stood at 99.7% and 93.8% of women aged 15 to 49 had antenatal care of at least four visits.
Current Law and Policy:
Oman has no laws prohibiting domestic violence or marital rape. Cases can only be brought under general assault or battery charges.
Oman fully endorsed the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against women, thereby according to men and women the same rights with respect to movement of persons and freedom to choose their place of residence. However, Women continue to face discrimination, in law and in practice, in relation to matters such as divorce and the law still does not prohibit gender-based violence or marital rape. 307 Oman has no laws prohibiting domestic violence and martial rape. Cases can only be brought under general assault or battery charges.