The Gender-Biased Wording of Recruitment Advertisements in Iraq
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.
Ahmad, A.B. & Cheng, Z. (2018). The Role of Change Content, Context, Process, and Leadership in Understanding Employees’ Commitment to Change: The Case of Public Organizations in Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Public Personnel Management, 0(0), 1-22.
Anand, R. (2013). Gender stereotyping in Indian recruitment advertisements: a content analysis. International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 8(4), 306-322.
Askehave, I. & Zethsen, K.K. (2014). Gendered Constructions of Leadership in Danish Job Advertisements. Gender, Work and Organization, 21(6), 531-545.
Aziz, A.I., Sharif, A.A. & Salih, D.G. (2017). Liquidity management and profitability in Islamic banks of Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Cihan bank for Islamic investment and finance as a case study. International Journal of Research -GRANTHAALAYAH, 5(5), 73-87.
Bem, S.J. & Bem, D.J., (1973). Does sex-biased job advertising “aid and abet” sex discrimination?. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 3, 6-18.
Born, M.P. & Taris, T.W. (2010). The Impact of the Wording of Employment Advertisements on Students' Inclination to Apply for a Job. The Journal of Social Psychology, 150(5), 485-502.
Bosak, J. & Sczesny, S. (2008). Am I the Right Candidate? Self-Ascribed Fit of Women and Men to a Leadership Position. Sex Roles, 58, 682–688.
Fatafta, M. (2018). Rampant Corruption in Arab States. Transparency International.
Available at: transparency.org/news/feature/rampant_corruption_in_arab_states.
Fernandez, R.M. & Sosa, L. (2005). Gendering the Job: Networks and Recruitment at a Call Center. American Journal of Sociology, 111(3), 859-904.
Gao, Z. (2008). Gender Discrimination in Chinese Recruitment Advertisements: A Content Analysis. Journal of Asia-Pacific Business, 9(4), 395-418.
García-Izquierdo, A.L., Ramos-Villagrasa, P.J. & Castano, A.M. (2015). e-Recruitment, gender discrimination, and organizational results of listed companies on the Spanish Stock Exchange. Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, (31), 155-164.
Gaucher, D., Friesen, J. & Kay, D.G. a. J. F., (2011). Evidence That Gendered Wording in Job Advertisements Exists and Sustains Gender Inequality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(1), 109–128.
Gómez-Mejía, L., Balkin, D. & Cardy, R. (2012). Human Resource Management (7th ed.). New Jersey, USA: Pearson Education.
Grün, C. (2004). Direct and indirect gender discrimination in the South African labour market. International Journal of Manpower, 25(3), 321 - 342.
Hegewisch, A., Liepmann, H., Hayes, J. & Hartmann, H. (2010). Separate and Not Equal? Gender Segregation in the Labor Market and Gender Wage Gap. Institute for Women's Policy Research, Briefing Paper, Washington, DC, USA. Retrieved from https://iwpr.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/C377.pdf.
Horvath, L.K. & Sczesny, S. (2015). Reducing women’s lack of fit with leadership positions? Effects of the wording of job advertisements. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 25(2), 1-14.
Hossain, J.B. & Kusakabe, K. (2005). Sex segregation in construction organizations in Bangladesh and Thailand. Julaikha B. Hossain; Kyoko Kusakabe, 29, 609–619.
Iraq Knowledge Network Survey (2011). International Labor Organization.
Iraqi Const. art. 14 (2005). The Iraqi Constitution. Article 14, s.l.: s.n.
Iraqi Const. art. 16 (2005). The Iraqi Constitution. Article 16, s.l.: s.n.
Lawler, J. (1996). Diversity Issues in South-East Asia: The Case of Thailand. International Journal of Manpower, 4(17), 152–166.
Leong, S.M., Tan, H.H. & Loh, M.S.-Y. (2004). When the Cat’s Away: A Content Analysis of MNC Overseas Recruitment Print Ads. Journal of Business Ethics, (49), 115–127.
Pager, D. & Western, B. (2012). Identifying Discrimination at Work: The Use of Field Experiments. Journal of Social Issues, 68, 221–237.
Regmi, K. & Naidoo, J. (2008). Understanding the effect of discrimination in the workplace, A case study amongst Nepalese immigrants in the UK. Equal Opportunities International, 28(5), 398 - 414.
Regmi, K. (2009). Understanding the effect of discrimination in the workplace: A case study amongst Nepalese immigrants in the UK. Equal Opportunities International, 28(5), 398 - 414.
Sībawayh, A. (1988). Kitab al-Sībawayh [The book of Sībawayh] (3rd ed.). Cairo, Egypt: Al-Khanji.
Stidder, G. (2005). Trainee teachers’ perceptions of job advertisements in England with regard to gender and physical education. European Physical Education Review , 11(3), 309–333.
Tahir, K. (2013). 106000 women in Kurdistan have driving licence (Translated from Kurdish). Rudaw, Erbil, Iraq. Retrieved from http://www.rudaw.net/sorani/kurdistan/2908201310.
Iraq Human Development Report 2014 (2014). Ministry of Planning and Baytal Hikma, Iraq. Retrieved from UNDP website: http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/undp-iq_iraqnhdr2014-english.pdf.
Women in Iraq Factsheet (2013). Retrieved from IAU webiste: https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Women%20In%20Iraq%20Fact%20sheet%20%20English.pdf.
Woodhams, C., Lupton, B. & Xian, H. (2009). The persistence of gender discrimination in China – evidence from recruitment advertisements. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(10), 2084–2109.
Zieleńska, M. (2012). Gender equality in non-governmental organisations. Eurofound. Retrieved from https://www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/article/2012/gender-equality-in-non-governmental-organisations.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License [CC BY-NC-ND 4.0] that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
2. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgment of its initial publication in this journal.
3. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).