Excluding ICT, Benin has the highest female engineers in the world

In 2018, Benin was the first country in the world in terms of the rate (54.6%) of non-ICT women engineers, according to a study recently published by UNESCO. It was followed by Brunei Darussalam (52.3%) and Algeria (48.5%), far ahead of OECD Member States.

In a report entitled “To be intelligent, the digital revolution must be inclusive”, published in February on its website and drawn from a more global study on science, UNESCO establishes a ranking on the presence of women in engineering fields outside Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for the year 2018.

Contrary to all expectations, the three countries that come first are Benin, Brunei Darussalam, and Algeria. Other Arab and Northwest African countries are ahead of the Organisation Council for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

“The world is going through a phase of profound change that is shaking up the way we live, work, and think,” writes UNESCO experts. “This phenomenon has far-reaching consequences for the role of women in society in general, and in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in particular.”

They stress that “to seize the opportunities created by the fourth industrial revolution, women should have equal access to catalysts such as education and information”.


To everyone’s surprise, the highest global rates of women entering the engineering sectors, excluding ICT, in 2018 were recorded in Benin (54.6%) followed by Brunei Darussalam (52.3%) and Algeria (48.5).

Other Arab states, especially Maghreb countries, are recording excellent results. Indeed, in Sudan, this rate reached 46.3%, against 44.2% in Tunisia, 43.9% in Syria, 43.2% in Oman, and 42.2% in Morocco.

On the other hand, in North Macedonia, 47.8% of engineering graduates are women, compared to 46.1% in Bangladesh and 39.4% in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Among the lowest rates are OECD countries with results below the world average.

Indeed, France has a rate of 26.1%, against 23.2% in Australia, 20.4% in the United States, 20.1% in South Korea, 19.7% in Canada, 17.7% % in Chile, 16.1% in Switzerland, and finally 14% in Japan.

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