What are the experiences of female paramedics as professionals within an Arab country

Masters thesis

Oliver, H. 2020. What are the experiences of female paramedics as professionals within an Arab country. Masters thesis Middlesex University Health, Social Care and Education
TypeMasters thesis
TitleWhat are the experiences of female paramedics as professionals within an Arab country
AuthorsOliver, H.

The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of female paramedics living in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) with regards to their professional development.
Females undertaking roles typically seen as masculine within the middle east have only recently been encouraged, particularly roles less prestigious than being a doctor or pilot. This has been attributed to the local policy of Emiratisation. This is a government led policy that encourages locals to gain skills in order to promote their employment in key services such as management positions, army, police and health services.
Participants were recruited by emailing those engaging in education programmes through a UK company, who had been tasked with linking with local and internationally placed universities to accredit a degree programme in paramedic science.
A narrative approach was adopted in the study to allow the participants the flexibility to record their own experiences and feelings. I felt that this form of data would be preferable for the study as it allowed individuals to describe these experiences in their own words. In addition, I felt that this approach helped to reduce the potential for questioner bias and influence.
Six females were recruited in November 2018 and interviewed using skype April and May 2019 due to the sensitivity of the topic being discussed and recent events within the UAE the participants refused to be recorded and so coded notes were taken. In the event only 4 of the original 6 actually participated.
Data was analysed using thematic analysis and a story board was created for each participant in order to assist with this analysis. Analysis of the narrative recorded data identified key themes relating to their experiences. In broad terms these were: Family and upbringing, choice of profession, positive discrimination, inequality, Emiratisation.
Interestingly participants all agreed that they had experienced some type of inequality at work however the positive discrimination and reasons for choosing their profession far outweighed any negative experiences they were happy to discuss as a child or an adult.
This was a finding that the researcher was not expecting and acknowledges that although many different people may feel at some point they experience inequality at work or within their home life, if it is balanced by positive discrimination and role satisfaction and/or intrinsic or extrinsic positive reinforcement it may be regarded as acceptable.
The females interviewed did not feel that they had been offered inferior or less development than their male counterparts but did feel that for their own professional development and affirmation greater numbers of senior female role models may demonstrate government commitment to equality.

Sustainable Development Goals5 Gender equality
8 Decent work and economic growth
10 Reduced inequalities
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
Research GroupWork and Learning Research Centre
Department nameHealth, Social Care and Education
Institution nameMiddlesex University
Publication dates
Print13 Sep 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited13 Sep 2022
Accepted25 Sep 2020
Output statusPublished
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