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Waithood refers to the period of stagnation in the lives of young unemployed
Unemployment , as defined by the International Labour Organization, occurs when people are without jobs and they have actively sought work within the past four weeks...

Tertiary education
Tertiary education, also referred to as third stage, third level, and post-secondary education, is the educational level following the completion of a school providing a secondary education, such as a high school, secondary school, university-preparatory school...

 graduates in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 and North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

The term MENA, for "Middle East and North Africa", is an acronym often used in academic, military planning and business writing.The term covers an extensive region, extending from Morocco to Iran, including the majority of both the Middle Eastern and Maghreb countries...

) region, described as "a kind of prolonged adolescence".
It is a phase in which the difficulties youth face in each of these interrelated spheres of life result in a debilitating state of helplessness and dependency. Waithood can be best understood by examining outcomes and linkages across five different sectors: education
Education in its broadest, general sense is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people lives on from one generation to the next. Generally, it occurs through any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts...

, employment
Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

, housing, credit
Credit (finance)
Credit is the trust which allows one party to provide resources to another party where that second party does not reimburse the first party immediately , but instead arranges either to repay or return those resources at a later date. The resources provided may be financial Credit is the trust...

, and marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...


Waithood is considered to be a difficult and unpleasant period in life; without work, young people are unable to progress in other areas of their development, such as purchasing a home and getting married.

See also

  • Freeters
    is a Japanese expression for people between the ages of 15 and 34 who lack full time employment or are unemployed, excluding housewives and students...

  • Hikikomori
    is a Japanese term to refer to the phenomenon of reclusive people who have chosen to withdraw from social life, often seeking extreme degrees of isolation and confinement because of various personal and social factors in their lives...

  • NEET
    NEET is a government acronym for people currently "not in education, employment, or training". It was first used in the United Kingdom but its use has spread to other countries, including Japan, China, and South Korea...

  • Parasite single
  • Twixter
    Twixter is a neologism that describes a new generation of Americans who are trapped, in a sense, betwixt adolescence and adulthood. This Western neologism is somewhat analogous to the Japanese term parasite single.-Behavior:...

  • Boomerang Generation
    Boomerang Generation
    Boomerang Generation is one of several terms applied to the current generation of young adults in Western culture. They are so named for the frequency with which they choose to cohabitate with their parents after a brief period of living on their own–thus boomeranging back to their place of origin...

  • Emerging adulthood
    Emerging adulthood
    Emerging adulthood is a phase of the life span between adolescence and full-fledged adulthood, proposed by Jeffrey Arnett in a 2000 article in the American Psychologist. It primarily applies to young adults in developed countries who do not have children, do not live in their own home, or have a...

  • Youth Exclusion
    Youth Exclusion
    Youth Exclusion is a form of social exclusion in which youth are situated at a social disadvantage in joining institutions and organizations in their societies...

  • Education in the Middle East and North Africa
    Education in the Middle East and North Africa
    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has emphasized education’s importance as a fundamental human right and a necessary element of development. Education encompasses the scope of social values, morality, tradition, religion, politics and history...

  • Navtej Dhillon
    Navtej Dhillon
    Navtej Dhillon is a Senior Adviser at the United States Department of the Treasury, specializing in international development policy. Dhillon was formerly Fellow and Director of the at the , housed in the program at the Brookings Institution....

    , a Senior Adviser at the United States Department of the Treasury who has written on the topic of waithood
  • Middle East Youth Initiative
    Middle East Youth Initiative
    The Middle East Youth Initiative is a program at the , housed in the program at the Brookings Institution. It was launched in July 2006 as a joint effort between the Wolfensohn Center and the Dubai School of Government....

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