Women's Opportunities and Challenges in Sub-Saharan African Job Markets

29 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2016

See all articles by Christine Dieterich

Christine Dieterich

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Anni Huang

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Alun H. Thomas

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - European Department

Date Written: June 2016

Abstract

As labor market data is scarce in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), this paper uses household survey data to analyze the determinants of the gender gap in the labor market and its welfare implications for five SSA countries in multinomial logit models with propensity score matching method. The analysis confirms that education opens up opportunities for women to escape agricultural feminization and engage in formal wage employment, but these opportunities diminish when women marry - a disadvantage increasingly relevant when countries develop and urbanization progresses. Opening a household enterprise offers women an alternative avenue to escape low-paid jobs in agriculture, but the increase in per capita incomeis lower than male-owned household enterprises. These findings underline that improving women's education needs to be supported by measures to allow married women to keep their jobs in the wage sector.

Keywords: Employment, Sub-Saharan Africa, Women, Gender, Informal sector, Labor markets, Agricultural sector, Education, Labor force participation, Unemployment, Multi-sector Labor Market, Agriculture Feminization, Female Informal Employment, Household Enterprise Employment, SSA Labor Market

JEL Classification: J12, J21, J43, J61, J82

Suggested Citation

Dieterich, Christine and Huang, Anni and Thomas, Alun, Women's Opportunities and Challenges in Sub-Saharan African Job Markets (June 2016). IMF Working Paper No. 16/118, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2882552

Christine Dieterich (Contact Author)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Anni Huang

International Monetary Fund (IMF) ( email )

700 19th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20431
United States

Alun Thomas

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - European Department ( email )

700 19th Street NW
Washington, DC 20431
United States

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