Gender Disparities in Employment and Earnings in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Swaziland

21 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2017

See all articles by Zuzana Brixiova

Zuzana Brixiova

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - European Department; African Development Bank

Thierry Kangoye

African Development Bank


In this paper we provide first systematic evidence on the gender disparities in the labor market in Swaziland, drawing on the country's first two (2007 and 2010) Labor Force Surveys. We find that even though the global financial crisis had a less severe effect on the labor market outcomes of women than those of men, women continue to have lower employment and labor force participation rates. Utilizing the Heckman probit selection model shows that while women account for a disproportionate share of the self-employed, they are more often than men involved in low-productivity activities and rely less on formal finance. We conclude with policies that could help Swaziland – and other middle income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa – narrow these disparities and embark on a more inclusive growth path.

Keywords: gender gap in the labor market, skills, credit, multivariate analysis, policies

JEL Classification: J16, J21, L26, O12

Suggested Citation

Brixiova, Zuzana and Kangoye, Thierry, Gender Disparities in Employment and Earnings in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Swaziland. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10455, Available at SSRN: or

Zuzana Brixiova (Contact Author)

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

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Thierry Kangoye

African Development Bank ( email )

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