Assessing Gender Gaps in Employment and Earnings in Africa: The Case of Eswatini

26 Pages Posted: 18 May 2021

See all articles by Zuzana Brixiová

Zuzana Brixiová

University of Economics Prague

Susumu Imai

Hokkaido University

Thierry Kangoye

African Development Bank

Nadege Desiree Yameogo

World Bank


Persistent gender gaps characterize labor markets in many African countries. Utilizing Eswatini's first three labor market surveys (conducted in 2007, 2010, and 2013), this paper provides first systematic evidence on the country's gender gaps in employment and earnings. We find that women have notably lower employment rates and earnings than men, even though the global financial crisis had a less negative impact on women than it had on men. Both unadjusted and unexplained gender earnings gaps are higher in self-employment than in wage employment. Tertiary education and urban location account for a large part of the gender earnings gap and mitigate high female propensity to self-employment. Our findings suggest that policies supporting female higher education and rural-urban mobility could reduce persistent inequalities in Eswatini's labor market outcomes as well as in other middle-income countries in southern Africa.

JEL Classification: J16, J21, L26, O12

Suggested Citation

Brixiová, Zuzana and Imai, Susumu and Kangoye, Thierry and Yameogo, Nadege Desiree, Assessing Gender Gaps in Employment and Earnings in Africa: The Case of Eswatini. IZA Discussion Paper No. 14350, Available at SSRN: or

Zuzana Brixiová (Contact Author)

University of Economics Prague ( email )

Czech Republic

Susumu Imai

Hokkaido University

5 Kita 8 Jonishi, Kita Ward
Hokkaido Prefecture
Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0808

Thierry Kangoye

African Development Bank ( email )

Nadege Desiree Yameogo

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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