Gender disparities in Africa’s labour markets : An analysis of survey data from Ethiopia and Tanzania

Abstract : The main objective of this thesis is to contribute to our better understanding of the main factors behind large and persistent gender disparities in Africa's labour markets. This work looks at three key dimensions of labour market gender inequality in Africa: (i) the gender wage gap, (ii) gender inequalities in allocating time to market and household work, and (iii) the gender-differentiated income effect of informality. Chapter 2 shows that, in Ethiopia, progress towards gender equity in education is important to improve women's wages but not enough to close most of the gender wage differential. Other interventions would be needed as, for instance, information campaigns and other awareness-raising efforts in support of the anti-discriminatory provisions of Ethiopia's own constitution and legislation, to compensate for the adverse impact of unobservable factors (discriminatory practices, social and cultural norms…), that directly contribute to the gender wage gap and indirectly, through job selection. Chapter 3 highlights the coexistence of two phenomena in Ethiopia, a strong gender-based division of labour and a double work burden on women. The country would benefit from pursuing and intensifying its efforts to ensure better access to education at all levels for women, and from providing better information and enforcement of the law in support of women's economic and social well-being, as it would help changing mentalities and attitudes that impede women to take full advantage of their abilities and that keep them subordinated to men. Finally, in Chapter 4 we observe that, in Tanzania, women face a significantly higher informal employment wage penalty than men. To explain this result, we conjecture that the exclusion hypothesis, according to which individuals are denied access to formal jobs due to the disproportionate constraints they face (burden of household responsibilities, lack of adequate infrastructure…), is more acute among women.JEL classification : J16, J22, J24, J31, J42, J71
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Pablo Suarez Robles. Gender disparities in Africa’s labour markets : An analysis of survey data from Ethiopia and Tanzania. Economies and finances. Université Paris-Est, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012PEST0057⟩. ⟨tel-00909494⟩

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