FEMALE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

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Mamello A. Nchake and Nthabiseng J. Koatsa
Department of Economics, National University of Lesotho

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Abstract

Although female labor force participation is an important macroeconomic phenomenon which indicates growth and development there is no consensus on the direction and magnitude of its determinants. This study contributes to the currently scanty literature on drivers of labor force participation of women in developing countries focusing on the Sub-Saharan Africa region.

The findings show that female labor force participation tends to increase with the level of economic development, level of household expenditure, female education, and access to communication infrastructure while it declines with high unemployment rates and HIV prevalence among women. Policy and legal restrictions on gender equality in terms of economic opportunities at workplace and in credit markets are also major hindrances to female labour force participation.

Given these findings, it is important for countries in the region to put more focus on implementation of policies and institutions that enhance women employment.

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