Women’s low labour force participation does not have a single cause, but it must be analysed in its entirety, considering all social, legislative, policy and structural levels. Over the past few years, reports have consistently posited that gendered social norms hinder women’s economic participation. Meanwhile, laws and policies do not guarantee equal rights and access for women to engage in the workforce mainly due to lack of enforcement and predominant harmful social norms. Finally, a lack of structural support – such as safe transportation, childcare services and private sector investment – disproportionately affects women. However, there is still a huge gap between research and practice. Although the studies analysed consistently report findings on women’s labour force participation, it seems that there has been no substantial improvement over the past years. Thus, evidence shows considerable gaps in policies’ design and enforcement, on programmes’ design and implementation, and data’s sharing and dissemination, that must be addressed in holistic approach to improve and enhance women’s participation in the labour market.

This meta-analysis combines the findings of 50 reports from international organizations, academic institutions, government and NGOs. The reports focus on different topics related to women’s economic participation, presenting an analysis of the main issues’ women face when enter, remain in, or re-enter to the labour force.

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Bibliographic information

Subject area(s): Economic empowerment

Publication year: 2020

Number of pages: 16