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Changes in the urban female labour market


  • Arriagada, Irma


This article seeks to make an orderly summary of the information on urban female labour in Latin America in the 1990s and thus make a contribution to an updated diagnosis of the female labour market to help serve in the formulation of policies for women. It looks at the past evolution of female labour, analyses the effects of the crisis of the early 1980s on this sector of labour, and reviews the changes that have taken place in it, which have undermined the validity of some myths on this subject. It also looks at some critical aspects of female labour, such as income, occupational segmentation, the segregated incorporation of women into jobs involving new technology, and the reduction of the stability of female employment, as reflected in the increase in homeworkers and own-account workers. Finally, the author analyses the situation of domestic workers, who have traditionally enjoyed little stability or social protection. The statistical information presented comes from the 1980 and 1990 household surveys for thirteen countries which account for over 80% of the population of Latin America. On the basis of the analyses, policy guidelines are proposed regarding the labour market, the educational system and the family and society, with a view to improving the situation of working women and making better use of female human resources against the background of a new regional setting which assigns increasing importance to technical change, innovation, intellectual added value, and flexibility in adapting to this new situation which will permit really effective participation in development.

Suggested Citation

  • Arriagada, Irma, 1994. "Changes in the urban female labour market," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecr:col070:10494
    Note: Includes bibliography

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    Cited by:

    1. Mehra, Rekha & Gammage, Sarah, 1999. "Trends, Countertrends, and Gaps in Women's Employment," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 533-550, March.
    2. repec:pai:apunup:es-42-07 is not listed on IDEAS


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