IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Divorced, Separated, and Widowed Women Workers in Rural Mozambique


  • Carlos Oya
  • John Sender


A remarkably high proportion of women wage workers in rural Mozambique are divorced, separated, or widowed. This paper explores the factors underlying the difference between the marital status of these wage workers and other rural women in Mozambique and establishes a strong relationship between labor-market participation and female divorce or widowhood. The association is likely to work in both directions. Moreover, contrastive exploration suggests that divorced and separated women differ from partnered women in many other important respects: they tend to have access to better jobs, and divorced and separated mothers are also remarkably good at investing in their daughters' education compared with other mothers and male respondents. This paper concludes by stressing the limits of regression techniques in teasing out causation and interactions between variables, and by suggesting that policies to increase women's access to decently paid wage employment could make a substantial difference to the welfare of very poor rural sub-Saharan African women and their children.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Oya & John Sender, 2009. "Divorced, Separated, and Widowed Women Workers in Rural Mozambique," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 1-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:15:y:2009:i:2:p:1-31
    DOI: 10.1080/13545700902729516

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Oya, Carlos., 2010. "Rural inequality, wage employment and labour market formation in Africa : historical and micro-level evidence," ILO Working Papers 994582213402676, International Labour Organization.
    2. Shelley Clark & Dana Hamplová, 2013. "Single Motherhood and Child Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Life Course Perspective," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(5), pages 1521-1549, October.
    3. Lauren Gaydosh, 2015. "Childhood Risk of Parental Absence in Tanzania," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(4), pages 1121-1146, August.
    4. repec:ilo:ilowps:458221 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Sophia Chae, 2016. "Parental Divorce and Children’s Schooling in Rural Malawi," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(6), pages 1743-1770, December.
    6. repec:ilo:ilowps:464524 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Rizzo, Matteo., 2011. "Rural wage employment in Rwanda and Ethiopia : a review of the current policy neglect and a framework to begin addressing it," ILO Working Papers 994645243402676, International Labour Organization.

    More about this item


    Divorce; labor markets; education; Africa; Mozambique;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:15:y:2009:i:2:p:1-31. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.