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Female labour force participation in Bangladesh : trends, drivers and barriers

Author

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  • Rahman, Rushidan I.
  • Islam, Rizwanul.

Abstract

In contrast to the stylized implications of the U-shaped hypothesis, there has been an increase in female labour force participation in Bangladesh, alongside the acceleration in economic growth since the 1990s. In this regard, Bangladesh has witnessed a substantial increase in female employment in labour- intensive export-oriented industries in urban areas. The study also finds that the rapid expansion of micro-finance in rural areas has supported women’s employment. However, the economy in general and women’s employment in urban areas in particular seem to be too dependent on a single industry. Moreover, issues relating to the level of and gender differential in wages, and other aspects of compliance with labour standards remain. Empirical analysis carried out in the present study indicate that further progress is needed in improving women’s access to education and skill training, productive assets like land and credit beyond microcredit, and services of various government institutions. Improvement is also needed in the social norms and environment that often act as barriers to women’s employment.

Suggested Citation

  • Rahman, Rushidan I. & Islam, Rizwanul., 2013. "Female labour force participation in Bangladesh : trends, drivers and barriers," ILO Working Papers 994834893402676, International Labour Organization.
  • Handle: RePEc:ilo:ilowps:994834893402676
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Todaro, Michael P, 1969. "A Model for Labor Migration and Urban Unemployment in Less Developed Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(1), pages 138-148, March.
    2. Sarah Bridges & David Lawson & Sharifa Begum, 2011. "Labour Market Outcomes in Bangladesh: The Role of Poverty and Gender Norms," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 23(3), pages 459-487, July.
    3. Khandker, Shahidur R, 1987. "Labor Market Participation of Married Women in Bangladesh," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 536-541, August.
    4. Schultz, T Paul, 1990. "Women's Changing Participation in the Labor Force: A World Perspective," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 457-488, April.
    5. Salma Ahmed & Pushkar Maitra, 2010. "Gender Wage Discrimination in Rural and Urban Labour Markets of Bangladesh," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(1), pages 83-112.
    6. Khandker, Shahidur R, 1988. "Determinants of Women's Time Allocation in Rural Bangladesh," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(1), pages 111-126, October.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Chakraborty, Tanika & Mukherjee, Anirban & Rachapalli, Swapnika Reddy & Saha, Sarani, 2018. "Stigma of sexual violence and women’s decision to work," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 226-238.
    2. Taniya Ghosh & Sanika Sulochani Ramanayake, 2018. "Women empowerment and good times: Which one leads to the other?," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2018-004, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    3. repec:ilo:ilowps:486789 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. World Bank, 2016. "Bangladesh Social Protection and Labor Review," World Bank Other Operational Studies 25265, The World Bank.
    5. Sudarshan, Ratna M., 2014. "Enabling women's work," ILO Working Papers 994860303402676, International Labour Organization.
    6. Sher Verick, 2014. "Female labor force participation in developing countries," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 1-87, September.
    7. repec:ilo:ilowps:486030 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Ghani,Syed Ejaz & Grover,Arti & Kerr,Sari & Kerr,William Robert, 2016. "Will market competition trump gender discrimination in India ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7814, The World Bank.
    9. Naila Kabeer, 2016. "Gender Equality, Economic Growth, and Women's Agency: the "Endless Variety" and "Monotonous Similarity" of Patriarchal Constraints," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(1), pages 295-321, January.
    10. Sanika Sulochani Ramanayake & Taniya Ghosh, 2017. "Role of Gender Gap in Economic Growth: Analysis on Developing Countries versus OECD Countries," Working Papers id:11690, eSocialSciences.

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