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Social norms as a barrier to women's employment in developing countries

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  • Seema Jayachandran

Abstract

This paper discusses cultural barriers to women's participation and success in the labor market in developing countries. I begin by describing how gender norms influence the relationship between economic development and female employment, as well as how gender norms differ substantially across societies at the same level of economic development. I then discuss in more detail specific gender-related social norms and how they constrain women's employment. I present examples of policies aimed at dismantling these cultural barriers to female employment and the impacts they have.

Suggested Citation

  • Seema Jayachandran, 2019. "Social norms as a barrier to women's employment in developing countries," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2019-74, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  • Handle: RePEc:unu:wpaper:wp-2019-74
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    3. Alison Andrew & Orazio P. Attanasio & Britta Augsburg & Jere Behrman & Monimalika Day & Pamela Jervis & Costas Meghir & Angus Phimister, 2020. "Mothers’ Social Networks and Socioeconomic Gradients of Isolation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2261, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    4. Cavapozzi, Danilo & Francesconi, Marco & Nicoletti, Cheti, 2021. "The Impact of Gender Role Norms on Mothers' Labor Supply," CEPR Discussion Papers 15957, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Feeny, Simon & Mishra, Ankita & Trinh, Trong-Anh & Ye, Longfeng & Zhu, Anna, 2021. "Early-Life exposure to rainfall shocks and gender gaps in employment: Findings from Vietnam," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 533-554.
    6. Elijah Kipkech Kipchumba & Catherine Porter & Danila Serra & Munshi Sulaiman, 2021. "Infuencing youths' aspirations and gender attitudes through role models: Evidence from Somali schools," Working Papers 20210224-002, Texas A&M University, Department of Economics.
    7. BenYishay, Ariel & Jones, Maria & Kondylis, Florence & Mobarak, Ahmed Mushfiq, 2020. "Gender gaps in technology diffusion," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    8. Lata Gangadharan & Tarun Jain & Pushkar Maitra & Joe Vecci, 2021. "Lab-in-the-Field Experiments: Perspectives from Research on Gender," Monash Economics Working Papers 2021-03, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    9. Christensen, Peter & Osman, Adam, 2021. "The Demand for Mobility: Evidence from an Experiment with Uber Riders," IZA Discussion Papers 14179, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Hoehn-Velasco, Lauren & Penglase, Jacob, 2021. "Does unilateral divorce impact women’s labor supply? Evidence from Mexico," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 187(C), pages 315-347.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Culture; Institutions; Developing countries; Economic development; Female labour force participation; Employment; Labour supply; Social norms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General

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