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How Do Women Weather Economic Shocks? What We Know

  • Shwetlena Sabarwal
  • Nistha Sinha
  • Mayra Buvinic

Do women weather economic shocks differently than men?1 First-round impacts of economic crises on women’s employment should be more prominent in this recent economic downturn than historically because of women’s increased participation in the globalized workforce. Second-round impacts result from the strategies that vulnerable households use to cope with declining income, which can vary by gender. In the past, women from low-income households have typically entered the labor force, while women from high-income households have often exited the labor market in response to economic crises. Evidence also suggests that women defer fertility during economic crises and that child schooling and child survival are adversely affected, mainly in low-income countries, with girls suffering more adverse health effects than boys. These impacts underscore the need for providing income to women in poor countries to help households better cope with the effects of economic shocks.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series World Bank Other Operational Studies with number 10113.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wboper:10113
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