According to the ILO latest-released World Employment and Social Outlook-Trends for Women report-2017, globally, women are substantially less likely than men to participate in the labour market.
“But also, once women are in the workforce, they are less likely to find jobs than men. Indeed, their access to quality employment opportunities remains restricted,” report stated.
The findings of the report shows that in the developing countries, the probability of participating in the workforce increases by 7.8 per cent.
“In general, women are more likely to work longer hours than men when both paid and unpaid work is taken into account,” report added.
Moreover, when in paid employment, on average, women work fewer hours for pay or profit either because they opt to work part-time or because part-time work is the only option available to them.
The report assessed the extent to which personal preferences, socio-economic constraints, and gender role conformity were driving gender gaps in the labour market.
The analysis by ILO economists, covering 142 countries and territories, found that in developing countries, partnerships/marriage have a positive effect on participation by 3.3 percentage.
The report highlights the economic necessity to work, despite partnership status in developing countries.
“Women suffering from severe poverty are more likely to participate, irrespective of gender norms,” sated the report.
Globally, the lack of affordable care for children or family members affects women’s participation negatively.
Limited access to safe transportation is the greatest challenge to participation that women face in developing countries, reducing their participation probability by 15.5 percentage points.
Religions embody a complex system of values that extends to gender roles. In developing countries, the probability to participate is substantially reduced by religion, a proxy indicator for more restrictive gender role conformity. In developed and emerging countries, the results are mixed, in some cases the effect is positive, in others negative.
A comprehensive approach to address the multiplicity of challenges is merited in order for women to realise and achieve their full economic empowerment.