Early labour market transitions of women in low income African countries
Working across six Sub-Saharan African countries, the project explores how the unequal treatment or perception of women resulting from deep-rooted social norms affects their economic empowerment and experience of work. Looking at young women’s passage from school to work or motherhood, the project investigates the causes and key factors that shape women’s path to adult life.
In several developing countries, the shape of many women’s lives is already significantly determined before the age of twenty. There is a strong commitment among many governments to address both youth unemployment and gender inequality in education. International attention is also being increasingly paid to the situation of adolescent girls in poor countries (UN, World Bank, DFID) but the issue lacks sufficient research evidence on what underlies the challenges they face.
Focusing on the transition between school and work, AWIA aspires to add substantially to the existing evidence, helping to inform and further increase interest in implementing change. This is based on a broadly comparable programme of work in each of six sub-Saharan African Countries: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, as well as some explicitly comparable cross country work.
Professor Andy McKay, University of Sussex
Principal Investigator and UK Country leadView Professor Andy McKay’s academic profile
This project is undertaken as part of the IDRC Growth and Economic Opportunities for Women Programme which is funded by IDRC, DFID and The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
A summary of our project is available on the IDRC website.
Burkina Faso: Universite de Ouagadougou
Country coordinator: Dr Claude Wetta
Francis Medard Zida
Dr Ludovic Kibora
Ghana: University of Ghana
Country coordinator: Dr Louis Boakye-Yiadom
Dr Nkechi Owooo
Dr Ernestina Dankyi
Dr. Monica Lambon-Quayefio
England: University of Sussex, UK
Team leader: Professor Andy McKay
Professor Andy Newell
Dr Cinzia Rienzo
Uganda: Economic Policy Research Centre, Kampala
Country coordinator: Dr Sarah Ssewanyana
Dr Ibrahim Kasirye
Kenya: University of Nairobi
Country coordinator: Professor Jane Kabubo-Mariara
Dr Anthony Wambugu
Dr Phyllis Nachio
Tanzania: Institute for Rural Development and Planning, Dodoma, Tanzania
Country coordinator: Dr Adalbertus Kamanzi
Professor Andy McKay
Dr Cinzia Rienzo
Ethiopia: Ethiopian Economic Association
Country coordinator: Dr Abbi Mamo Kedir
Seid Nuri Ali
Dr Assefa Admassie
Our project comprises six country projects, led by researchers from the countries in question, and one comparative cross country project. Each of these follows a broadly similar strategy. The research comprises both quantitative and qualitative components. The quantitative work is based on analysis of pre-existing data sources for each country, but which have mostly not been used to analyse the issues covered in this project. Data sources include multipurpose household surveys, censuses, Demographic and Health Surveys and panel data sets where available. The qualitative work is based on field work conducted specifically for this project, comprising community profiles, focus groups and key informant interviews focusing on young women and men and on some others able to influence the options open to them.
In each country and in the cross country project the following studies have been or are being undertaken: a descriptive study, at least one in-depth analytic study and a report on the qualitative studies. This then forms the basis for research or policy briefs. In this work we seek to combine insights from quantitative and qualitative sources.
Although the focus is on female experience, a comparative analysis with males in similar situations – to investigate the gender contrast – is also being conducted, as well as a comparison with those from wealthier and poorer groups, and urban and rural areas.
In each country and internationally we have engaged with policy makers from the beginning, to inform the design and progress of the research and to communicate initial results; we will hold country level and international dissemination events towards the end of the project.