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Early labour market transitions of women in low income African countries

A Descriptive Analysis of Education Outcomes, Fertility Decisions and Labour Market Outcomes of Youths in Kenya

Working Paper No 1 

Jane Kabubo-Mariara, Anthony Wambugu, Phyllis Machio, School of Economics University of Nairobi

October 2016

In this paper, we present a descriptive analysis of education, fertility/marriage, and labour market outcomes of youths aged 6 to 25 years in Kenya. The analysis is based on the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey for 2003 and 2008/9 as well as the 2005/6 Kenya Integrated Household Budget Survey. The analysis suggests that women generally have less favourable education outcomes (attendance and attainment) relative to men irrespective of age, area of residence, and wealth status. On the other hand, women from rural areas and poor households have more unfavourable education, fertility/marriage, and labour market outcomes compared with their counterparts from urban areas and wealthier households. Additionally, women from rural areas and poor households are more likely to drop out of school early, get married early, have children at a younger age, and bear more children than their urban and richer counterparts. Moreover, women from rural areas and/or poor households are more likely to show less favourable labour market outcomes compared with men in similar circumstances. The analysis in this paper sets the stage for further analytical and qualitative work seeking to investigate the links between education outcomes, fertility/marriage, and labour market outcomes among the Kenyan youth.

Early Labour Market Transitions of Women in Low Income African Countries.

A Descriptive Analysis for Ghana

Working Paper No. 2

Louis Boakye-Yiadom, Nkechi S. Owoo

The age at which women exit out of full-time education, first enter the labour market and their early fertility experiences all have important consequences for their employment outcomes and wellbeing later in life. This paper presents descriptive analyses on the nature and patterns of these socioeconomic factors, using the 2012/2013 Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS6) data and the 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey (GDHS) data. Results are disaggregated by age, gender, locality and household wealth status of these individuals. First, we find that educational attendance is higher among young men compared to young women, and higher in urban areas compared to rural areas. Second, the average age at which individuals begin working in Ghana is approximately 15 years, with notable variations between urban and rural dwellers, and between poor and non-poor households. The gender difference in the age at which individuals start working is, however, small. Third, the average age at first marriage among women of child-bearing age is 20 years. We also find that early marriage and childbirth are negatively correlated with women’s educational outcomes. Apart from highlighting gender differences, the results provide us with a foundation to carry out a more rigorous investigation into this important subject.

An Assessment of Early Labour Market Transitions of Women in Uganda: A Descriptive Approach

Working Paper No. 3

Gemma Ahaibwe, Ibrahim Kasirye and Sarah Ssewanyana

Despite their increased participation in the labour market, Ugandan women, in contrast with men, continue to face significant challenges in the pursuit of decent, better paying, and productive jobs. A testable assumption to pursue as the basis for improving women’s circumstances in the labour market, for instance, is that the labour market and childbearing experiences of young females are critical in shaping their subsequent labour market experiences and economic empowerment. The main aim of this paper is to provide a general picture of the early labour market experiences of youths aged 15-24 years and the related changes affecting their lives. Given the dearth of evidence on Uganda, this paper takes a descriptive approach to investigate how early labour market entrants (women in particular) perform in the labour market; how their prospects of transitioning to better jobs evolve with time; and how the 4 labour market outcomes of this group compare with the outcomes of those with more education and who also enter the labour market at a later stage. The paper identifies trends and other attributes of young females that may help to explain the factors that shape their subsequent life experiences and economic empowerment.