Why do Women have fewer opportunities than men do in low income societies?

Over the last three or four decades is has become evident that women are increasingly engaging into paid employment in both the formal and informal sectors. As indicated by Hung, Joanne, and Elizabeth, the workforce participation rates or ratios amongst women and men have been going through a change with more women taking a large share employment every year (12). For instance women aged 25-54 years in OECD nations engaged in employment was estimated at 54% in 1980; today the figure stands at 74% (Kabeer, 61). However, it should be noted that the changes have been prominent in developed nations and not developing ones. Gender based Inequality is not a new phenomenon in the global as well as local economic environment; nonetheless, the variations in the levels of discrimination vary. As explained by Duflo, unlike women in developed nations who have gone through years of advocacy for equal rights leading to economic empowerment and a voice that demands for positive action, their counterparts in developing nations do not have such privileges (1051).

Women increasingly engage in paid employment. Labor force participation rates among women aged 25–54 across OECD countries rose from 54% in 1980 to over 72% by 2015. Studies of men’s and women’s employment across developing nations as well as their surrounding economic environments expose two configurations: first, the work pathways of men and women changes after parenthood approaches for the woman further after childbirth. The women’s wage trends and labor force contribution levels exhibit rising intra-cohort difference over time. Economic as well as cultural factors continue to play a vital role in manipulating the institutional aspects that determine gender-based division in terms of responsibilities and opportunities awarded , rights provided, as well as access and the resources. Education, decision-making avenues, literacy, and access to the media are all areas of gender disparity that determine why women in developing nations have a less opportunities as compared to men. As explained by Duflo, the differences in employment status which culminates by occupational segregation where men and men work in the same capacity yet the women earn less for their efforts, women unequal representation in formal employment, in addition to high unemployment rates are the hallmarks of gender segregation in developing nations (1052).

In developing nations, women seem to be overrepresented in the poorly paying informal sector. A study by Hung, Joanne, and Elizabeth , about Sub-Saharan Africa showed that 84% women engage in the non-agricultural employment as compared to 63% of the men (54). Additionally, Kabeer, stated that in developing nations women are more likely to engage in low paying jobs regardless of the long working as compared to their male counterparts (55). For example, in 18 of the 25 Sub-Saharan nations Kabeer, conducted his gender inequality experiment highlighted that about 50% of women were employed in the informal sector working 12hours a day only to earn a dollar an hour. With such a return, it is clear that the employment does not significantly contribute to their status at home or at the workplace (58). Consequently, most employed women in such nations are highly dependent on either their spouses or their parents in major aspects of life. Despite the significance of enabling women get access to information regarding personal health and behavior as well as other practices the number of women exposed to different types of media is significantly limited

However, as most of the employed women work in agricultural and other activities which are mostly considered to be having limited or no financial returns, their employment does not contribute much to their status in the workplace. Thus, women in those countries are dependent on their partners in most aspects of their life. In spite of its importance in enabling women to get access to information about personal health behaviours and practices, household, and community, the percentage of women exposed to different types of media is limited in most developing countries. Women’s restricted access to education, media, and opportunity in conjunction with cultural factors, limits their decision making process in the community is general, but in a household in particular. Regarding their inclined participation on the decision making level process in the local and central government the number of women representative in a typical African parliament is estimated a 12%. Although not nation in the globe has achieved gender parity in their parliaments the situation in developing nations is worse.

In summation, the issues of gender differentiation in the global and local economics is clear the number of females in the formal and informal sector getting paid for their efforts has gone up. Nevertheless, the biggest difference is in developed nations where women have a much stronger voice. In developing nations women are subjected to some of the poorest paying Jobs particularly in the informal sector. A lack of knowledge of the business world, poor representation by authorities, a lack of media coverage, as well as the poor economic development in developing nations, women have less opportunities than men in low income societies


Works Cited

Duflo, Esther. “Women empowerment and economic development.” Journal of Economic literature 50.4 (2012): 1051-79.

Hung, Angela, Joanne Yoong, and Elizabeth Brown. “Empowering women through financial awareness and education.” (2012).

Kabeer, Naila. “Women’s economic empowerment and inclusive growth: labour markets and enterprise development.” International Development Research Centre 44.10 (2012): 1-70.