• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Overview
 Women's changing economic roles...
 Women's contribution to national...
 Constraints on women's employm...
 Critical issues related to women's...
 Summary and conclusions
 Policy and program recommendations...
 Footnotes
 Bibliography














Title: Keeping women out
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00089333/00001
 Material Information
Title: Keeping women out a structural analysis of women's employment in developing countries
Series Title: Keeping women out
Physical Description: iii, 92 p., 23 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: International Center for Research on Women
United States -- Agency for International Development. -- Office of Women in Development
Publisher: The Office
Place of Publication: Washington D.C.?
Publication Date: 1980
 Subjects
Subject: Women -- Employment -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Femmes -- Travail -- Pays en voie de développement   ( rvm )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 1-8).
Statement of Responsibility: International Center for Research on Women ; prepared for the Office of Women in Development, Bureau of Program and Policy Coordination, Agency for International Development under Contract number OTR-C-1801.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "April 1980."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00089333
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 09295355

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Overview
        Page 1
    Women's changing economic roles and responsibilities
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Women's contribution to national development
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    Constraints on women's employment
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
    Critical issues related to women's employment
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
    Summary and conclusions
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
    Policy and program recommendations for enhancing women's employment
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 89a
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Footnotes
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    Bibliography
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
Full Text
International Center for Research onWomen



















KEEPING WOMEN OUT:


A STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS OF WOMEN'S EMPLOYMENT

IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES




International Center for Research on Women

April 1980















Prepared for the Office of Women in Development, Bureau of Program and
Policy Coordination, Agency for International Development under Contract
Number OTR-C-1801.






TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page:

Executive Summary

Overview

I. Women's Changing Economic Roles and Responsibilities... 2

A. Women's Economic Need to Work..................... 2

B. Women's Economic Contribution to Family Well-being.. 5

II. Women's Contribution to National Development............ 8

A. Changes in the Level of Women's Labor Force Par-
ticipation Since the Early 1960's.................. 9

B. The Participation of Women in Agricultural and
Non-Agricultural Economic Activities................ 12

C. Sectoral Distribution of Women Workers Relative
to the Total Labor Force........................... 14

D. Sex Differences in Employment Status Among Econ-
omically Active Workers............................ 18

E. The Estimated Contribution of Women to GDP ......... 21

III. Constraints on Women's Employment...................... 25

A. Labor Supply: The Over-Rated Variable in the
Employment Equation .............. ... .................. 25

1. Women's Position in the Family and Female
Labor Supply ...................... .......... 26

2. Cultural Prescriptions and Job-Segregation:
Their Impact on the Supply of Female Labor....... 29

3. The Effect of Education and Training on the
Female Labor Supply.................. .......... 33

B. Levels of Demand for Women Workers: The Real
Source of Constraints.............. ........... ... 35

1. General Economic Theories of Labor Market
Discrimination.......................... .... 35

2.' The Surplus of Male Labor and its Impact
Upon the Demand for Women Workers.............. 38








3. Capital Intensive Development: How it Res-
tricts the Quantity and Quality of Women's
Employment Opportunities.............. ........ 40

4. Protective vs. Protectionist Legislation:
How Great a Factor in Restricting Labor
Demand for Women................. ..... .. 41

IV. Critical Issues Related to Women's Employment,......., 54

A. The Double Burden ................................. 55

B. Marginalization of Women's Work........ ............ 57

1. The Economic Consequences of Migration for
Women.............. .................... ,,,,,,, 57

2. Domestic Labor: Physical Labor in Return
for Room and Board.............................. 61

3. Unemployment and Underemployment.,.........,.,. 63

4, The Underrepresentation of Women in Paid
Labor ................................ ........... 65

5. Low Wages of Women Workers..,o................. 66

6. Women in the Informal Sector................... 68

C. Off-Farm Employment for Women................. 69

D. Women's Employment in Transnational Corporations ... 71

V. Summary and Conclusions ............ ................. 78

VI. Policy and Program Recommendations for Enhancing
Women's Employment................. ....... .......,. 84

A. Recommendations for Minimizing Constraints to
Women's Employment .............................. 85

B. Recommendations to Minimize the Adverse Effects
of Protective Legislation............ ...... .......... 85

C. Recommendations for Relieving the Double Burden
of Women..................................... ...... 87

D. Recommendations for Minimizing the Marginality
of Women Workers.................................... 88

E. Recommendations for Promoting Off-Farm Employment.., 89





iii



F. Recommendations for Improving Employment
Conditions of Women Workers in Trans-
national Corporations .. .. .. ....... ... ... .. 90

Footnotes

References Cited









OVERVIEW


The purpose of this background report is to disclose a series of

issues which have been identified as critical to women's employment,

underemployment and unemployment in the Third World, particularly among

the poor. These issues will be discussed in the following order:

a) women's unrecognized need to work as a result of their

changing economic responsibilities;

b) the importance of women's productive contribution to

national development;

c) the importance of structural forces in restricting the level

of demand for women workers in the labor market, in contrast to

the overemphasized constraints on the supply factors;

d) factors critical to the employment of low income women such as the

influences of multi-national corporations' worldwide search

for cheap labor.
A series of recommendations for policy intervention is presented

for most of the critical issues identified.









I. WOMEN'S CHANGING ECONOMIC ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

From a development perspective, arguments are advanced for promoting

efforts to increase the economic contribution of women as a means of

making fuller use of all human resources for economic development.

Furthermore, increasing Third World women's opportunities for employ-

ment and wage earning are a critical means toward improving income

distribution.

There are two dimensions to the issue being discussed here:

women's economic need and women's economic contribution to the well-

being of the household.

A. Women's Economic Need to Work

Work in the lives of the majority of women in the Third World is

not a matter of equity and/or self actualization. The changing economic

roles and responsibilities of women, particularly among the poor, make

working a matter of economic survival. Working women often come from

extremely poor households, and include single women with children,

women married to men in the lowest income brackets, and older divorced

and widowed women who are dependent upon their own resources.

Economic and demographic-changes accompanying the development process

have contributed to the worsening condition of the working classes,

initially for men and more recently for women. The emergence of a class

system of wage labor in the larger capitalist economy combined with a

growing surplus in the labor population and high rates of urbanization

have restricted economic opportunities, intensified unemployment and

increased the reserve pool of male migrant labor Insufficient employ-

ment opportunities, shortage of productive assets required for self







employment and limited availability of wage labor are the principal

reasons for male migration. Under such economic pressures, family

structures are no longer able to function as protective welfare systems

and extend economic support to their women as dictated by tradition.

Traditional support systems are collapsing, particularly as they pertain to

protective functions provided to widows and to divorced and single mothers.

The result has been the emergence of an increasing number of male-absent

households in which women have become the primary, if not the sole,

supporters. Male unemployment and/or low earnings have also meant an

increase in the number of married women workers. Low male wages often

impose a double responsibility on married women who need to subsidize

the family income through'additional home production and work outside the

home.

Unfortunately, current data collection practices do not make visible

to policy makers the "real" economic need of women. When economic need

is indexed by female work participation rates or female unemployment

statistics, the picture is deceptive because of definitional and measure-

ment problems intrinsic to census taking.

Structural Factors Linked to the Poverty of Women .Heads of Household:

Program planning has often ignored the de facto woman head of household and

the single mother. Households headed by women have been estimated to

range between 23% and 30% of all households; the estimated variation

of such households in 80 developing societies ranges from 10% to 46%1,2

The proportion in Latin America is much higher in urban than in rural

areas, and much greater in rural areas in labor exporting societies,

such as in Africa.

The evidence linking female heads of household with poverty is strong.








The single mother syndrome in Latin America and the Caribbean is linked

to structural poverty. The phenomenon is associated with male seasonal

and marginal employment; births outside of formalized unions are due in

large part to the inability of men to meet the economic obligations of

stable marriage. The multiplicity of sexual unions and consequent child-

bearing is also perpetuated by the woman's inability to survive economically

on her own once a union is terminated. The presence of single mothers is

more clearly documented for most Latin American3 and some African

societies though it probably exists in other countries as well. In

the case of Latin America, the documentation is ample enough to identify

the majority of single mothers as low income, young, migrant, econo-

mically self-supporting women with little chance of employment other

than in domestic service.

Field inquiries in slum areas in Latin American countries indicate

twice as many households headed by women as compared to those headed by

men at extreme poverty levels. In part of Java, Indonesia, 65% of the

urban and 32% of the divorced and widowed rural women workers did not

earn enough to support a single person's need (Redmana et al.1977).

In rural Bangladesh (Cain 1979) and Botswana(Kossoudji and Mueller 1980)

women heads of household earn considerably less than male family heads;

and in parts of Kenya (Kenya Employment Mission n.d.), twice as many

women heads of household as compared to men are unemployed and unable

to generate income.

The economic needs of women heads of household are reflected in the

particularly high activity rates displayed by the divorced, widowed and

separated groups. In combined form these rates range in Latin America and

parts of Asia (Sri Lanka, Indonesia) between 46% to 78%; and in Nigeria




5


(age groups 20-38) between 61% to 85%. Many of the factors that contri-

bute to perpetuating the poverty among this group stem from constraints

under which women operate, in general, but which are attenuated by women's

double responsibility for child care and economic survival.

These constraints include: women's difficulty in finding work;5 the

low level of asset ownership among women;6 low earnings;7 and lack of

support from secondary earners.

B. Women's Economic Contribution to Family Well-being

The extent of women's economic need may also be assessed by consider-

ing the degree to which women contribute economically to the well-being of

family or household members. There is some evidence from Latin America, and

considerable evidence from Africa, South and Southeast Asia which demon-

strates that women's contributions to household income provide the means to

meet basic survival needs such as food, clothing and shelter. Ultimately,

women's contributions make possible improvements in the health and nutri-

tional status of young household members.

In census counts "married" women often are automatically classified as

"housewives", veiling the important economic contribution they make or

attempt to make to the household. The actual number of economically active

married women is much larger than aggregate level data would indicate.

In many traditional societies, most notable those of sub-Saharan

Africa and certain matrilineal regions of Southeast Asia, women are

exclusively responsible for their children's survival and well-being

(PAG-UN 1977; Tinker 1979; Safilios-Rothschild 1980). Women are in charge

of family garden plots on which they grow produce for family consumption.

Sometimes they also earn cash income by selling surplus crops to buy such

goods as clothing and school supplies for their dependents. Generally,








women's ability to meet the subsistence needs of their families is

inextricably tied to the extent of control they exert over the intra-

household allocation of money. It has been reported that where women

remain in control of their individual income, as in sub-Saharan Africa

and parts of Thailand, increased income tends to improve both the quantity

and quality of the food available to their families. Increased income of

men, who are often not required to help meet family subsistence needs,

goes into the purchase of consumer goods and entertainment, and only in

case of emergencies into buying food items (Thailand National Council of

Women, 1977; Safilios-Rothschild 1980).

Yet even in societies that do not traditionally give women the

economic responsibility of supporting a family, women in impoverished

households must take on the responsibility in order to supplement the

family's earnings. Traditional sex roles and sexual distinctions in the

division of labor break down and women are, as one researcher put it,

"relegated to the problematic responsibility for family subsistence"

in spite of the fact that cultural expectations require that men be the

sole or primary providers for their families (ibid:9).10

There is increasing evidence that the earnings of working mothers

have a positive influence on the nutritional and health status of their

children.11 However, there appears to be a trade-off between the increased

nutrient availability resulting from women's wages and the reduction in

childcare time and quality that a mother's absence from the home tends

to produce (Popkin 1978). Moreover, women who seek employment which is

compatible with childcare tend to settle for jobs which, although closer

to home or offering flexible schedules, are poorly remunerated. In these








cases "the additional food preparation and other home production time

that women with compatible market work have available appear to be in-

adequate to compensate for the food they cannot afford to buy at their

lower income levels" (ibid:24).

It is clear, then, that program and policy measures must be taken

to ensure adequate childcare alternatives for working women and allow

for increased purchasing power and improved child health.

Lastly, there is another dimension to women's economic contribution

to family wellbeing, one that does not depend exclusively on women's

wage earning capacity. Women contribute economically to the household

by producing goods for exchange value in the marketplace; they can obtain

credit from informal neighborhood associations and cooperatives in times

of extreme need; and they can exchange goods and services such as food

and childcare with other women in neighboring households (Hammam 1979;

Nieves 1979).







II. WOMEN'S CONTRIBUTION TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Given the limitations of existing data, assessing women's contribution

to national development is a difficult task. As spelled out in an earlier

paper (ICRW 1980), existing employment measures tend to under represent

women's economic participation and contribution to the overall economy

for several reasons. Primary among these is that much of women's work

takes place outside of the formal labor market in produce activities

within the household and family enterprises (as unpaid workers). Women

are also more active in the informal sector and as secondary part-time

or seasonal workers, which in general pose measurement problems. Employ-

ment data from developing countries is often based on definitions in-

appropriate to local labor market conditions, and as such, fails to

capture much of women's economic contribution. Because of the many problems

in assessing output per worker in developing countries, attempts to

measure the contribution of any one group within the labor force prove

to be extremely difficult. In recognizing these problems, great caution

in the interpretation of existing data is needed.

Within the limitations of definitional and measurement problems

related to data collection, regional data which do exist (mostly from

the I.L.O. Yearbook of Labor Statistics) may still be useful in pointing

to some very general trends and regional variations in the patterning

of female employment.

Tables I through V indicate:

the current extent of women's labor force participation and

changes registered since the 1960's (showing, in sum, that women do indeed

work). Table I.

the agricultural and non-agricultural participation rates for







women (showing regional variations in women's economic involvement).

Table II.

the sectoral distribution of women's employment relative to the

total labor force (showing that the structure of the labor market for

women is different from the overall labor market). Table III.

the sex distribution of economically active women according to

work status, specifically the proportion of males to females, "unpaid"

family workers, and of paid "employees" relative to men, to highlight

the differences in remuneration trends for women's and men's work.

Table IV.

and the estimated contribution of women's work to the overall

GDP adjusted for the sectoral distribution of their employment (to

identify in more concrete terms the role of women in the overall

economy). Table V.

A. Changes in the Level of Women's Labor Force Participation Since

the Early 1960's

Table I shows the total labor force participation rates for women

15 years and older- for c. 1975 (for 105 countries) and c. 1960 (for

58 countries). Regional means show that women's reported labor force

participation rates in the 1970s are highest in Africa (45.8) and Asia

(42.9) and lowest in the Middle East (11.4) with Latin America (26.8)

falling midway between. All regions have experienced a rise in the rates

of labor force participation since the 1960s with the largest proportion-

ate increase being reported for the Middle East (53%).

In looking at the individual countries in Table I, the highest

Economically Active Women 15+
*/ Women's labor force participation rate =Total Women 15+ x 100.
Total Women 15+









Table I: Labor Force Participation Rates for Women 15 Years and Over

c. 1960 and 1978.


c. 1960 a c. 1975 !


Percent Change
from
1960 to 1978


Country/
Region


Percent Change
from
c. 1960 a c. 1975 1980 to 1975
1eto1975


AFRICA

Angola .076
Benin -0-
Botswana -0-
Burundl -0-
Cameroon -0-
Central African Rep -0-
Comoros -0-
Congo .796
Ivory Coast .739
Ethiopia -0-
Gabon .495
Gambia -0-
Ghana .566
Guinea -0-
Guinea Bissau -0-
Eauatorial Guinea -0-
Kenya -0-
Lesotho -0-
Liberia .429
Madagascar -0-
Malawi -0-
Mali -0-
Mauritania -0-
Mauritius .175
Mozambique .081
Namimbla -0-
Niger -0-
Nigeria .277
Reunion .180
Rwanda -0-
Senegal -0-
Sierra Leone .449
Somalia -0-
Sudan .413
Swaziland -0-
Seychelles .5541
Tanzania -0-
Tchad -0-
Togo -0-
Upper Volta -0-
Uganda -0-
Zaire -0-
Zambia -0-

x .401
(n) (n=13)


.080
.691
.735
.693
.482
.811
.427
.561
.734
.569
.528
.705
.568
.580
.036
.043
.442
.738
.248
.737
.537
.831
.039
.220
.309
.241
.104
.534
.236
.849
.531
.427
.375
.111
.740
.510
.501
.267
.540
.026
.462
.591
.313

.458
(n=43)


+ 5.2
-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
-29.5
- 0.6
-0-
+ 6.4
-0-
+ 0.3
-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
+42.2
-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
+25.7
+281.4
-0-
-0-
+92.7
+31.1
-0-
-0-
- 4.8
-0-
-73.1
-0-
- 5.7
-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-

+28.6
(n=13)


MIDDLE EAST

Algeri a
Egypt
Iran
Iraq
Jordan
Kuwait
Libya
Morocco
Saudi Arabia
Syria
S. Yemen
N. Yemen
Tunisia
Turkey
x

(n)


ASIA

Afghanistan
Bangladesh
Bhutan
Burma
China
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Kampuchea
N. Korea
S. Korea
Lao Rep.
Malaysia (West)
Mongolia
Nepal
Pakistan
Philippines
Singapore
Sri Lanka
Thailand


(n)


Country/
Region


.027
.052
.121
.032
.044
.089
.047
.088
-0-
.076
-0-
-0-
.055
-0-
.063
(n=10)




-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
.410
.428
.310
.582
-0-
.279
-0-
.298
-0-
.594
-0-
.272
.216
.236
.813

.403
(n=11)


.032
.069
.155
.042
.064
.085
.067
.131
.049
.111
.053
.044
.189
.506
.114
(n=14)




.201
.194
.586
.459
.530
.433
.409
.336
.522
.660
.378
.700
.366
.429
.581
.097
.403
.302
.275
.715

.429
(n=20)


+18.5
+32.7
+28.1
+31.3
+45.6
- 4.4
+42.5
+48.9
-0-
+46.1
-0-
-0-
+243.6
-0-
+53.3
(n=10)




-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
-0-
+ 5.3
- 4.4
+ 8.3
-10.3
-0-
+35.5
-0-
+22.8
-0-
- 2.1
-0-
+48.1
+39.8
+16.5
-12.0

+13.4
(n=11)








Table I: (cont)


Country/
Region


c. 1960 a c. 1975 b


Percent Change .
from
1960 to 1975


LATIN AMERICA

Argentina
Barbados
Bolivia
Brazil
Colombia
Costa Rica
Cuba
Chile
Dominican Rep.
Ecuador
El Salvador
Guadeloupe
Guatemala
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras
Jamaica
Martinique
Mexico
Nicaragua
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Puerto Rico
Surinam
Trinidad &
Tobogo
Uruguay
Venezuela


(n)
*


.232
-0-
.602
.184
.203
.175
.140
.011
.110
.176
.189
-0-
.131
-0-
.830
.137
.497
.393
.197
.221
.247
.248
.224
.200
.237

.301
.263
.202

.254
(n=25)


Percent change does not


.269
.437
.222
.221
.260
.210
.193
.224
.117
.224
.210
.250
.141
.262
.700
.142
.457
.425
.190
.231
.305
.248
.219
.245
.237

.342
.301
.236

.268
(n=28)

include Chile.


a/ Figures calculated on the basis of data from:
International Labour Office, 1969. Yearbook of Labour Statistics
1969. Geneva. Table 1
1967. Yearbook of Labour Statistics
1967. Geneva. Table 1.
1965. Yearbook of Labour Statistics
1965. Geneva. Table 1.
b/ Figures calculated on the basis of data from:
International Labour Office, 1979. Yearbook of Labour Statistics
1979. Geneva. Table 1.
1978. Yearbook of Labour Statistics
1978. Geneva Special table pp. 16-47, Table 1.


+15.9
-0-
-63.1
+20.1
+28.1
+20.0
+37.9
+1936.4
+15.5
+27.0
+11.1
-0-
+ 7.6
-0-
-15.7
+ 3.6
8.0
+ 8.4
3.5
+ 4.5
+23.5
0
2.2
+22.5
0

+13.6
+14.4
+16.8

+ 8.3
(n=24)








economic activity rates (over 70) in the 1970s, are reported for Botswana,

the Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, the. Gambia, Madagascar, Mali,

Rwanda, Swaziland, Laos, Thailand and Haiti. Those with the lowest rates

(less than 10) include Pakistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait,

Libya, Saudi Arabia, and North and South Yemen. On the basis of I.L.O.

statistics available for 1960 and 1970, 48 countries have recorded in-

creases in female labor force participation rates while ten have recorded

declines. The greatest proportionate increases are reported by Chile,

Mozambique, Nigeria, Tunisia, Morocco, and the Philippines; the largest

proportionate declines are in Bolivia, the Congo and the Sudan. It is

not clear, however, to what extent differences between the two periods may

be subject to changes in data collection practices, survey techniques,

or definitions of employment or economic activity.

The average female labor force participation rate in the 1970s

for the 105 developing countries is 36. This statistic confirms the

substantial participation of women in the economy. In fact, the previously

mentioned limitations of the data suggests that the figure as reported

represents a considerable underestimation of women's actual contribution

to the economy.

B. The Participation of Women in Agricultural and Non-agricultural

Economic Activities

Table II includes recent data for 29 countries which delineates:

(i) the crude activity rates of women in agriculture (per thousand

population); (ii) the activity rates of women 15 years and older in the

non-agricultural sector; and (iii) the respective proportions of females

in the total agricultural and non-agricultural labor forces.

Broken down by region, the reported data shows women's crude









Table II: FEMALE PARTICIPATION RATES IN AGRICULTURAL AND NON-AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES
C. 1978 a/



Region/Country Female Labor Forcek/ Proportion Labor
Participation Rates Force Female

Agric. Non-agric.
(crude) (15 years+) Agric. Non-agric.
per 1.000 per 100


AFRICA

Cameroon
Liberia


MIDDLE EAST

Egypt
Iran
Libya
Tunisia
Turkey
Syria


ASIA

Bangladesh
Hong Kong
India
Indonesia
Korea
Philippines
Singapore
Thailand



LATIN AMERICA


Bolivia
Brazil
Chile
Ecuador
Paraguay
Venezuela

El Salvador
Guatemala
Honduras
Mexico
Nicaragua
Jamaica
Trinidad & Tobogo


317
131

x 224


7
26
13
23
266
17

x 59


18
7
169
142
124
91
4
152

x 88


38
58
3
12
18
7

30
6
7
20
28
71
22

x=25


6.6
4.2

S= 5.4


5.3
11.2
4.4

5.7
5.6

x = 6.4


1.5
45.2
35.7
15.0
24.8
28.9
39.7
18.7

x = 26.2


17.8
25.4
17.7
15.8
20.9
28.8

35.6
12.9
16.1
22.1
28.2
53.0

7 = 24.5


.47
.31

7= .39


.03
.12
.11
.13
.50
.21

x .18


.04
.33
.20
.32
.44
.24
.27
.37

x7 .28


.13
.21
.03
.05
.06
.06

.10
.02
.02
.09
.11
.28
.23

x .11


.19
.15

x .17


.11
.17
.05
.21
.11
.10

x- .12


.05
.35
.10
.35
.34
.47
.33
.41

7- .30


.31
.33
.28
.28
.37
.32

.46
.30
.37
.35
.44
.54
.31

x .36


a/ Sources: International Labour Office.1978. Yearbook of Labour Statistics 1978.
Geneva. Special table, pp. 16-47; Tables 1. 2A.

International Labour Office, 1979. Yearbook of Labour Statistics 1979.
Geneva. Tables I and 2A.

United Nations. 1976. Demographic Yearbook 1976. Table 7.

b For women in agriculture, crude activity rates (economically active females
in agriculture/ total female population) are provided on the assumption
that a significant number of female agricultural workers are less than
15 years of age.

For women in non-agricultural sectors, the activity rates are calculated for
the female population 15 years and over on the assumption that most female
non-agricultural workers are more than 15 years of age.








agricultural activity rate to be at its peak in Africa (224) and

Asia (88); and lowest in Latin America (25) and the Middle East (6)12

Individual country data shows that these rates are highest for women in

Cameroon (317) and Turkey (266) and lowest in Chile (3) and Guatemala (6).

Non-agricultural activity rates are highest for women in Asia (26.2)

and Latin America (24.5) and lowest for the Middle East (6.4) and Africa

(5.4). Country specific rates are highest for women in Jamaica (53.0)

and Hong Kong (45.2) and lowest for women in Bangladesh (1.5) and

Liberia (4.2).

The female proportion of the agricultural work force is also greater

in Africa and Asia (39% and 28% respectively) than in Latin America and

the Middle East (11% and 18% respectively). Individual countries with

the highest proportion of females in agriculture include Cameroon (47%)

and Turkey (50%); while those with the lowest are Guatemala (2%) and

Honduras (2%).

A regional breakdown indicates higher proportions of females in the

non-agricultural work force in Latin America (36%) and Asia (30%) than

in Africa (17%) and the Middle East (12%). Countries with the highest

proportions of females in the non-agricultural sectors include Jamaica

(54%) and the Phillipines (47%); and the lowest include Libya (5%) and

Bangladesh (5%).

C. Sectoral Distribution of Women Workers Relative to the Total Labor

Force

Table III attempts to demonstrate that the sectoral distribution of

the female labor force is substantially different from the total labor

force by (i) subtracting the proportion of the total labor force in a





Table III: DISTRIBUTION OF THE FEMALE LABOR FORCE RELATIVE TO THE TOTAL LABOR FORCE. C. 1975.


Region/ Sector!/ Distribution Distribution/ c/
Country of Female of Total Differential Total
Labor Force Labor Force Deviation


AFRICA

Cameroon



Liberia



MIDDLE EAST

Egypt



Iran



Libya



Tunisia



Turkey



Syria


Ag
Ind
Ser

Ag
Ind
Ser



Ag
Ind
Ser

Ag
Ind
Ser

Ag
Ind
Ser

Ag
Ind
Ser

Ag
Ind
Ser

Ag
Ind
Ser


.87
.03
.10
(10)
.84
.01
..15
(1-o )


.18
.11
.71
(1.00)

.29
.45
.26
(10)
.38
.06
.56

.23
.42
.35
(1.o0U)

.89
.04
.07
(1--)

.51
.16
.33
(1-.)


.74
.06
.20
(1-
.72
.07
.21
(W.-O


.44
.19
.37
(1.00)
.37
.31
.32

.22
.25
.53
(1--m
.32
.26
.42

.64
.11
.25

.34
.15
.51
(00o)


26



24


(i 25)


68



28



38



32



50



36


(xi- 42)


Region/ Sector
Country

ASIA

Bangladesh Ag
Ind
Ser


Hong Kong Ag
Ind
Ser

India Ag
Ind
Ser

Indonesia Ag
Ind
Ser

Korea Ag
Ind
Ser

Philippines Ag
Ind
Ser

Singapore Ag
Ind
Ser

Thailand Ag


Distribution
of Female
Labor Force


.70
.04
.26
(1.00)

.02
.60
.38

.83
.08
.09
(1.-o)

.62
.09
.29
(1.00)
.43
.24
.33
(1.-5)

.34
.15
.51
(1.o-6)
.02
.39
.59
(1I-) 1
.59
.15
.26
(1-5)


Distribution
of Total Differential Total
Labor Force Deviation


.77
.05
.18
(1.0)

.03
.51
.46

.72
.12
.16


.64
.09
.27
(10-
.37
.29
.34
(170-)

.51
.15
.34
(lS)
.02
.33
.65
(1.00)
.62
.14
.24
(1-


16



18



22



4



12



34



12



6



(x' 16)






Table III: (cont.)


Region/ Sector Distribution Distribution
Country of Female of Total Differential Total
Labor Force Labor Force Deviation


Region/ Sector Distribution Distribution
Country of Female of Total Differential Total
Labor Force Labor Force Deviation


LATIN AMERICA

Argentina


Bolivia Ag
Ind
Ser


Brazil



Chile


Ecuador 'Ag
Ind
Ser


Paraguay Ag
Ind
Ser

Venezuela Ag
Ind
Ser

El Salvador Ag
Ind
Ser

Guatemala Ag
Ind
Ser


.04
.19
.77
(1.00)

.26
.18
.56
(1.-)

.27
.13
.60.
(15)

.03
.19
.78
(1.-)
.12
.21
.67
(1.00)

.13
.28
.59
(1:-)
.04
.19
.77
(1.00)
.14
.21
.65
(1.00)

.07
.22
.71
(1700)


Honduras Ag
Ind
Ser


.15
.29
.56
(1.00)

.46
.19
.35
(1.00)

.36
.23
.41
(1.00)

.21
.27
.52
(1:55)
.46
.17
.37
(1.00)
.49
.18
.33
(1).-
.17
.28
.55
(1.00)
.41
.20
.39
(1.00)

.58
.18
.24
(I1-n


Mexico


Nicaragua Ag
Ind
Ser


Jamaica Ag
Ind
Ser


Trinidad Ag
& Tobogo Ind
Ser


.08
.28
.64
(1.00)

.15
.23
.62
(1.00)

.15
.21
.64


.18
.09
.73
(17)
.09
.24
.67
(l.b-i)


.61
.16
.23
(1.00)

.40
.25
.35
(1.00)

.42
.22
.36
(1. )

.29
.16
.55
(1-0m

.12
.39
.49
(1.00)


(xi 58)


a/ Ag = Agriculture (includes agriculture, hunting, forestry and fishing)

Ind = Industry (Includes mining and quarrying; manufacturing; electricity,
gas and water; construction)
Serv Services (includes wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels;
transport, storage and communication; financing, insurance,
real estate and business services; community, social and
and personal services; and activities not adequately described)

b/
Distributions computed on the basis of figures obtained from:
International Labour Office 1979. Yearbook of Labour Statistics 1979.
Geneva: Table 2A.
--- 1978. Yearbook of Labour Statistics 1978. Geneva: Table 2A.
c/ See text for explanation of the Total Deviation.







given sector from the proportion of the female labor force in the same

sector; and (ii) summing the absolute value of the difference for all

sectors in each country. This final number represents the "total devia-

tion"13 of the female labor force distribution from the overall labor

force distribution.

A glance at the mean "total deviations" by region shows that the

Latin American and Middle Eastern countries by far have the highest

deviations in the distribution of the female labor force relative to the

total labor force (58 and 42 respectively). However, while in Latin

America this is because women are consistently under represented in the

agricultural sector (due to underenumeration in the unpaid family worker

category) and over represented in the service sector, the pattern is

not as consistent in the Middle East where women are variously over and

under represented in all three sectors, depending on individual countries.

For example, figures for Syria show that the distribution of the female

labor force is skewed so that women are proportionately over represented

in both the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, whereas in Egypt,

women are proportionately under represented in both these sectors.

Although the Asian countries show the lowest total deviation in sectoral

distribution between female and total labor force (16), it is nevertheless

clear that the sectoral distributions for women are quite different.

Again, there does not appear to be any pattern to the sectoral over or

under representation. Unfortunately, the limited data available for

Africa precludes any meaningful discussion.

Individual countries reporting the highest "total deviation" index

are Honduras (106); Guatemala (102) and Paraguay (72). Labor market

conditions in these countries are likely to be quite different for







women workers than for the total number of workers. The lowest

"total deviation" indices are reported in Asia, specifically Indonesia

(4); Thailand (6); and Singapore (12). On the basis of this data, it

would appear that labor market conditions for women in Asia are rather

similar to those of all workers while in Latin America and the Middle

East they are not. However, as pointed out earlier the lower deviation

in Asia may be partly due to a more accurate count of women workers in

the agricultural sector as compared to the undercount of female agri-

cultural workers in the Middle East and Latin America (Buvinic 1978;

Youssef 1980).

D. Sex Differences in Employment Status Among Economically Active Workers

Table IV shows sex differences in employment status in 12 countries

by presenting the frequency distribution of workers according to their

employment status in the agricultural and non-agricultural labor force.

The following categories are identified: employee, unpaid family worker

and other (which includes employers, own account workers and others).

In comparing women and men, the data reports that in 9 of the 12

countries, the proportion in the "unpaid family worker" category within

the female economically active population is greater than the corresponding

proportion among the males who are economically active. The incidence of

unpaid women workers is greatest in Iran (.32), Libya (.37), Korea (.30),

and Thailand (.51). The data also shows that when women are unpaid family

workers, they are most likely to be in agriculture, whereas men are most

likely to be in the non-agricultural sector.

In six countries (most in Asia and the Middle East) the proportion

of women workers in the "employee" category is lower than that of men.

By contrast, in five countries (most in Latin America) women are proportionately







Region/ Emple
Country .................
and Sex Employee Unpai
Family
Worke


MIDDLE EAST

Iran
ag
women non-ag
total

ag
men non-ag
total
Libya

ag
women non-ag
total

ag
men non-ag
total
LATIN AMERICA

Bolivia

ag
women non-ag
total

ag
men non-ag
total
Brazil

ag
women non-ag
total

ag
men non-ag
total
Chile

ag
women non-ag
total

ag
men non-ag
total

Honduras

ag
women non-ag
total

ag
men non-ag
total


Table IV: DISTRIBUTION OF LABOR FORCE BY EMPLOYMENT STATUS AND SECTOR FOR FEMALES AND MALES. C. 1975.



oyment Status / Total b Region/ Employ
............. Deviatbn Country Sector ...................
d Other Total (between women and Sex Employee Unpaid
y and men) Family


r


.05 .09 .16 .30
.34 .23 .13 .70
.9 ..29 1-700-.-

.07 .05 .27 .39
.43 .01 .17 .61
.50 06 .44 T .


.01 .35 .02 .38
.56 .02 .04 .62
.57 37 --06- 1.00

.07 .02 .12 .21
.64 .00 .15 .79
.7- 7 .-27-- "7


.01
.39
.4T

.07
.31
.38


.06
.59

.13
.46
66


.01
.48
49

.17
.52
.69


.05
.58
.63

.20
.22
X-2


.12
.33

.38
.17



.05
.12

.16
.13



.02
.48

.08
.21
.29


.13
.02
.7-

.07
.00
07-


.16
.02
.T9

.10
.01
-T-


.00
.01
.M1

.02
.00
.02


.01
.04
.05-

.16
.01
-:1--


Worker


ment Status Total
....................... Deviation
Other Total (between women
and men)


Venezuela

ag .01 .02 .01 .04
women non-ag .71 .04 .21 .96
total 2- 06 -.00

ag .08 .03 .11 .22
men non-ag .54 .01 .23 .78
total .62 04 .f 1.-00

ASIA

India

ag .02 .01 .80 .83
women non-ag .09 .03 .05 .17
total .-TT I- -S- .. .

ag .01 .01 .68 .70
men non-ag .17 .03 .10 .30
total 18 T04 .78 705-
Korea

ag .05 .30 .08 .43
women non-ag .31 .08 .18 .57
total .3 .38 6

ag .05 .07 .21 .33
men non-ag .46 .01 .20 .67
total .T6 .08 .41 1.00
Philippines

ag .06 .23 .06 .35
women non-ag .37 .06 .22 .65
total .43 -- .2-

ag .09 .16 .35 .60
men non-ag .28 .01 .11 .40
total .37 .T7 7

Thbiland

ag ,05 .40 .14 .59
women non-ag .15 .11 .15 .41
total M.20 .T- -25- 0

ag .06 .14 .44 .64
men non-ag .21 .02 .13 .36
total 7 .16 .5f7 1.00


.26
.74
1.00

.52
.48
-T0


.27
.73

.40
.60
-r---


.03
.97
-T W

.27
.73
wT.0


.02 .08
.30 .92
.32 1.00

.34 .70
.07 .30
T41 -160


a/ Distribution of workers by employment status computed on the basis of data from:
International Labour Office, 1979. Yearbook of Labour Statistics 1979
Geneva: Table 2A.
eneva: T 1978. Yearbook of Labour Statistics 1978
S eneva: Table A.

bj See text for explanation of Total Deviation.








more represented in the "employee" category than men. Both female and

male workers in the "employee" category are more likely to be in the non-

agricultural sector.

In the majority of countries, both women and men workers tend to be

most frequently in the "employee" category. However, in Thailand women

workers are more concentrated in the unpaid worker category in the

agricultural sector, while men are more concentrated in the "other", i.e.,

"own account worker" and "employer" category. In India, both men and

women are most heavily represented as "own account workers" and "employers".

The male/female differential in employment status is represented by

the "total deviation" which is calculated by: (i) subtracting the propor-

tion of men in a given employment status category from the proportion of

women in the same category; and (ii) summing the absolute value of the

differences for all categories in each country.

The "deviations" for the 12 countries range from 14 to 70, with an

average deviation of 38. Thailand and Libya have the highest deviations

(both 70) and India and Bolivia the lowest (14 and 20 respectively). On

the basis of the small number of countries for which data is available

we can suggest that the deviations between the employment status of

women and men appear to be greatest in the Middle East (61) and Asia (45)

and lowest in Latin America (24). In Latin America the deviation appears

to be due to the higher representation of women workers in the "employee"

category, while in Asia and the Middle East, it is accounted for by the

higher representation of women workers in the "unpaid" family worker

category.

In sum, this data supports the contention that women contribute








to the economy largely through their participation as unpaid family workers

and that their relative participation in various employment categories

is significantly different from that of men.

E. The Estimated Contribution of Women to GDP

The contribution of women to overall GDP, adjusted for the sectoral

distribution of their employment is estimated in Table V for 29 countries

on the basis of c. 1975 data. This estimate is calculated by: (i)

multiplying the proportion of women workers in a given sector by the

proportional contribution of that sector to GDP (for example in Thailand,

women make up 37% of the agricultural labor force; agriculture accounts

for 27% of GDP. Thus, women's contribution to GDP through agricultural

employment is estimated to be (37%) X (27%) or 10%. Of course, this assumes

equal output per worker in each sector);and (ii) adding up women's esti-

mated contribution in all sectors to obtain their estimated contribution

to total GDP.

Table V shows that in most countries, the contribution of women to

GDP is roughly the same as the proportion of women workers represented

in the labor force. In Indonesia, for instance, women comprise 33% of

the total labor force; after adjusting for variations in their participa-

tion in the agriculture, industry and service sectors, women's contribution

to GDP is estimated to be 33%. This seems to be the general pattern

displayed in most of the Asian and Middle Eastern countries, but is not

true of Latin America. Here, the data show that more often than not

women's contributions to GDP is greater than their proportion of the total

labor force. In Honduras, for example, women are estimated to contribute

26% of GDP, while they comprise only 15% of the labor force. Conversely.

the data available for two African countries show that women's contri-





Table V: FEMALE EMPLOYMENT, DISTRIBUTION OF GDP AND ESTIMATED FEMALE CONTRIBUTION TO GDP BY SECTOR. C 1975.


Region/ Sector (1) (2) / (col 1 X col 2)
Country Proportion Distribution Estimated Female
Labor Force GDP Contribution to
Female GDP


AFRICA

Cameroon ag
ind
serv
total

Liberia ag
ind
serv
total


MIDDLE EAST

Egypt ag
ind
serve
total

Iran ag
ind
serve
total

Libya ag
ind
serve
total

Tunisia ag
ind
serve
total

Turkey ag
ind
serve
total

Syria ag
ind
serve
total


.47
.15
.20
"T(.40)

.31
.03
.19
(.27)



.03
.05
.14
(.08)
.12
.22
.12


.11
.02
.07
(.07)

.13
.30
.16


.50
.12
.11
(.36)

.21
.15
.09
FT4T


.32
S.21
.47


.30
.40
.30
(1.00)



.28
.30
.42
(1.00)

.10
.55
.35
TT(.0w

.03
.71
.26
(1.00)

.17
.32
.51


.28
.25
.47
TI.bw
.17
.14
.69
TT1r-O


.15
.03
.09


.09
.01
.05

(SE .21)


.01
.02
.06
.09

.01
.12
.04
.-TT

.04
.01
.02
.07

.02
.09
.08
.-9

.14
.03
.05
M-

.03
.02
.06
S.14)
(i .14)


Region/ Sector (1) (2) (col 1 X col 2)
Country Proportion Distribution Estimated Female
Labor Force G6P Contribution to
Female GDP


Bangladesh ag
ind
serv
total

Hong Kong ag
ind
serve
totalT

India ag
ind
serve
total

Indonesia ag
ind
serve
total

Korea ag
ind
serve
total

Philippines ag
ind
serve
total

Singapore ag
ind
serv
tofaT

Thailand ag
ind
serv
total


.04
.03
.06


.33
.41
.27


.20
.07
.23


.32
.33
.36


.44
.32
.36


.24
.35
.52


.27
.38
.31


.37
.42
.40
(.38)


.55
.13
.32
(1.00)

.02
.31
.67
(1.00)

.37
.25
.38


.31
.34
.'35
TT1.00

.27
.35
.38


.29
.35
.36


.02
.35
.63


.27
.29
.44
(1.00)


.02
.01
.08
.TT

.01
.13
.18


.07
.02
.09


.09
.11
.13
-33

.12
.11
.14
.9-

.07
.12
.19


.01
.13
.20
.9-

.10
.12
.18
.40 .3
(i .30)




Table V: (cont.)


Region/ Sector ,(1) (2) (col 1 X col 2)
Country Proportion Distribution Estdmated Felpale
Labor Force GDP Contribution to
Female GDP '


Region/ Sector ,(1) (2) (col X col 2)
Country Proportion Distribution Est4mattd Few1le
Labor Force GOP Contributon t9
Female GDP


LATIN AMERICA

Argentina ag
ind
serve
total

Bolivia ag
ind
serve
total

Brazil ag
1nd
serv
total

Chile ag
Ind
serv
totaT

Ecuador ag
Ind
serve
total

Paraguay ag
Ind
serve
total

Venezuela ag
Ind
serve
total

El Salvador ag
ind
serv
total

Honduras ag
ind
serve
total

Mexico ag
ind
sery
total


.07
.17
.34

.13
.21
.36


.21
.16
.43


.03
.16
.34

.05
.21
.31
T-TTr
.06
.33
.39

.06
.19
.38
("TZ)
.10
.33
.54


.02
.27
.43
TT5T

.09
.23
.43
T(-f4


.13
.45
.42


.17
.29
.54
TTTOOW
.12
.37
.51
(1.00)

.10
.29
.61

.20
.36
.44
(1.00)

.35
.22
.43
TT(.00
.06
.17
.77


.30
.21
.49


.32
.27
.41
(1.00)

.10
.36
.54
(1.00)


.01
.07
.14


.02
.06
.19


.02
.06
.21


.01
.05
.21
.27

.01
.08
.14

.02
.07
.29

.01
.03
.29


.03
.07
.26
.36

.01
.07
.18


.01
.08
.23
. 3--


Nicaragua ag
Ind
serve
totaT

Jamaica ag
Ind
serve
totaT


Trinidad &
Tobogo


ag
Ind
serve
total


.11
.28
.52


.28
.26
.63


.23
.19
.41
-Tn


.23
.26
.51
TT:'01

.09
.37
.54


.03
.62
.35
'1.00)


.03
.08
.27


.03
.10
.34
.-47


.01
.12
.14
.27


(x .30)



a/ Refer to note (a). Table III.

/ Proportion Labor Force Female computed on the basis of data from:
International Labour Office, 1979. Yearbook of Labour Statististics 1979.
Geneva: Table 2A.
---,-- 1978. Yearbook of Labour Statistics 1978.
Geneva: Table 2A.

c/ Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from:World Bank 1979. World Development
Report: Annex World Development Indicators. Table 9.





24


bution to GDP is less than women's proportion in the total labor force.

This may in part be due to the high representation of African women

in the agricultural labor force relative to their participation in other

(more productive) sectors.









III. CONSTRAINTS ON WOMEN'S EMPLOYMENT

Three inter-related forces condition and structure the position of women

in the labor market:

a. the supply factors that influence whether women are available

for wage labor outside the household.

b. the specific structure of the economy which conditions the

demand for workers in the labor market.

c. the implicit and explicit policies regarding the inclusion/

exclusion of women in the labor market as reflected in

hiring practices, segregation of jobs by sex, earnings/wage

structure, etc.

The tendency in the development literature has been to over emphasize

sociocultural determinants, particularly as these operate to restrict the

supply of women available for work, and single these out as major causes

for the low participation and marginal status of women in the work force

of developing countries.

Relatively little systematic attention has been devoted to identifying

structural properties in developing economics that are associated with

low levels of demand for women workers, nor to an assessment of how

practices of statistical discrimination4 operate to curtail the access
15
of women to work opportunities

A. Labor Supply: The Over-Rated Variable in the Employment Equation

In this section the supply and demand conditions influencing women's

employment and work in the Third World are examined. With respect to

supply conditions, three major questions arise: How restricted is the

supply of women? Who and what determine this restriction? What are the








consequences of this restriction?

How Restricted Is Women's Labor Supply: Who and What Determine It?

Three major forces interacting to influence the supply of women

to wage employment outside the home will be discussed:

1. The particular position women occupy in the household,

which is dependent on household composition, family

structure and organization.

2. The culturally defined sexual division of labor in market

production.

3. The resources women bring to the labor market, i.e., education,

training, on-the-job experience, to the extent that these

enable them to respond to labor market demands.

I. Women's Position in the Family and Female Labor Supply

It is assumed that family organization has powerful sources

of resistance to women's work patterns and acts as a restrictive

force to curtail female employment. The influence of marital

status and fertility as major conditions controlling the supply

of women available to the labor market has been heavily emphasized

in the development literature. The contention that woman's first

responsibility is to her home and immediate family means that

the course women take with respect to work depends on the adjust-

ments made between the organization of the economy and the pre-

vailing family system. It is argued that as a result of effective

socialization women have internalized the image society holds.

This image varies from the "expectation" that women should not

work at all; should not work once married; and/or should not work








if she has children. If women seek employment, they regard work

"exclusively as a means of overcoming the economic problems of

the home", defining it as temporary in relation to her major

ambition which is exclusive dedication to the home (CEPAL 1974).

These arguments have generated a series of assumptions

regarding women's behavior. Although these have n6t been verified,

they are drawn upon to:

(1) explain women's marginal position in the employment/

structure (i.e., low employment, exclusion from the modern

sector; high concentration in low-status low paying jobs),
as a voluntary choice women make in order to be able to

meet family obligations.

(2) validate the uni-dimensional image that employers, have

of women as mothers/housewives, which gives rise to and

considerably influences the practice of statistical discrimina-

tion in hiring, wage structure and job sex-segregation prac-

tices16

In the first instance policy formulation has emphasized that

women's familial role curtails her availability for work rather

than that little demand for married women or women with children

cause low level employment among women.

In the second instance, assumptions are made that women

workers are less committed to the job than men; that they place

priority on home responsibilities; and that they have high rates

of absenteeism and turnover due to family-related events (marriage,

motherhood). In short, women are not reliable and are a bad

investment-if not always with respect to initial hiring-then for







on-the-job-training opportunities, promotion, etc.

The uni-dimensional view of women as wives/mothers also fosters

the image of men as primary workers and the consequent notion

that women function in the labor force temporarily as secondary

earners when husbands' earnings are reduced or they have lost

their jobs.

The reality of women's life is quite different. From an

opportunity cost perspective, the extension of the uni-dimensional

wife/mother view of women to all women neglects the growing phen-

omenon of woman-headed households, and that there are differing

forms of family structure than the Western nuclear model which free

women from home/childcare responsibilities. Furthermore, within the

pool of the adult female population there are young and older

single women who are either childless or whose children do not

need maternal supervision.

The incompatability between the mother and worker roles is

put to serious questioning. In Thailand gainful work for women and

a combined worker-mother role are the norm (Cook 1975). In West

African societies women who bear children do not bear the full

responsibility of rearing them (Ware 1977; Oppong 1978).

The recent findings of a positive relationship between wage

employment and fertility among low-income groups clearly suggest

that the need for additional earnings has a stimulative effect

and dominates over the negative influence of childcare on women's

work participation. In Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico,

Panama and Peru, female participation rates increased between

1960-1970 in the 25-44 age groups which coincide with child rearing.








Participation was found to be highest among women from low income

groups with large numbers of children (PREALC 1978).

For women surviving at subsistence levels, low wages reflect

low opportunity costs; when wages are barely at subsistence level,

the opportunity costs may be very high (Wolf 1979).

The presence of young children was shown in several instances

not to affect the kind of work women engage in or whether or not

they work near or away from home (Pecht 1978). Extended family

networks in Latin American cities enable needy women with young

children to work in the modern sector of the economy and to put in

as many hours of work as women who have no children (Peeks 1978).

In San Salvador specifically, consanguineal household arrangements

permit women to delegate childcare responsibilities to other adult

female members of the domestic group and to obtain employment (Nieves

1979).

In many parts of South and Southeast Asia, despite high fertility

rates and the presence of young children in the home, women's work

participation and active job seeking in the market economy is noted

to be high (Dixon 1978;-Stoler 1977; Mencher and D'Amico 1979;

Das Gupta 1976; Cain 1978; and Qureshi 1977).

Among Javanese women in non-agricultural employment, for example,

those with children ages 10 and over work 8.2 hours daily as compared

to 7.8 hours among women who have no children (Peluso 1978).

2. Cultural Prescriptions and Job Segregation: Their Impact on

the Supply of Female Labor

Labor markets display, in varying degrees, patterns of labor

market job segregation based on sex. Such segregation is validated







and perpetuated by cultural prescriptions regarding job appropriate-

ness for each sex and the claim that such an organizing principle

is an innocuous accommodation of women's child rearing roles.

The fact that women are thereby not allowed access to certain

sectors of employment obviously restricts the supply of labor.

Furthermore, it is also clear that the degree of labor market segre-

gation is a highly successful mechanism for perpetuating the economic

marginality of women in the production process.

These are some of the consequences for women of a sex-segregated

occupational system:

1. The reinforcement of the traditional spatial and symbolic
17
boundaries of women's activities; the limitation of opportunities,

through a lack of policy interventions to expand women's income

earning capacity.

2. Reduction of women's opportunities to find wage employment.

Wage employment demand generated by male sources is greater than

that generated by female sources.18 This is because men's activities

in sectors such as agriculture are more constant throughout the

year, whereas women's are dependent on specific peak seasons for

employment.

3. The assignment to women of those types of jobs that are the

dullest, the hardest, and the worst paid.19

The notion that a female monopoly over a productive sector

necessarily bestows upon her a source of strength and power is open

to question. Thus, it is argued, that the often cited example of

the African women' monopoly over the farming and marketing system






has been at the expense of her exclusion from education, modern

sector employment, farm mechanization, etc. If only men take the

step from family production to specialized production, while women

continue in the traditional/subsistence areas only, women's contri-

bution to local and national economies becomes highly questionable

(Huntington 1975).

However, cultural prescriptions regarding job appropriateness

for each sex are not immovable. Ideal behavior does not always

correspond with real, observed behavior. Examples from several

countries illustrate how cultural conceptions of job appropriateness

for each sex offer little resistance to structural changes brought

about by technological innovations and modernization processes-.

Jobs once exclusively the domain of males are, through increased

male labor shortages, redefined as female. Furthermore, the

economic needs of individuals and households is great enough to over-

come cultural proscriptions and disregard sexual stereotypes in

occupations. A case in point is rural Bangladesh where the economic

need of the poorest families, most of them headed by women, is so

overwhelming as to force women to break purdah restrictions and

enter occupations which are typically male, such as selling in the

bazaars and hiring themselves out as field hands in spite of psycho-

logical and social costs (Cain, et al. 1979).

The exigencies of capitalistic development in redefining types

of work considered appropriate for women is also reflected in two

Latin American countries in which women have been pushed by economic

need into previously held "male occupations," thus breaking down

the cultural assumption of a rigid sexual division of labor. In








particular zones in Colombia noted for recent heavy male outmigration,

women have now taken over the coffee haciendas--a sector which 17

years ago was still taboo to women because it was believed that

"women would infect the crops" (Leon de Leal and Deere 1979). In

Minas Jerais, Brazil, men have been moving into higher paying

sectors since 1978 (construction, railroad building, etc.) and

women now fill such previously male-dominated jobs as street cleaners,

bricklayer assistants, etc. By 1976 women's entry into "male

domains" had become so significant that the Minister of Labor, on

the request of employers, removed from the labor legislation the

clause prohibiting women from performing night work (Merrick and

Schmink 1978).

Often cultural definitions of what is sexually appropriate work

are blatantly at odds with the real demands of the jobs in question.

An example from Nigeria makes this clear. In the construction

industry, demand for women's labor is limited, ostensibly because of

the heavy and dangerous work involved. Men are hired to lay the

bricks, but the few women who are also hired are immediately channelled

into associated tasks that are thought to be adequate for women but

pay less: they haul and carry on their heads pots of heavy, wet

cement (Debo Akande 1979).

In Yemen, economic need has been shown to outweigh strict

female seclusion norms. Chinese textile factories set up in Yemen

were..met with extreme skepticism by the Yemen government regarding

the feasibility of implementing China's stipulation that only women

be recruited as factory workers. The assumption was that Islamic







cultural constraints on women were too strong to overcome. The

Chinese launched a massive radio campaign to recruit women and on

the first day of recruitment 600 Yemen women presented themselves;

the majority were women heads of household (Hammam 1979).

Caution must be exercised against perceiving in such changes

the eventual disappearance of a sex-segregated occupational structure.

Although it may become acceptable for women to enter a variety of

"male" occupations, such changes are often specific to particular

situations and dictated by immediate needs. Generally, the occupational

structure continues to remain sex segregated and women continue to

be assigned to low status and the lowest paid jobs.

3. The Effect of Education and Training on the Female Labor

Supply

The female labor supply is not restricted by women's lack of

education/training. However, the lack of such resources is a

highly successful mechanism to perpetuate relegation of women to

low status-lowest paying jobs.

Two predominant trends emerge from the observed relationship

between women's education and work in poor countries: the first

is a positive relationship; increases in levels of education

correlate positively with increases in participation in the work

force. However, these results are based on education-specific

activity rates computed from reported labor force data; as such they

exclude many uneducated workers in the non-wage, informal sector

of the economy who are not reported as economically active. This

exclusion minimizes the actual number of women with little or no

education who are working.








When consideration is given to working women with low levels

of education as well as women's economic activities in non-wage

sectors of the economy, a second trend emerges; a U-shaped or non-

linear curve suggesting that women with little education have higher

rates of work participation than those with somewhat more education;

but beyond a certain point the relationship is again positive.

Given that the poorest of women enter into a diverse range of

economic activities to support a subsistence existence, it is to be

expected that the least educated would constitute a large proportion

of the labor force. At the same time, the few women with high

levels of education are in great demand (besides having a competitive

advantage) and thus have access to opportunities for high paying

wage or salary employment (Standing 1978).

Analyses of women in the labor force based on education and

wage employment figures at the neglect of non-wage activities

obsure the actual extent of women's economic activities. Secondly,

the small proportion of educated women currently in the work force

perpetuates the limited access women have to education and training.

This small proportion coupled with a scarcity of women's training

programs and on-the-job experiences reinforces the belief that

women's economic contribution is slight, their productivity low,

and their commitment to work weaker than men's. In other words, women

are viewed as a poor investment. This belief in turn prevents the

development of training programs and further limits women's access to

education. A vicious circle of discrimination develops which con-

tinually forces women into low status, marginal positions (Standing

1978).







In addition, low wage rates may in some instances limit the size

of the female labor supply, particularly for women who are better

off economically. Very poor women, on the other hand, have no choice

but to accept low wages.

There are other factors that interact to restrict the number of

women available for wage employment outside the home. Among these

are: distance to the work place and lack of adequate transportation.

B. Levels of Demand for Women Workers: The Real Source of Constraints

The previous section examines some of the conventional wisdom regarding

restrictions in the supply of.women workers to the labor market. The present

section will begin with a brief discussion of some of the economic theories

of labor market discrimination which basically argue that, in general, labor

markets are not competitive either because monopoly conditions exist or

because in dual labor markets, the primary sector has barriers which restrict

free entry. Subsequent sections will add to these arguments by further

showing how unemployment among males restricts the demand for women workers;

how modernization processes interact with labor markets to restrict the demand

for women workers; and how protective legislation for women effectively

restricts their entry into certain types of occupations and makes employers

institute discriminatory hiring practices.

1. General Economic Theories of Labor Market Discrimination

A variety of economic theories have been developed to explain the

persistence of labor market discrimination. However, efforts to explain

the continuing existence of discrimination on the assumption that

competitive market conditions exist have not met with a great deal of

success. This has led to the development of alternative labor market

theories and to relaxation of the assumption of perfect competition in







neoclassical theory.

It is perhaps useful at the outset to distinguish between pre-market

and post-market discrimination. Pre-market discrimination exists when

one group does not have access to those factors (such as education,

training, experience, etc.) which increase human capital and enhance

their marginal product. Post-market discrimination exists when

individuals having similar amounts of human capital receive dissimilar

wages for their labor.

The persistence of pre-market discrimination can be due to a variety

of factors. A social structure which encourages the education and
20
training of one group relative to another is one factor.20 Additionally

since the acquisition of skills and training requires giving up current

income and money resources in favor of a higher future income, indivi-

duals without access to the necessary financial resources may not be able

to acquire the skills necessary to compete in the semi-skilled and

skilled labor markets.

Several theoretical approaches have been taken to explain the persis-

tence of post-market discrimination (Becker 1974). Traditional neo-

classical economic theory is perhaps the least satisfactory explanation

for the continuing existence of large wage differentials between groups.

This is because it views the economy as essentially competitive with

entrepreneurs attempting to maximize profits. If employers did maximize

profits they would have to minimize the cost of producing any given level

of output or else be undersold and driven out of the market firms that

did not discriminate. Given that discrimination does in fact exist,

either firms have different production functions or there are non-com-

petitive elements in the market.








The first attempt to formalize an economic theory of discrimination,

(Becker 1964) was based on the argument that discrimination exists if'

individuals are willing to forego money income to avoid working with,

for, or employing a particular type of labor. The greater the degree

of monopoly power, the greater the ability of employers to discriminate.

What this approach does point out, however, is that the total level of

output in an economy is lower when there is discrimination than when

there is not.

Another approach to explaining market discrimination is the dual

theory of the labor market (Cain 1975, Gordon 1972; and Doeringer and

Poire 1971). This approach has often been advanced to explain the

existence of large wage differentials between workers with the same

skills in under developed countries. Workers in the primary market are

protected from competition by those in the secondary market through

monopoly power of employers. High levels of unemployment in the primary

labor market can exist if workers in the lower paid market are willing

to give up their jobs to search and wait for an employment opportunity

to open up in the protected sector. Since the primary market in

developing countries is often substantially more capital intensive than

the unprotected sector, a worker's marginal value product and hence his/

her wage could be substantially higher in the protected than in the

unprotected sector.

These theories explain how labor market discrimination occurs in

general; they do not provide full insight into why women-as a particular

subgroup-are discriminated against.21 Subsequent sections identify some

of the specific factors in the labor markets of developing countries which







discriminate against women.

2. The Surplus of Male Labor and Its Impact Upon the Demand for Women

Workers

There are specific processes intrinsic to modernization which increase

the supply of male labor, namely:

Third World countries are experiencing capitalist development in

their cities and key resource sectors, while in the countryside, cash

crops are replacing subsistence agriculture without major reforms in

land tenure arrangements. This has led to a surplus labor population,

particularly where plow cultivation is the agricultural base, with

high numbers of under and unemployed males. This is particularly true

of Latin America and Asia, but less so of Sub Saharan Africa where the

traditional subsistence base still is hoe horticulture. Furthermore,

given the vagaries of the commodity cycle in world markets and the

small size of many countries' modern industrial and frequently capitalist

export-oriented sector, urban jobs are short in supply for the number of

men who are searching for employment.

In addition, low income economies with considerable small-scale

self-employment both in agriculture and in other industries, experience

fluctuations in the derived demand for labor which generally take the

form of fluctuations in the production and prices of marketable output.

When decline occurs in prices and output or there are rises in costs of

imported inputs, small-scale producers are compelled to curb production,

to incur debts, and are forced to sell land or other productive assets.

The effect of this is to drive worker families out of self-employment

into unemployment or wage-earning positions. In the long run, such

slumps tie workers and their families more tightly to complete dependency








on the wage system, thus increasing the pool of labor supply.

The surplus male labor thus generated results in high levels of

unemployment. The persistence of such a condition becomes a critical

component in the dynamic interaction between sex-specific supply and

demand factors. Discrimination against women workers is rationalized

on the grounds that where there is high unemployment, female employment

would push up the male unemployment rate. Thus, high male unemployment

levels are expected to mitigate against female employment and contribute

to the growth of sexual dualism, particularly where female labor force

commitment is lower than male, and where female labor turnover is greater

(Standing 1978).

Empirically, overall unemployment in developing economies has shown

to have two opposite effects on women's employment. In several studies

in which aggregate level labor force data is analyzed, high overall

unemployment rates have a significant negative effect on female parti-

cipation rates (Puerto Rico 1950-1960; Thailand 1960; India, the

Philippines and West Bengal). In other instances, and particularly where

subgroups of women from relatively low income families are surveyed, the

unemployment rate is found to be positively related to the weekly number

of hours worked by the wife (Philippines; Malaysia; Colombia). This

is consistent with the hypothesis that among low income families, greater

overall unemployment means more husbands are unemployed and wives have








to work longer to compensate for the loss. For example, it was male

unemployment in Malaysia that forced many women to seek employment in

multi national corporations to partially or totally support their

families or themselves (Lim 1978). In Bogota, overall unemployment

increases were positively related to young (15-19) and older (45-49)

women's participation rates.

Widespread discrimination against women workers in times of high

unemployment has fostered sexual dualism. The dualistic nature of

labor markets in developing societies coupled with women's limited access

to education and training increasingly restricts the demand for women

workers to secondary jobs. This is legitimized/perpetuated by the

expectation that women are secondary wage earners. The probability of

women's work participation is seen only as a response to the unanticipated

fall of the family's prime worker (i.e., the male).

Lack of training and on-the-job experience keep women's productivity

low, thus allowing initial sex discrimination to be reinforced by

statistical discrimination. Employers come to regard women workers

generally as having a lower degree of work commitment than men, so they

discriminate against women in general and screen workers on the basis

of sex, preferring to hire men even if individual women do have education,

training and labor force commitment (Standing 1978).

3. Capital Intensive Development: How it Restricts the Quantity and

Quality of Women's Employment Opportunities

It is by now well recognized that the process of socio-economic

development is reducing the economic opportunities of women. It does

so in several ways: by destroying traditional means and relations of







production; by introducing capital intensive technology into the agri-

cultural sphere and commercializing agricultural production for export

purposes; by creating capital intensive rather than labor intensive

productive arrangements in manufacturing; and by maintaining a sex-

segregated labor market which has no need for female labor in the industrial

sectors of production. The result of these interacting forces is that

women are pushed out of agriculture and are prevented from entering the

industrial and manufacturing sector as wage workers. The squeeze, coming

from both directions, increasingly relegates women to the only remaining

sector: the tertiary sector and thus, into the informal labor market.

The nature and characteristics of women's over-representation in the

informal labor market is dealt with in subsequent sections. Here,

we attempt to illustrate through specific case examples how these economic

transformations squeeze women out of most productive activities and

remunerated positions.

The displacement of women workers from agriculture is the combined

result of several factors, including:

(a) generally depressed conditions in the agricultural sector

(low productivity, low prices, low wages);

(b) increased landlessness (especially among the poor), land

fragmentation, and population growth in rural areas (Stoler

1977; Meesook 1975, Youssef 1980).

(c) limited opportunities for women as agricultural wage laborers

(Ryan and Ghodake 1979; Deere 1977; Peluso 1978; Youssef 1980).

(d) the introduction of capital intensive, rather than labor

intensive technologies, particularly in those tasks traditionally

performed by women (the introduction of rice mills in Java,







for example, is estimated to have displaced 1.2 million

women from their jobs according to Cain (1979) and in India,

Papola (1978) shows that employment in agriculture fell from

21% to 9% between 1951 and 1971 as a result of the introduc-

tion of capital intensive technology).

(e) development of commercial production processes which utilize

male labor (for example, in Java while local women tradition-

ally have been hired to harvest rice, land owners, in recent

years, have begun to sell their crops to middlemen before

they are harvested. They, in turn, contract male laborers from

outside the village to come in and harvest these crops.)

The operation and affect of these factors can be seen through an example

from Latin America where in the 1960s about 60% of rural families had

some access to land resources. Among these families income was usually

supplemented by having some members, primarily women and children, seek

seasonal wage employment during periods of peak agricultural activity,

e.g., during the harvest time. Since then, agriculture in Latin America

has become increasingly commercialized through capital intensive crop

production and through the introduction of technology. The opportunities

for seasonal employment for women and children have disappeared as

male laborers and machines have replaced them. With diminished access

to land, peasant families used to rely on women's seasonal employment

to supplement their incomes. Seasonal unemployment among women is now

a major problem for these landless families (PREALC 1978).

Specific national studies in Paraguay (Silva et al. 1975) and

Guatemala (Chinchilla 1977) have further documented this and other

aspects of the squeeze described above.









In general, these trends have been exacerbated by planning policies

which during the 1950s and 1960s either neglected the agricultural

sectors or were consciously designed to keep wages and prices low,

thus discouraging investments and growth (UN 1978).

While overlooking the agricultural sector, planners were busy

developing the industrial/manufacturing sectors. However, efforts have

tended to focus more on the development of capital intensive rather than

labor intensive industries and production processes, which has limited

the general demand for labor in this sector, and in particular, female

labor. In many cases this is due to the transfer of unadapted tech-

nologies from the West which tend to reflect the relatively capital

abundant, and labor scarce environments of the developed world (Lim 1978).

The adverse effects of these policies on women is shown by evidence

from several countries which demonstrates a relative decline over time

of women's employment in manufacturing. In India, while total employment

in factories has been increasing, women's employment in this sector has

decreased from 11.4% in 1951 to 9.1% in 1971 (Papola 1978). Comparative

data for Guatemala shows that while male workers have increased their

participation in the manufacturing industrial sector (1.4% in 1950,

12.5% in 1965 and 17.5% in 1973), the proportion of women workers in

this sector has declined from 28.1% in 1950 to 21.7% in 1973 (Chinchilla

1977). And in Colombia, women's participation in the industrial sector

decreased from 36.4% .to 12.5% between 1938 and 1973 (Leon de Leal 1977).

It is within the industrial manufacturing sector that under-repre-

sentation of women workers is most striking. This is also the sector

where there have been historical trends towards diminishing opportunities








for women, especially as the production of crafts has been replaced by

industry. Although there are very few studies linking the productive

organization of manufacturing and technology to employment opportunities

for women, the few that are available indicate that as technological

innovation takes place and as there is a replacement of traditional

manufacturing processes by capital-intensive industry, women are displaced

and replaced by men. New industries hire men rather than women for

the stated reason that women cannot provide a stable, committed labor

force (Jelin 1979).

Further, data from Brazil (Bruschini 1979) shows that capitalist

expansion has pushed both men and women out of agricultural activities

over the last 30 years, but while men have been absorbed into a wide

range of occupations in the secondary and tertiary sectors, women have

been squeezed into an increasingly smaller number of occupations in the

tertiary sector, which was already overburdened with women in 1950.

Between 1950 and 1970, women's labor force participation in the industrial

sector decreased by 5 percentage points (from 15.6% to 10.4%), while

men's participation rate in the same sector rose by 7 points (from 13.1%

to 20.1%). And while 22% of the non-agricultural female labor force

was employed in industrial activities in 1950, by 1970 the figure

had been reduced to 13%. In other words, the participation of women in

non-agricultural labor force had been cut in half.

As women are pushed out of the agricultural sector and prevented

from entering the industrial sector, they are squeezed into the only

remaining sector of the economy which has any jobs to offer: the lower

levels of the tertiary or service sector.

There is evidence from all regions of the Third World that women








tend to concentrate in service occupations, that the percentage of women,

although low in the labor force as a whole, is disproportionately high

when one looks at the service sector in comparison to industry in general,

and manufacturing in particular. In Colombia, between 1938 and 1973,

women's labor force participation decreased substantially in the primary

and secondary sectors (from 33.4% to 4% and from 36.4% to 12.5% respectively),

while in the tertiary it increased from 29% to 44.8% (Lopez de

Rodriguez and Leon de Leal 1977). As a consequence of monopoly capitalism,

and capital intensive foreign investment in the agricultural and

industrial sectors of the economy, poor, uneducated Guatemalan women,

particularly in urban areas, are confined in increasing numbers to the

tertiary sector; 57% of the feminine labor force occupied this sector

by 1950; by 1964 it was 66.5% and in 1973 it had reached 67.9%

(Chinchilla 1977).

TABLE VI

*
Women in the service sector c. 1975 in percentages by world regions


Of the total Of the Total Labor
Female Labor Force Force in this Sector

Africa 12.5 19.5

Asia 33.9 31.4

Latin America 67.4 42.4

Middle East 38.0 11.5

*Calculated on the basis of individual country data appearing in Tables
III and V.


The above table shows how in all regions except Africa, where women

tend to concentrate in agriculture, more than a third, in one case more








than two thirds, of working women are confined to service occupations.

Care must be taken, however, in interpreting the data because census

statistics subsume professional, white collar, and menial service

occupations, including domestics, under the service sector. The figures

on the Middle East might be the most misleading in this respect: most

of the menial service work in Muslim Middle Eastern countries is done

by men; women constitute only 17% of menial workers (domestics, cooks,

and servants) in Syria, and 10% in Turkey and Libya (Youssef 1974).

This points to the fact that in the Middle East, with the exception of

Morocco, women who appear in the service sector may be mostly professional,

middle and upper class women. Nevertheless, the data from Latin America

does show quite dramatically how the ranks of women in the service

sector are swollen by their entry into the lowest and most menial types

of employment, primarily domestic employment. In the mid-sixties

approximately 90% of domestic employees in Chile were women; in Colombia

the figure was 80% and in Peru and Mexico, 68% (Youssef 1974). This

point is developed further in the section on critical employment issues.

To complicate matters, development policies which give priority to

the capital intensive expansion of the manufacturing industry are also

displacing male workers, who then must seek employment in the only

labor-intensive sector remaining--the already overburdened service

sector. The Brazilian example used above also illustrates how the

proportion of males has increased in the tertiary sector since 1950;

males, however, did not begin to get squeezed into service occupations

until well after it had become predominantly feminine, and do not, even

today, enter the tertiary sector at the high rates women do (Bruschini

1979).








All these forces combined result in an overburdened and

bottom heavy tertiary sector in which the jobs available are not

enough to accommodate the supply of labor. Like a container packed under

high pressure, the over supplied service sector needs a safety valve to

compensate for the blocked entries into other sectors. It creates its

own safety valve for expanding job opportunities by generating,

parallel to the already saturated formal labor market, a less organized

and regulated one--the informal labor market within the tertiary

sector. It is the women in this sector who tend to be increasingly

relegated to informal jobs which receive the lowest remunerations.

While men do enter the informal labor market as well, they tend to

do so by obtaining better paid jobs in construction and other fields

offering higher status employment (Lubell and McCallum 1978; Fraenkel

et al, 1975).

The position of women in the informal labor force is discussed in

more detail below, as one of the critical employment issues for women.

Here we provide a scattering of examples from Latin America and India

to demonstrate that as women get further squeezed into the tertiary

sector they increasingly become part of the informal labor market.

The size of the informal sectors in Bombay, Jakarta, Belo Horizonte,

Lima and eight other Peruvian cities varies to engulf between 53% and

69% of the working population. Female workers and those who have not

completed primary education are disproportionately represented in this

sector. Merrick (1976) reveals that 54.1% of the workers in the informal

sector in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, are women, as compared to 20% among

the men. Even if the women working as domestics are excluded from the

definition of informal sector, the sex differential continues to be








strong; 40% of the remaining informal sector labor force and 60% of

the self employed are women--against only 18% for the formal sector.

In India, between 41% and 49% of the female labor force participates in

the informal sector, while only 15% to 17% of the male labor force

contributes to this sector (Mazumdar 1976, ICSSR 1975). In Salvador,and

Bahia, Brazil, the proportion working in domestic service and petty

production is 21% among males and 56.4% among women. For Mexico City,

women were reported to make up 72% of all unskilled service workers

(including domestics) (Arizpe 1977). In Peru, women make up 46% of the

urban traditional sector; they only account for 18% of the modern sector.

In Cordoba, Argentina, women constitute 63% of the informal sector

(Jelin 1978).

Development planning and government policies which insist on expanding

the industrial sector through capital intensive means are usually

accompanied by a disregard for the tertiary sector and the informal

labor market (PREALC 1978). Worse still, planning has neglected to

consider the reality and implications of a sex-segregated occupational

structure, for, as the following example shows, jobs which women are

concentrated in are either actively or passively planned out of existence

over time by a neglect to consider the impact on the informal tertiary

sector. Given the high concentration of Ecuadorian women (80%) into

10 occupational categories in the 1970 labor force structure (most of

which were in the service sector), development plans and policies that

favored capital intensive production in the industrial sector would be

expected, by 1980, to produce labor expansion in only 3 of these 10

mainly feminine occupations: own account retail businesses, sales

and office clerks, and typists, cashiers and bank tellers. In this last








category the demand for labor was expected to increase by 194%, but

cashiers and bank tellers were 1% of employed women in 1970, and all

three categories together constituted only one fifth of the female

labor force. Jobs in primary school teaching and paramedical services

which employed 9% of the female labor force in 1970 could be expected

to increase by 60% by 1980, but depended on the government's willingness

to integrate social programs into its plans for economic growth, a fact

that seemed unlikely at the time the study was prepared (Finn and

Junesius 1975). Although we do not actually know if the prediction

bore out, the point stands that women were not included in the planning

process.

4. Protective vs. Protectionist Legislation--How Great a Factor in

Restricting Labor Demand for Women

No accurate measure exists to date of the degree to which legislation

which is passed in order to protect women in the work place, or to

protect women's reproductive function in society, has the inadvertent

effect of restricting the demand for female labor. However, scattered

examples are available of how protective legislation has a negative

impact on women by:

a. Widening the opportunity gap between men and women workers;

b. Making certain jobs inaccessible to women, thereby

reducing job availability for women and contributing

to a sex-segregated occupational structure;

c. Creating reluctance and resistance among employers

towards hiring women workers.

The International Labour Office endorses three separate international

labor agreements which make the hiring of women for night shifts and








holiday shifts in industry illegal. (Conventions Nos. 4 (1919), 41

(1934) and 89 (1948)) (ILO 1979). The last of these has been ratified

by 20 of the 46 countries which are members of the Economic Commission

for Africa, 9 of the 23 countries which are members of the Economic

Commission for Latin America, 6 of the 12 Economic Commission for Western

Asia members and 5 of the 21 nations belonging to the Economic and Social

Commission for Asia and the Pacific. This effectively puts a ceiling

on the hours women can work and the earnings they can get. The ILO

ibidd) is now beginning to recognize the adverse effect these regulations

have on women, and is encouraging some assessment of the advantages and

disadvantages of protective legislation.

Nevertheless pieces of legislation which are restrictive of women's

employment continue to be adopted. In 1976 Kuwait ratified a labor law

making it compulsory for women employed in the private sector to have

a nightly rest period of at least 11 hours (ILO 1979). Although this

piece of legislation does not make explicit the prohibition on night

work, it makes it impossible, as one cannot work and rest simultaneously.

The ILO is of the opinion that the ratification of this convention is

a good example of progress achieved for women in the last 5 years ibidd).

Some countries have repealed restrictive women's labor legislation.

In Malaysia, for example, when electronics companies wanted to open

plants in the country in 1970, the government took steps to make

Malaysian women more attractive as potential employees by giving legal

exemptions to the law that restricts women to working only the day

shift (Grossman 1980). Similarly, the Brazilian government in 1976

responded positively to industrialists' demands that restrictions on

women's employment after 10:00 p.m. be lifted; demands for female labor








in the textile industry had increased sharply due to the sudden shortage

of labor supply caused by men moving into the better paying construction

industry (Merrick and Schmink 1978). The policy reversals were made

for corporate economic gain in these cases, rather than to give women

more economic freedom.

There are other types of legislation that attempt to protect women

by preventing them from entering certain areas of employment. The

ILO's Convention No. 45 which has been ratified by more than half of the

member states of ECA, ECLA, ECWA and ESCAP combined, bars women from

underground work on the basis that it demands great physical strength

and is very dangerous (ILO 1979). In conjunction with other legal

restrictions on women to participate in heavy, dangerous and health-

risking occupations, these ILO conventions have created a body of

protective and restrictive norms which effectively reduce women's

employment possibilities and relegate them to lower paying jobs.22

Several protective measures are more protectionist than protective

in character, based on sexual stereotypes and aimed at safeguarding

women's morality. The structural consequences of these legal measures

are to bar women from certain employment opportunities and to establish

constraints on demands for women workers. Paraguay maintains a legal

code which prohibits women from work which can be dangerous to

feminine morality but does not specify what this work is, leaving it

open to interpretation (Silva et al, 1975; PREALC 1978). Until very

recently Nigerian law, in order to safeguard women's morality, did not

extend maternity benefits to single mothers (Debo Akande 1979).

Other kinds of current legislation are demonstrably discriminatory

and do not claim to be protective of women. Sri Lanka enforces quotas on






52
the numbers of women who can have access to jobs in the public service

sector. Only one fourth of employees in the Administrative Service

(from which decision-makers are drawn) can be women; the Accounts and

General Clerical services can have no more than a fifth of their total

staff be women. This has resulted in a considerable proportion of

well-qualified women being denied entry into Public Service employment

in the last six years (University of Colombo 1979). The Nigerian

Civil Code requires women who become pregnant while enrolled in training

programs to withdraw from the courses and pay back, in whole or in part,

the cost of their training. This may actually diminish the opportunities

for self-improvement among women who are employed and can act as a de-

terrent to enrollment for women (Kesiah Awosika 1976).

In Latin America interviews carried out among employers in Brazil,

Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Venezuela revealed that they prefer

to hire men over women because of the additional costs--establishment

and maintenance of nurseries--and the disruptions of production through

absenteeism due to maternity that hiring women may imply (CEPAL 1979).

Social legislation which has a protective purpose proves to be too

costly for employers and encourages preferential hiring of males

(PREALC 1978). A Brazilian case examplifies numerically how protective

legislation effectively constrains demand for women's labor: many firms

simply dismiss women when they get married or become pregnant. Personnel

managers in 20 firms in Sao Paulo which employed a total of 12,467 women

in 1965 were interviewed about hiring and firing practices. In 13 of

the companies, spokesmen explicitly stated they had policies to terminate

women's employment at these times, primarily in order to avoid having

to install daycare facilities on the premises (Merrick and Schmink 1978).








In 1972 the government of the Philippines changed legislation on

maternity benefits from 60% of the salary for a period of 14 weeks to

100% of the salary for 6 weeks and limited coverage to the first four

children of a working woman. A personnel director at a textile factory

is quoted as saying "this made it profitable to hire women again"

(Grossman 1980).

In situations where the law stipulates employers must provide

facilities for working mothers when they hire X number of women, the

former circumvent having to comply by providing employment for no more

than X-1 women. This was reported to be the case in pre-revolutionary

Nicaragua where the stipulated number was 30 women (Gillespie 1976).

This practice, when generalized, effectively limits labor demands for

women.








IV. CRITICAL ISSUES RELATED TO WOMEN'S EMPLOYMENT

This section discusses the structural and psychological forces at play in

society which force women into residual occupations.

A major issue related to women's employment is the double burden: women are

unable adequately to combine worker and maternal roles, and childbearing is used

by society to relegate women to low-status/low-income jobs on the fringes

of the economy.

Under the subtitle "Women's Economic Marginality" we will examine

several facets of what it means to be a poor, marginally employed woman in

the Third World. Although these facets are interrelated, we deal with each

one separately to highlight the different ways in which women arrive at

and remain on the periphery of the job market and economic development.

Migration aggravates the economic situation of women, both for those who

migrate alone and those who are left behind; a large number of rural-urban

migrants turn to domestic labor in order to survive in the city. Domestic

employment absorbs a large part of women's labor supply but traps them in

dead-end occupations. Women's poor economic condition is also seen in their

roles as unpaid workers in family enterprises and in recently available

statistics on the extent of their unemployment and underemployment. Further,

for those women who do manage to secure employment, economic marginality takes

the form of systematic under-remuneration compared to male employees. Finally,

the informal labor market and women's over-representation in it provide a

unifying theme to the economic plight of women.

A related aspect of women's marginality is their exclusion from the

agricultural sector in rural areas, and their resulting need for off-farm

employment. A crucial element in rural development planning is therefore

the expansion of off-farm employment opportunities for women whose earnings








are of central importance to their families.

This section ends with a discussion of the recent growth of employment

opportunities for women in transnational corporations which produce labor-

intensive goods for export. The conditions of employment for women in

these industries reflect the "internationalization" of female labor, and the

exploitation of Third World women workers.

A. The Double Burden

A constant problem associated with women's changing economic roles and

responsibilities, and their increased employment outside the home is the

double work load they must perform.

For the overwhelming majority of working women employment means an

extension of the working day to accommodate both their salaried activities

and their home responsibilities. This double burden or double-day phenomenon

is among the most serious of the problems contained in the issue of women's

employment. The problem is intensified when one considers the long-term

effects of women's double burden on their psychological and physical health

and resulting loss of productivity.

Many of the stereotypes surrounding women's work behavior are based on

the individual woman's failure to juggle successfully conflicting work and

home demands on her time. Problems of absenteeism, reduced earning capacity,

reduced profitability for employers, work histories characterized by

exits from and entries into the active labor force, and other behavior which

is interpreted by employers and researchers alike as a lack of commitment to

their work and employment (PREALC 1978), are the result of situations where

women are unable to totally cope with the double burden. Market vending

has been characterized as work which is essentially compatible with motherhood

and housework, yet the evidence indicates that the double burden of market







women in urban Latin America is quite taxing (Bunster n.d.). A case study

from Egypt documents the difficult situation of women factory workers with

family responsibilities and how their work performance is sometimes negatively

influenced by these (Hammam 1980).

Little data is currently available to elucidate how poor working women

manage to cope--however inadequately--with the double burden. A partial

answer comes from a comprehensive study carried out among urban Filipino

women. In Languna, The Philippines, working women expand their workday,

not by cutting back on childcare time or home production time, but by re-

ducing their "leisure" time (a residual category which encompasses all those

activities not classified as market production or home production). There

are not significant changes in the manner in which males in the household

distribute their work and "leisure" time when women's market production time

increases. The latter are compelled to reduce substantially the time they

devote to these residual activities from 115.6 hours per week to 86.0 hours

per week, that is, 28 hours. Additionally, working women on the average

dedicate close to 60 hours per week to market production. Finally, older

children become increasingly responsible for home production and childcare

activities, providing some relief for their mother's double burden (Popkin 1978).

(We present the hypothesis that as women's double burden increases, so does

the economic value of children, and that increased child labor becomes a

means for working women to meet conflicting employment and home responsibilities.)

It is the responsibility of policy makers and planners to acknowledge

women's double burden and to find means to minimize it and ultimately

relieve women of it. This should happen not by denying women work oppor-

tunities, but by reducing home and childcare responsibilities to make them

more compatible with women's economic roles. (Refer to the section on

Policy Recommendations.)








B. Marginalization of Women's Work

1. The Economic Consequences of Migration for Women

Migration has affected women in the Third World in two ways, both

of which have had serious implications for their work and employment.

As a result of population pressure and rural poverty, single women of

all ages are increasingly involved in domestic and international migrations

in an attempt to find a means of livelihood. This phenomenon of the

"autonomous" woman migrant (as distinct from women who are involved in

family migration)is occurring not only in Latin America and the Caribbean

but increasingly in parts of Asia, West Africa and the Middle East.23

Women have also been affected by the outmigration of males seeking

lucrative employment opportunities in cities and towns in or outside of

their country. This trend has been recognized as typical of Sub-Saharan

Africa.24 However, male outmigration--particularly in the form of the

internationalization of labor--has also been marked in the Middle East

since 1973 as a result of growth in demand for labor resources to meet

the production, construction and service needs of the oil-rich states.25

The impact of male outmigration on changing and redefining the economic

role of the women left behind has only begun to surface.

a. The Rural-Urban Migrant

Economic data available on the consequences of rural-urban

migration single out the woman migrant as a distinct and the most

disadvantaged category with respect to employment, work and earnings

when compared to both male migrants and native urban women of

similar socio-economic background.26 Her economic marginality is

reflected in her inability to become assimilated into the productive

sectors of the urban economy; the exception to this is the experience







in some Asian cities (Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia),

where young female migrants are absorbed in the labor intensive

manufacturing industries. However by and large, migrant women are

cast and remain locked.into the most marginal, low-status and low-

pay service sectors.

Migrant women, more than any other poverty group, have pronounced

economic needs; they have least access to support networks in the

city and fewest resources of their own to draw upon in terms of

education/training, and skills, and consequently exhibit low aspir-

ation to wages.27 All these characteristics compel the woman

migrant to accept the types of jobs and marginal wages that neither

male migrants nor poor urban women are ever likely to consider.

Although women migrants are less frequently unemployed this may be

due to the fact that they are less discriminating about the jobs

and the wages they accept.28

An overwhelming proportion of migrant women work in domestic

service (some Asian countries excepted). In Latin American

cities and the Caribbean, 55 to 60% of all migrant women work as

domestics; in some countries 80% of all domestics in the cities are

women migrants. This same pattern prevails in the Philippines and

in India. Even when entry is gained into non-domestic work, it is

of the same unskilled and low-paid category as domestic work.29

Two other factors of women's migration are a) women migrants

have low return ratios to their points of origin; b) women migrants

often become women heads of household30 Rural migrants who become

heads of household make up the poorest of all among low income groups.

Their income is less than one half that of the individual








male migrants and one-fourth the total income of households

headed by male migrants (Whiteford 1978). 31

b. The Women Left Behind

The economic impact of male migration upon the women left.

behind has implications for women's employment because of the com-

pelling changes that occur in the redefinition of women's economic

roles. These changes can be summarized as follows (Hammam 1979):

1. On the one hand, new class differentiations are sometimes

introduced depending on the amount, regularity or investment

of remittances. These changes are reflected in the redivision

of labor and in the reorganization of property relations.

Depending on the amount of remittances a family or household

receives, on its regularity and on its investment, the out-

migration of males has relieved some women of the necessity

to work either as family producers and/or for a wage. Options

for the household as a whole have increased:

(i) if the household or family was landless or near landless,
they can now afford to acquire land or increase their
land holdings1

(ii) if the women formerly worked for a wage, they can now
reassume household (unpaid) economic activities; if they
were formerly family workers, they can now hire labor,
etc. (Hammam 1979).

2. Migration does not always have a salutary effect on supplying

areas. The negative effects of migration in agricultural

productivity, for example, have been noted: agricultural output

decreases, less food becomes available for national consumption

and export; some countries become dependent on food or have to

switch to less labor-intensive crop cultivation.32 The signifi-

cance of such changes upon women33 are reported as follows









(Hammam 1979).

(i) "due to the absence of males in a household as a result
of their outmigration, women are compelled to assume
increased workloads by taking on those chores
formerly performed by the men.

(ii) "due to increasing labor scarcity (on sectoral levels)
as a result of outmigration, and to the concomittant
rise in the price of hired labor, households which
formerly depended on hired labor and who now can no
longer afford their wages,' increase their dependence on
unpaid family labor of women and children in a whole
range of economic activities (from which they may have
previously been exempt) as substitutes to hired wage
labor."

The women left behind are assuming the responsibility for organ-

izing and actively participating (in some cases for the first time

in their lives) in almost all activities surrounding the agricultural

production system. This includes Turkish women driving tractors and

building their own homes; Yemeni women assuming control of family farms,

participating in group well drilling, cattle investment and home

electrification; Lesotho women organizing work parties for the plowing,

planting and harvesting of crops (Youssef, Buvinic' and Kudat 1979).

Although in some countries women's agricultural work loads and

responsibilities have increased,in others women are not assuming the

economic role of the men who have migrated out.34 In either case there

is a need to avoid exacerbating the economic marginality of rural

women by mobilizing and training them to operate and maintain machines

and other equipment engaged in field production related work, as well

as in poultry raising, dairy production, care of livestock, packing

crops, etc. Though women's role in decision and field production is

growing, these same women are not always able themselves to sell the

crops and maintain control over farm income. An additional difficulty








faced by women is that subsistence output, though still necessary

for family survival is increasingly and by necessity being subsidized

by cash purchases. Since crop cultivation yields neither cash nor

adequate food for a family, supplements must therefore be purchased.

With growing reliance on cash, male work is assuming more importance

and women are isolated in the countryside with little or no access

to wage earning activities.

2. Domestic Labor: Physical Labor in Return for Room and Board

In many regions of the developing world, notably Latin America,

domestic work in urban areas is a major source of employment for young

women (Jelin 1977). In the Middle East and certain parts of Asia, males

predominate statistically as housekeepers, servants, cooks, and other types

of domestic laborers, although women are also found in those categories

(Youssef 1974). These statistics are open to question.

The situation in Latin America is much better documented: women make

up the bulk of domestic servants and their situation is invariably accom-

panied by conditions that make it one of the more exploitative forms of

female labor.3 A typical domestic worker in Lima, Peru, will be holding

her third job by the time she is 18 years old; she will have started

working at age 12, immediately after migrating from her Indian village

and leaving behind her landless peasant family. She will have barely

completed three years of elementary education; she works an average of

14 hours daily, gets one day off every two weeks and a salary roughly

equivalent to US $30 per month. At 18 she will probably become pregnant

and subsequently be laid-off. She has no legal recourse to prevent her

employers from dismissing her, or to demand minimum wages or social

security benefits (Chaney 1977). Domestic workers in Latin America are







given no opportunities for self-improvement, and have little means of

making contact with other women in similar circumstances to organize for

collective bargaining (Finn and Jusenius 1975; ISIS March 1978). The

domestic servant works more hours per day than any of her male counterparts

working in blue collar jobs and in the informal labor market (PREALC 1978),

and she earns 60% of what other employees in the informal sector earn

(Chaney 1977).36

The issue of extending social security coverage to domestic workers

does not have a straightforward solution. When attempts have been made

to regulate the informal domestic labor market through the introduction

of social security legislation, the result has been detrimental to the

interests of the domestic workers themselves. For instance, in Peru

the labor code was modified in 1970 to cover social security benefits for

domestics. In order to become eligible for social security coverage,

however, domestic servants and their employers each had to contribute a

monthly stipend to social security payments. This naturally meant that

the servant's contribution would have to be deducted from her already meager

salary. Because they cannot afford to make these payments, most domestics

remain ineligible for social security protection (Chaney 1977).37 The

structure of labor and social security legislation which puts the burden on

the servant herself constitutes a severe problem.

The link between migration and domestic labor among women has been

well documented (Jelin 1977; Youssef, Buvinic and Kudat 1979). It has

been pointed out that women migrate both internally from the rural to

the urban areas within countries, and internationally from depressed

areas to the growing cities of developing regions. What has not been

well documented, however, is the trend of women to migrate from








developing into developed nations for the explicit purpose of fulfilling

the otherwise unmet need for domestic labor in the latter. With the

support of the Philippine government, thousands of Filipino women are

sent overseas to become domestics in North America, some circum-Mediterranean

countries, Hong Kong and particularly Belgium. 38 The exploitation of

these Third World women in industrialized countries appears to be no less

prevalent than that of domestics in developing regions (ISIS March 1978).

The real extent of this practice of exporting female domestic labor to

developed areas is unknown. Domestic labor remains--at least in Latin

America--one of the most exploitative forms of employment for millions

of women.

3. Unemployment and Underemployment

It is commonly assumed that women have lower unemployment and under-

employment rates than men. This assumption is supported in part by

inaccurate census data due to problems in measuring employment, the number

of active job seekers and labor utilization. One reason for the inadequate

attention given to female unemployment is the notion that women's work is

not important. Another is the impression that since female participation

rates are low, the absolute number of women unemployed would be considerably

les-s than the number of unemployed men. Both impressions have been shown

to be incorrect.

Where special efforts have been made to measure unemployment, the

findings indicate the following trends:

(i) In some countries female unemployment rates are higher--some-

times two or three times higher--than unemployment rates for men, e.g.,

parts of Kenya, Colombia, Sri Lanka, India. (See Kenya Employment

Mission, n.d.; Lubdl and McCallum, 1978 for Colombia; Univ. of









Colombo, 1979, for Sri Lanka.; Ryan, 1979, and Gulati, 1976 for

India.)

(ii) Unemployment rates for women have drastically increased during

the 1960-1970 decade, e.g. Morocco, Sri Lanka (See Youssef, 1977 for

Morocco; Univ. of Colombo, 1979 for Sri Lanka).

(iii)Women at both extremes of the age hierarchy experience the

highest incidence of unemployment in both absolute and relative terms

compared to men, e.g. Indonesia, Sri Lanka (See Sethuraman, 1976, for

Indonesia: Univ. of Colombo, 1979 for Sri Lanka )

(iv) Female unemployment often increases With years of schooling in both

absolute and relative terms. In countries where the educational

level of the unemployed is greater than that of the employed,

educated women are at a greater disadvantage than educated men, e.g. Sri

Lanka, Indonesia (See Univ. of Colombo, 1979, for Sri Lanka and

Sethuraman, 1976, for Indonesia )

Likewise, efforts to measure women's underemployment point to the

following:

(i) In general, underemployment is higher than unemployment in

developing countries, and in some is higher for women than for

men (Lewin, et al 1977).

(ii) More women than men tend to be underemployed by reason of low

income and low hours of work (this is particularly true for the

married, divorced and widowed) and by restricted access to certain

jobs (Redmana, et al 1977; and Hansen 1969).

(iii)Underutilization of women's labor increases with age in urban

areas and decreases with age in rural areas (Redmana, et al 1977).

(iv) Underemployment in rural areas is highest for women and lowest








for men; while the converse is true in urban areas (Berry and

Sabot 1976).

(v) The higher underemployment of rural women (compared to men) is

often due to the seasonal nature of their agricultural work and to

their restricted access to non-farm activities (Hansen 1969).

4. The Underrepresentation of Women in Paid Labor

One striking aspect of Third World women's marginality in the economic

system is that they are much more likely than men to work without pay,

particularly in activities which involve shifts between market and non-

market activities. Women tend to work without pay most frequently in

the agricultural sector, and to a lesser though still significant degree

in traditional manufacturing (particularly in craftsproduction) and petty

trade.

The category of "unpaid" worker is elusive and "defiant of formal

measurement" (Dixon 1979).9 The phenomenon is only partly reflected in

comparative labor force statistics because many women involved in unpaid

economic production are often excluded from the census count and is a

major cause for the gross underestimation of the de facto female economically

active population.

Calculating the percentage of the female economically active population

by employment status40 in 56 developing countries and singling out

the proportion reported as "unpaid workers" highlights the following

trends (Dixon 1979):

Women are overrepresented as "unpaid workers" in approximately two-

thirds of the countries purviewed. The highest percentages of women among

all unpaid workers reported are in Sub Saharan Africa (63%) and Asia (52%);

in contrast to the North Africa/Middle East and Central/South American








regions where the percentage of women in unpaid labor is only 37% and 24%

respectively. However, the lower percentages in the two latter regions

are probably due to the exclusion of the "unpaid worker" category from

many of labor force surveys (apparent exceptions are Turkey, Puerto Rico

and Haiti). The higher figures for Asia and Africa are likely to reflect

more realistically the number of unpaid family workers in all regions of

the world. The regional averages obviously conceal important inter-

regional and intra-national variations associated with residence,

socioeconomic class, age,marital status and ethnicity.41

5. Low Wages of Women Workers

Evidence from all regions of the developing world shows that women

are concentrated in the lowest paying jobs. A sample of employed persons

in Ecuador shows that working women are most concentrated in personal

service work (41%), which has one of the lowest monthly salaries of all

occupational categories. Further, 43% of women and only 20% of men are

concentrated in the four lowest paying occupations (PREALC 1978). In

Thailand, a sample of industrial and service sector workers indicates that

women comprise 78% of the workers in the textile and apparel industry

and 54% of the workers in the chemical, petroleum, rubber and plastics

industry. Wages in these two industries are among the lowest of all

industry categories. A related study of women workers in the pineapple

industry in Thailand shows that 58% are in unskilled and 40% in semi-

skilled jobs (Thosanguan 1978).

Looking at the ratio of female to male wages (c. 1975) across

occupations and industry sectors, women earn 55% that of men in Ecuador

(PREALC 1978); and 57% that of men in one rural area of India (Ryan

and Ghodake 1979). Within the same industries, we also find that women








are consistently paid less than men. In Colombia, for instance, women earn

57% that of men in the textile and footwear industry, and 26% that of men

in personal and domestic services (Mohan, n.d.). In Singapore, the female

to male earnings ratio is 83% in agriculture, 45% in manufacturing and

54% in commerce (U Wen Lim 1977).

A comparison of the income distribution of men and women further

corroborates the lower earnings of women. This is perhaps best illustrated

by data from Latin America, which shows that women are more concentrated

in the lowest income groups. In Chile 72% of women earn less than 306

Escudos, while the corresponding figure for men is 58%. And in Costa

Rica, 40% of women and 15% of men earn less than 74 Colones. This difference

is even greater between men and women in younger (12-19) age groups

(PREALC 1978)42

The gap between the wage-earning capacity and the wage-earning

reality of men and women is further accentuated by employer's different

educational and training requirements for each sex. For poor women in

urban situations the completion of primary education does not translate

into a commensurate increase in wage-earning capacity. In Belo Horizonte,

Brazil, for example, the completion of an elementary education can sig-

nify a 60% increase in wage earnings for men, but women can only hope to

increase their wages by 6% if and when they finish primary school

(Merrick 1976). Other evidence from Latin America has been documented

(PREALC 1978; CEPAL 1979).

Discrimination is evident as well in professional jobs requiring

higher education. In Colombia, for example, urban women who have com-

pleted a secondary education are consistently hired for jobs that are

considered less skilled and, consequently, pay less than the jobs male








secondary school graduates are hired to do. Women high school graduates

only make 70% of the salaries that male graduates receive. Professional

women in Bogota are able to earn half as much as professional men (Mohan,

n.d.). Individual data from ten Latin American countries shows, in every

case, that when men and women have equal trainingwomen are relegated

to the lowest paying jobs, especially among the least educated groups(PREALC 1978)

6. Women in the Informal Sector

The definition of the informal sector differs within countries--

varying from low-level service jobs, domestic work, street vendors,

laundry, all non-contractual jobs in the economy--which might include

well-paid blue collar, industrial/skilled jobs.

In some cities the reported informal sector absorbs anywhere between

53% to 69% of all urban workers (Bombay, Jakarta, Belo Horizonte, Lima).

There is a predominance of women in this sector; data for several Central/

South American countries reports that urban women comprise anywhere bet-

ween 46% to 70% of the informal work sector, in contrast to 18% of the

formal employment structure.

Women enter the job market in domestic labor and low-level service

work (unskilled jobs in the industries, street market vending). Mobility

or assimilation into the formal labor market structure is highly unlikely

(Castro 1978; Papola 1979; Arizpe 1977; Standing 1978a). For women

much more than for men, the informal sector is not a bridge over which

workers pass in shifting from agriculture to the modern sector.

Men by contrast--though many are initially relegated to low station

informal jobs--are more able to assimilate into the formal labor market

structure, as well as to gain entry into higher level jobs in the in-

formal structure (Mazumdar 1976; Fraenkel, et al 1975; Lubell and

McCallum 1978).







The sex differences in job status within the informal sector are

reflected in earnings: women's earnings are noted to represent 40%-50%

of male earnings. Among the self employed, the gap in earnings is not

as wide; though women still predominate in the bottom income groups.

Despite their disadvantaged position, women's earnings from this

sector are crucial for low income family survival. Such activities are

often secondary occupations for women carried out intermittently with other

tasks. The sector provides--even in its present structure--economic

benefits particularly to urban women (and men) in that it compensates

for the lack of resources to compete in the formal job structure.


C. Off-farm Employment for Women
It is important to promote off-farm employment in rural areas of

developing countries because the agricultural sector can no longer absorb

the available labor supply. This is a result of several factors, in-

cluding:

(i) generally depressed conditions in agriculture, i.e., low

prices and wages due in part to the increasing costs of fertilizer,

seeds, pesticides and other factors of production, and to neglect of

this sector by planning policies in the 1950's and 1960's.

(ii) capital intensive mechanization of production processes which

were previously labor intensive;

(iii) transfer of subsistence cultivation in family farms to commer-

cial production of cash crops, employing a limited number of wage

laborers (primarily men); and

(iv) high population growth rates and limited amounts of land.

Land fragmentation has further contributed to the displacement of

agricultural workers and to the need for off-farm employment. In many

cases land reform policies, inheritance practices (particularly in Islamic







societies) and adverse economic conditions have resulted in a decrease in

the size of plots available for cultivation. Frequently, families can

no longer depend solely on agriculture to support themselves and must

turn to other sources of earnings for survival.

The growing number of landless households in rural areas of the

Third World further creates a dependence on earnings either from agricul-

tural wage labor or off-farm employment. Given the increasingly limited

opportunities for wage labor in agriculture in many countries, there is

a crucial need for the expansion of opportunities for off-farm employment.

As a particular group, women need off-farm employment for several

reasons. They are often the first to be displaced from agriculture as

a result of the introduction of technology and changes in production

processes(see section IIIB).Opportunities for wage agriculture may also

be more limited for women due to the preference for hiring men (as they

are considered to be "primary" rather than "supplementary" earners) or

to constraints on women's geographic mobility and ability to travel long

distances to work. These constraints often are most severe for women

from lower socioeconomic groups and those who are single, widowed or

divorced (Bardham 1979). Perhaps most important of all, women need off-

farm employment because their earnings are becoming an ever more crucial

component of family income, especially among landless households where the

contributions of all household members, including women and children,

are essential. Stoler (1977) presents a good example of the importance

of women's non-agricultural employment in landless households in Java,

by showing that female income contributes one-third of the total income

of landless households, and less than 15% of the land-holding households.

In fact, because women have previous experience in many off-farm activities







they may be better equipped to deal with situations of landlessness than

men, who have a smaller set of alternatives to agricultural work.

Throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, rural

women participate in a wide range of non-agricultural activities, both in

market production ias traders, small merchants and producers in small-

scale agro-businesses and cottage industries] (Dewey 1963; Stoler 1977;

Peluso 1978; Okeyo 1979; Bunster 1978; Youssef 1980) and subsistence

activities [carrying water, collecting fuel, processing grains and other

food, and storing produce]. In many of these tasks there is room for

increasing productivity and output through technological or capital in-

puts and training; in subsistence activities, there is potential for

expanding and transferring them to the market economy, thereby increasing

cash earning.

Efforts to expand off-farm employment in rural areas should be based

on developing opportunities for both men and women. Sex-segregated labor

markets make certain areas of employment more suitable for one group than

the other. Thus, special consideration must be given to the appropriate

types of work and needs of both in planning for off-farm employment.

D. Women's Employment in Transnational Corporations

The promotion of manufacturing for export by transnational corporations

(TNC's) in many Third World countries represents a new phase of development

in recent years. Policies which encourage foreign investment in labor intensive

"offshore" manufacturing industries have provided alternatives to import

substitution as a strategy for industrial and economic growth in several

countries, and have created large-scale demands for cheap, low-skilled

labor, particularly among women workers. The increased employment opportunities

for women in TNC's is distinct from preceding phases of foreign investment







which have primarily employed men and/or displaced women from their traditional

economic activities (Boserup 1970, Chinchilla 1976, Lim 1978).

The move into the developing world by TNC's reflects a new strategy

in their efforts to recruit sources of cheap labor. This is especially important

for industries producing goods such as textiles and electronic equipment, which

face stiff competition in the world market, and in which labor comprises a

large part of total production costs. The relatively simple technologies in

some of these industries make it easy for new firms to establish themselves,

which further increases competition and the need for reduced labor costs.

Cheap labor can be found easily among marginal groups in the labor market

(i.e., women) in developing countries with high unemployment, underemployment

and population growth rates.

The transfer of production to the Third World by TNC's in their search

for the cheapest labor available also has been caused by conditions in the

U.S., including low unemployment (especially in the mid 1960's); the dwindling

supply of immigrant labor since passage of the 1965 immigration law limiting

the admission of unskilled workers; high wages; the increase in welfare

which has provided the unemployed with alternatives to poorly paid, manual

labor; and technological changes, especially in the container industry which

has facilitated the development of a fast and inexpensive international cargo

transport system. U.S. tariff policies have further promoted the export of

processing industries (Safa 1979).

The labor market conditions for women in Third World locations provide

TNC's with a labor pool in which wages are lower than in developed countries

and less than wages which would be paid to Third World men for comparable work

(Lim 1978). As examples, women work in the free trade zone of the Dominican

Republic for $.50 per hour (Safa 1979); maquiladoras in the Mexican border








region earn approximately $.58 per hour (Kelly 1979); and women in the elec-

tronics industry in Singapore start at an average of $.25 per hour. In

1969 the wage of an unskilled woman worker in Singapore was 1/11 that of an

equivalent American worker, and Singapore has the highest female wage rates

in Asia. In Malaysia wages are one-half to two-thirds, and in Indonesia one-

fourth the Singapore rate. The average Asian woman worker receives in a day

less than the hourly wage of a comparable U.S. worker. Statistics suggest that

this wage differential continues to increase (Lim 1978).

Other conditions which make manufacturing in Third World countries attrac-

tive for TNC's include lax health and safety regulations, reduced requirements

for fringe benefits, and limited government and union protection for workers.

In addition, host countries, faced with high unemployment and the need for

foreign exchange, encourage export processing TNC's to locate in their countries

by offering an array of investment incentives, tariff exemptions, and tax

holidays along with the provision of industrial estates and public housing

for workers. Some countries have restricted workers' right to strike and have

removed protective legislation limiting night work by women.

For host governments, industries have advantages over import substitution

industries as a means of development and employment creation because the

latter have small domestic markets and utilize capital intensive technologies

transferred from industrial countries. Because export processing manufacturers

must compete in world markets, they tend to be more efficient in exploitation

of labor and capital resources and utilization of production capacities than

the protected import substitution industries. For the host countries, TNC's

provide employment, foreign exchange, efficiently managed enterprises, and

training of upper level administrators and managers.

The rapid growth of TNC's over the past decade has created thousands of

jobs for women in developing countries and has created labor markets for women







which did not exist before. Between 1971 and 1974, employment in the electronics

industry rose from 7,750 to 24,000 in Singapore; from 5,300 to 9,000 in Hong

Kong; from 350 to 2,600 in Indonesia and from 0 to 18,000 in Malaysia.

Approximately 90% of these workers are women between 17 and 25 years of age

(Lim 1978). In one area of the border region of Mexico, employment in the in-

bond assembly plants rose from2,000to 33,000 between 1969 and 1978 with young

women comprising 85% of the workers (Kelly 1979). In the free trade zone of

the Dominican Republic 80% of the workers are women between 15 and 20 years

of age (Safa 1979).

The demand for female labor appears to be related to "exploitable" feminine

characteristics: TNC's consider women to have a natural "comparative advan-

tage" over men in assembly processes (i.e., small, nimble fingers, attention

to detail, ability to perform tedious, repetitive tasks) and are docile, disci-

plined, easy to manage and less likely to organize. The inexperience and

naivete'of young women make them susceptible to TNC labor practices which aim

at high production and efficiency and low wages. TNC's routinely sponsor work

competitions for prizes such as cosmetics and free dinners, and maintain wage

policies which penalize workers who fail to work overtime, holidays or meet

production goals (Lim 1978). In some cases women are required to work six

months as apprentices before earning minimum wages (Grossman 1979).

Women are also paid less because they are considered to be secondary

wage laborers with low skills and low commitment to the labor force. Despite

low wages, women continue to provide a ready supply of labor because of their

need for income and the limited alternative opportunities for employment. In

the Dominican Republic, women's need for income is apparent in the large percentage

of the young women factory workers in the free trade zone who are heads of

household (Safa 1979). Lack of jobs for males has forced many Malaysian women







to take on wage labor in order to partially or totally support their families.

In some cases, male unemployment has been a result of displacement of farmers

or fishermen from sites requisitioned for construction of industrial estates

or airports (Lim 1978).

While it is clear that TNC's have provided large-scale employment for women,

close examination of the conditions of employment raises several serious issues.

This, combined with the uncertain long-term viability of TNC's in any one

country, calls into question the appropriateness of "offshore sourcing" as a

strategy to promote female labor force participation. Some of the adverse

conditions of employment in TNC's are the following:

The demand for workers is limited to certain groups of women. Firms

prefer to hire women in younger age groups (15-25) with no more or less than

a secondary level education. These groups are considered to be harder working,

conscientious, obedient and less likely to organize or burden the firm with

maternity benefits. "Older" women (aged 23 or 24) are more likely to be laid

off and not rehired by TNC's, because as they build up seniority benefits,

they become more expensive.

The marital status of women variously affects their employability.

While the hiring of married women is limited in some firms because they do

not want to assume maternity benefits, other firms encourage employment of

married women because they quit on a regular basis to have children. A more

rapid turnover of workers results in lower labor costs for the TNC's

because new workers, who are just as productive, are hired at starting pay

and benefits.

While TNC's may expand the labor pool and increase the number of

employed women, they also tend to accentuate pre-existing imbalances in local

labor markets. Because firms operating in developing countries have drawn







more women seeking work into the labor market and sometimes displace national

industries, unemployment also increases.

The jobs provided by TNC's are highly unstable in the short run due to

cyclical variations in the world market, mergers, takeovers, transfers of

production or closures; as a result, frequent lay-offs are common. Adverse

working conditions further contribute to the high turnover rate of women workers

(200% per year in one electronics factory in Singapore according to Deyo ,980j,

and Safa [1979] reports 60% per year turnover in the Dominican Republic.) For

women who are laid off or leave, alternative jobs are not easy to find, as the

skills women possess are not transferable to other occupations and neighbor

TNC's often refuse to hire workers from other firms.

Unionization of workers is -discouraged. In cases where unions have been

allowed, they often have been co-opted by governments to accommodate TNC's

rather than to promote the interests of the workers. The power of the unions

is also undermined by a large reserve pool of unemployed. In fact, in many

countries, the lack of an organized labor force is a major factor in initially

attracting TNC's.

Worker mobility is restricted both within and between firms.

Neighbor TNC's often cooperate or colude in keeping wages low.

Fewer women than men are trained for and hold technical and managerial

positions.

Health and safety problems exist for TNC workers and result in strained

eyesight; effects of chemical fumes resulting in allergies, skin troubles, nausea

and vomiting; physiological disruptions for women on rotating shifts; stress from

continuous loud noise; and high lead content in some manufacturing processes.

The growth of TNC's is often accompanied by community-related problems

including a lack of adequate housing and, in cases when workers migrate from




77



other areas, the creation of squatter settlements; increased demand for housing

and food frequently causes inflation. Further, when workers live in housing

other than that provided by the TNC's transportation to work may be a problem,

especially for workers on night shifts. And, in some instances, there is a

social stigma attached to being a woman worker in a TNC.








V. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS.


Two major conclusions are derived from the findings discussed in

the previous sections: women have an undeniable need to obtain

gainful employment; and the constraints to women's employment are

generated more frequently from imposed restrictions on the demand

for female labor than on the supply of that labor in low-income

economies.



As women are displaced from traditional productive activities, and

as the welfare functions of the traditional family break down, women's

economic needs are no longer adequately taken care of by others.

Additionally, structural changes brought about by the process of

socio-economic development have created an increase in women-headed

households, in the proportion of single mothers, divorced and widowed

women, who are exclusively or primarily responsible for their own

and their dependents' survival. All these poor, Third World women

have an imperative economic need to earn a living in order to meet

their roles as providers. Furthermore, their economic contribution

to the family's survival is critical, as it is the women's income

which is usually and totally assigned to obtaining essentials such

as food and shelter. In certain cases women's income has been

shown to improve the health and nutritional status of their children.

Women's changing economic responsibilities and contributions to

family well being can no longer go unrecognized. Women's need to

work is just as crucial as men's, and should, therefore, be considered

in planning for development.









Although current measures often underestimate considerably women's

participation in the work force, national level statistics none-

the less indicate that women workers contribute substantially to

development. A survey of recent labor force participation rates

confirms that women are active workers in all regions of the devel-

oping world; are variously active in agricultural and nonagricultural

activities; participate at different rates in industrial sectors

compared to the total labor force; and are more active than men

as unpaid family workers. Moreover, estimates of women's con-

tribution to gross domestic product, when adjusted for their relative

participation in agriculture, industry and services, shows that in

most countries women contribute roughly the same as their proportion

in the labor force and, in several countries, contribute even more

than their proportion of the total labor force.



In explaining the limited employment opportunities for women, the

development literature to date has tended to over-emphasize con-

straints on female labor supply. Women's family and child care

responsibilities, a rigid and unyielding sexual division of labor,

and women's lack of training and education frequently are offered

as reasons for women's marginal economic position. While there is

no doubt that these factors are important, a substantial amount

of evidence shows that women particularly among the poor, are very

active in work outside the home even though they have little or

no education, many children and major family responsibilities.

When household economic needs are great, the assumed incompatability








of mother and worker roles and rigidities in the sexual division

of labor break down. They also break down when society needs work

done and men are not available Planning can no longer use these

arguments to avoid planning employment focused strategies for women.



Factors restricting the demand for women workers have been given

little attention, but may in fact provide a fuller explanation of

the constraints to female employment. Recent data shows that un-

employment among men has a negative effect on the demand for women

workers because in situations of high unemployment, preference is

given to hiring men on the assumption that their earnings are more

important to the family than are women's. Evidence also indicates

that the process of modernization further reduces the economic op-

portunities of women by squeezing them out of agricultural and in-

dustrial sectors and into the service sector, where women are

relegated to low level jobs with erratic earnings in the informal

labor market. Protective legislation may also restrict the demand

for female labor by making certain jobs inaccessible to women,

thereby reducing the number of jobs available and contributing

to a sex segregated occupational structure. Reluctance and resistance

among employers to hire women has been created. The high costs of

complying with protective labor laws provide and "economic" excuse

for not hiring women.



But the issue of employment is not resolved once women manage to

-secure places in the working force, for, as the evidence increasingly








shows, they can only obtain residual employment which is exploitative,

has very low status and remuneration, and is marginal to the productive

sector of society. This situation gives rise to several critical issues

related to women's work. Among the most universal is the problem of

the double burden of working women with family responsibilities, and the

long working hours they must invest in their employment and household

activities. When women are forced to simultaneously cope with work

and family responsibilities, their job security suffers. However, the

fact that women have a dual role in society should not be used against

them; rather, planning should concentrate on relieving household burdens

of working women.



Migratory trends have compelled women to take on different economic

roles. As autonomous migrants to the cities, women enter the com-

petition for scarce jobs with the dual disadvantage of being female

and poor. When the women stay behind they are not always able to

take over the vacancies in production and employment that male out-

migration has created.


The use of cheap female labor to fill the demand for domestic service

in developing and developed nations alike becomes even more critical

in light of recent findings that disprove previous conclusions re-

garding the upward mobility of domestic servants. The jobs are not

steeping stones to better opportunities; they are quite dead-end.








Women's economic marginality becomes total dependency when they must

produce as unpaid family workers. Women are over-represented in this

category of workers. A more recent finding is that the rates of

female unemployment and underemployment are considerably higher

than previously believed, pointing to the conclusion that women

are seeking employment and not finding any or not getting enough.

Moreover, when women work for wages they are concentrated in the

worst-paid jobs at the lowest end of the occupational structure,

and consistently receive less earnings than men, even when they

work similar number of hours. All these problems of marginal em-

ployment are exacerbated by the increased relegation of women to

the informal labor market.



Changes in the agricultural sector brought about by capitalist

development are displacing increasing numbers of women from agri-

cultural production and creating more landlessness among peasants.

Yet women have certain resources whose importance increases with

these circumstances, as they have learned to perform off-farm work

during periods of slack agricultural productivity in the past.

Both the need for off-farm rural employment and women's advantages

in this respect must be included in planning for the development

of the rural sector.


The rapid growth over the past decade of "offshore" manufacturing

for export by transnational corporations in labor intentive industries

has created large-scale employment for women in Third World countries

and, in certain cases, has created labor markets for women which did





83


not previously exist. However, the conditions of employment in

these firms, and the uncertain long-term viability of firms in any

one location, raises several serious issues, and calls into question

this practice as a strategy to promote women's employment.









VI. POLICY AND PROGRAM RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ENHANCING WOMEN'S EMPLOYMENT



A. Recommendations for Minimizing Constraints to Women's Employ-
ment

Given the existing constraints to employment faced by women
in developing countries, as laid out above, the following
recommendations for action are proposed:

(1) Identify current labor needs and project future trends
in relation to national and regional growth by

(a) assessing the present productive contributions of
of women and identifying areas where productivity
can be enhanced (e.g., rural agriculture and marketing)
and where entry and mobility can be facilitated
(e.g., urban manufacturing).

(b) identifying the potential pool of female labor in
urban and rural locations, in formal and informal
activities, and in various sectors and identifying
the level of skills women possess or need to develop
to participate in these productive areas;

(c) assessing the number of women occupationally dis-
placed by land reform, modernization of agriculture
and urban industrialization.

(2) Recognize the existence and pervasiveness of sex segre-
gation in the labor market and introduce mechanisms to
prevent future sex stereotyping of women's employment.
Sex segregation has evolved on the premise that certain
occupations are more 'appropriate' for women than others.
Consequently, women are disproportionately represented
in low pay, low skill, marginal jobs with little possi-
bility of mobility into new areas.

(3) Coordinate and integrate efforts to promote women's
employment at the regional, national, and local levels;
between the private and public sector; and among govern-
ment branches (legislative, and judicial branches and
ministries of labor, health, education, agriculture
industry and social welfare). The use of coordination
of actions and the use of existing administrative channels
and extension programs, for the introduction of new tech-
nologies, credit and skills training should reduce the time
and financial cost of implementing integrated programs.








(4) Encourage investment in labor intensive industries to
promote absorption of the surplus female labor supply
by providing incentives for public and private invest-
ment (through taxation policies, capital subsidies,
labor subsidies, lower interest rates, etc.) in labor
intensive industries notable for employing women, such
as industrial sewing, tailoring, the textiles, food
processing, chemical production, tobacco and paper
manufacturing, etc.

(5) Promote the organization of women in.cooperatives, unions
and other groups to facilitate the mobilization of pro-
ductive resources.

Several examples exist of how women's productivity can
be enhanced by very basic interventions aimed at organiz-
ing women into functional groups at the'grass-roots or
community level. Providing assistance in organizational
and management skills, the government of Bangladesh has
effectively mobilized 25,000 women villagers into 600
groups which work cooperatively to secure credit and other
productive resources for its members. Their newly acquired
collective power and access to certain resources has allowed
many women to commercialize activities which were tradi-
tionally non-market oriented. Self-employment, the creation
of productive opportunities, and commercial abilities were
all made possible through, among other things, the very
basic organization of women's groups (Buvinic, Sebstad and
Zeidenstein, 1979).

In another case, USAID has provided funds to create women's
pre-cooperative organizations in Senegal (Kossack Nord Project,
AID Project #698-0388.4). Through these women's organiza-
tions members have access to government training, technology
and credit programs, and they can themselves develop the
framework for subsequent formal cooperative action. The
pre-cooperatives engage in activities which collectivize
certain household tasks (e.g., grain milling) and others
which have income generating potential.

B. Recommendations to Minimize the Adverse Effects of Protective
Legislation on Women

(1) At the regional level:
In order to reduce the restrictive effects of legislation
that attempts to bar women a priori from certain types of
employment it is recommended that international labor
agreements and recommendations be reviewed to
remove unnecessary and outdated protective legislation
for women. Additionally, protective legislation, which









does retain current validity, should be recouched in
conditional rather than categorical terms, to allow for
flexibility. Finally, legislation should be reviewed
to ensure it is protective rather than protectionist in
spirit.

(2) At the national level governments should:

(a) Initiate the same kind of evaluations as those
recommended above and again review existing legisla-
tion for a possible protectionist bias.

(b) Apply social security provisions in a manner that
will not allow employers to exploit these and use
them to discriminate against women workers. Specifi-
cally, the social security payments required of em-
ployers should be determined on the basis of the
number of workers and not on the sex of the workers.
Employers, whether they hire women or not, and regard-
less of the numbers of women they employ, should con-
tribute to funds for maternity and other benefits.
In this way, the financing of special protection
for the working mother would not involve costs directly
related to her employment, reducing the probability
of discrimination in her job engagement or stability.

(c) Promote limited paternity leaves in order to distribute
costs and responsibilities more evenly between firms
within the private sector that employ men and those
primarily employing women. Additionally, paternity
leaves could have the effect of distributing responsi-
bilities within the household and, by staggering them
with maternity leaves, ensure adequate care of infants.
This approach is now being tried in some Scandinavian
countries.

(d) Legislation enacted primarily to promote breastfeeding
among working mothers must take into account the adverse
potential these measures have for women's em-
ployment. Breastfeeding legislation, therefore, must
be protective of women's work as well as infant health.
One way of accomplishing this would be to distribute
the burden of the additional costs on-site breast-
feeding facilities mean among all employers in the
private and public sectors rather than forcing only
firms which hire women to absorb the extra costs.
Alternatively, establishments which employ women should
be eligible for government subsidies to meet the costs
of setting up creches, nurseries and transportation
facilities to facilitate breastfeeding, and to balance
out the production losses resulting from breastfeeding
breaks.








C. Recommendations for Relieving the Double Burden of Women


As we discussed above the double burden or double-day phenomenon
is among the most serious of problems surrounding the issue of
women's employment.

The recommendations promoted to ease this burden are mostly
aimed at reducing women's household chores and child-care
obligations. Recommendations include:

At the regional or international level:

(1) Emphasize the economic or market value of home produc-
tion in order to lend legitimacy and recognition to
the problem of the double burden. Providing a quanti-
tative translation of home tasks may convince inter-
national organizations, policy leaders, and govern-
ment officials of the magnitude of the problem.

(2) Develop and disseminate appropriate technologies and
labor saving devices for household work.

At the national level governments should:

(1) Recognize and act upon their obligation to provide
child-care facilities to working women. Specifically,
governments should launch nation-wide efforts for the
provision of creches, nurseries and child-care facil-
ities, with locations and time tables convenient for
home and work, and responsive to the schedules of workers
with family responsibilities, both in urban environments
and in those rural environments where the population
is concentrated enough to merit the centralization of
services.

(2) Involve working women themselves in the planning of
programs to relieve their double burden. Women should
participate in establishing priorities among the house-
related tasks which need to be lightened or removed from
the household domain. Domestic employment should not
be promoted as a solution to this problem.

(3) Promote the development and use of appropriate labor
saving technologies. Women's access to these tech-
nologies should be facilitated through joint owner-
ship, commercial ownership, government subsidies and
loans to individuals or groups of women.







At the program and project levels:

(1) Convert food-chain activities which are common to all
households (e.g., the preparation of staple foods) at
the community or neighborhood level into commercial
activities and transfer these from the home to the
market place.

(2) Outfit neighborhood or community-level centers with
labor-saving devices, and other efficient technologies
which are unaffordable to most women. These could be
operated cooperatively or privately but beneficiaries
should be able to use the facilities paying only for
basic costs.

(3) Facilitate transportation between the home and the
workplace. Both public funds and private subsidies
should be made available for spatial planning of
residential and employment zones, and for the rational-
ization and general improvement of public transporta-
tion facilities. Additionally, the private sector
controlling job opportunities should, through legis-
lation and its enforcement, provide its workers with
means of transportation at little or no cost. By
reducing travel time and travel costs the double
burden of working women with family responsibilities
can be partially lightened.

Projects which create or strengthen technical infra-
structures may help relieve women's household burden.
For instance, a USAID.sponsored water project in
rural Morocco (AID Project #0150) made potable water
more accessible to the household compounds, and allowed
women to cut down on the time and effort they previously
invested in fetching water. Alternatively, wells can
be drilled close to or on the household site, as was
done in Senegal (AID Project #698-0388.7).


D. Recommendations for Minimizing the Marginality of Women Workers


(1) Women's Domestic Employment

At the regional level:

(a) International labor agreements should be immedi-
ately expanded to include the recognition and
protection of the mostly female labor force in-
volved in domestic work, and to contain concrete
ameliorative measures for the problems of domestic
workers.








( b) The exportation of women to serve as domestic ser-
vants in other countries must be controlled.

At the national Level:

(a) Establish policies to study, recommend and act
upon specific measures to improve the working
conditions of domestic workers, suited to the
particular conditions of each country. In
general, however, policies that seek to amelio-
rate working and living conditions and to dis-
courage domestic employment should be promoted,
rather than ones which intend to block or termi-
nate domestic labor, since it constitutes the.
only opportunity for remunerated work for millions
of women. The creation of alternative employ-
ment opportunities for poor, unskilled women
must be advanced as a means of opening adjacent
avenues of remunerative work to the now almost
exclusive one of domestic employment. Domestic
employment should not be promoted by governments
as partial solutions to the problems of urban
unemployment and underemployment or to accom-
modate the needs of middle and upper classes.

(b) Revise labor laws, protective legislation and
mechanisms for its enforcement, to ensure the
interests of domestic workers are represented.
Revise social security legislation in such a
way to make coverage affordable to domestic
servants.

(c). Promote and facilitate the organization of domestic
workers for collective bargaining. This could be
accomplished by requiring labor unions to in-
clude domestic workers in their membership.

(d) Institute legal counseling for domestic employees.
Such centers should be open during days and
hours appropriate to the schedules of domestic
workers.

(2) Women's Informal Work in the Urban Sector

Unable to find work many women in the urban areas are
forced to support themselves through ad hoc, unstable,
and low paying activities. Typically, these activities
range from the sale of personal services to petty marketing.
Continually in search of new sales, and dependent on the
flux of daily demand these women have little possibility
for adequate pay, income security, or collective bargaining.









Governments need to modernize and regulate, to the extent
possible, the informal sector. Market women need to be
extended credit facilities, business guidance, etc., for
the efficient performance and expansion of their trade.
Cooperative movements need to be encouraged.

Because the predicament of informal laborers is so complex
the projects designed in their behalf must integrate several
different services and activities. Thus. the Costa Rican
Barrio Program, sponsored by USAID (Project #515-0140),
aims at reaching the women in the marginal or informal
urban sector by offering motivational and skills training,
guidance and assistance in reaching government agencies
and government-sponsored projects, employment information,
and child-care in a well-orchestrated, interconnected manner.
Furthermore it involves the recipients as decision-makers
and implementors of project activities.


E. Recommendations for Promoting Off-Farm Employment

Strategies for expanding non-agricultural employment for rural
women are proposed by Dixon (1979) in Jobs for Rural Women in
Industry and Services. Measures at two levels are recommended:
First, national measures to promote investment in rural areas,
encourage the diversification of rural economies, and correct
other economic inbalances undermining rural development and
second, grass-roots measures to organize employment schemes
for rural women in nonagricultural production (particularly
small industries and rural construction), sales, service, and
administrative/professional positions.

Dixon further recommends a six-step approach to creating em-
ployment for women in the rural sector:

(1) identifying groups of women who are most in need of in-
come-generating employment (particularly the landless,
stigmatized racial, religious, or ethnic groups, and
households headed by women);

(2) defining the range of economic activities in which these
women are currently engaged, with a view to raising their
output and income-generating capacity or shifting them
into more productive activities;

(3) locating indigenous social networks around which groups
of women could be mobilized to work together;

(4) establishing sources of credit, technical assistance,
and training to reach these traditionally ineligible
groups;








(5) determining needs for technology to reduce domestic burdens;
and

(6) identifying and overcoming other cultural or structural
obstacles that deny women control over the products of
their labor.
"In combination with agrarian reform policies to reduce major
inequalities in access to material and social sources within
rural areas as well as between the rural and urban sectors,
such strategies can provide women with essential support systems
enabling them to become active agents and beneficiaries of
the development process." (Dixon, 1979, p.ii)

Some of these recommendations are being implemented in rural
agro-industrial projects for landless women going on in Egypt
with funds supplied by USAID (AID Project #263-0060).

Poultry raising, traditionally carried out by women, is being
developed into small scale enterprises which aim to upgrade
the quality of the product and increase the income-generating
potential of participants. When teamed with aqua-culture
projects (AID Project #263-0064), they also attempt to intro-
duce combined by-product production. A parallel assessment
of the technical and social implications of the program fo-
cusses closely on the needs and potential of the women served.

F. Recommendations for Improving Employment Conditions of Women
Workers in Transnational Corporations
In view of the problems for women workers in transnational
corporations there is a need for Third World countries to
formulate and implement policies on two fronts: first, short
range policies stabilize employment in TNC firms, encourage the
organization and training of TNC workers and regulate the practices
of TNC's; and second, long range policies which create alternative
employment opportunities for women.


General policies:

(1) Establish strong national employment policies which guar-
antee responsible labor practices and equality of op-
portunity and treatment for women workers, to guide TNC's
in setting up and operating firms in host countries.

(2) Promote regional cooperation and coordination of employ-
ment policies to discourage TNC's from changing locations
to countries with minimal legal protection for women workers.








(3) Encourage the development of labor intensive technologies
in import substituting industries in order to reduce the
degree of dependence of developing nations on export in-
dustries which operate in highly unstable and fluctuating
world markets; limit dependence on imported foreign goods;
create domestic employment; and conserve foreign exchange.

Policies which stabilize women's employment:

(1) Establish guidelines for the provision of stable employ-
ment and social security through negotiations between
TNCs, host governments and workers'organizations.

(2) Require TNC's to provide reasonable notice of mergers,
takeovers, transfers of production or closures (which
result in dismissals or layoffs) to government authorities
and worker organizations.

(3) Require TNC's and governments to provide compensation
for laid-off or terminated workers.

(4) Guarantee the equal employment of women regardless of
marital status or age.

Policies to allow the organization of women workers:

(1) Promote unionization of women workers in order to (i)
stabilize employment; (ii) improve working conditions;
(iii) protect women workers from "shedding practices"
(in which women who gain seniority and corresponding
benefits are laid off and not rehired because they
are more expensive to the TNC's ); (iv) promote seniority
rights.

(2) When necessary organize women's unions (for example, in
locations where male/female interactions are limited, or
where women may feel inhibited participating in activities
traditionally dominated by men). This should be seen as
an intermediary step toward the active participation
of women with men in all levels of union activities.

(3) In conjunction with the unionization of women workers,
design policies and programs to reduce the time re-
quired for household activities and transportation
to and from the work place. In certain cases, women
may not have time to participate in union activities
without a corresponding reduction in the time required
for household work and transit.









Policies to ensure training of women:

(1) Promote training for women at all levels within TNC's
as appropriate to meet the needs of the enterprise as
well as the development policy of the country. Training
should aim at developing generally transferable skills and
promoting career opportunities.

Other policies:

(1) Institute government regulations to control collusion of
firms in keeping wages low and refusing to hire women
from neighbor firms who quit or are laid off.

(2) Institute and enforce safety and health regulations.

(3) Direct and coordinate activities of national governments
and the private sector to provide an adequate supply of
housing and food in communities around TNC's.

(4) Remove protective legislation prohibiting night work by
women.







FOOTNOTES


35% of heads of households are women in many parts of the Caribbean;
their proportion is estimated at 18% in India, 23% in Indonesia,
15% in Iran, 40% in parts of Kenya, 46% in Botswana, 45% in the urban
slum areas of Brazil and Venezuela. Between 1960 and 1970, the pro-
portion of such households has doubled in Brazil and increased by
one-third in Morocco.
The magnitude of family responsibility in not known precisely.
Not all national censuses provide information on mother/child ratios
by marital status. Among the countries that do, the following statistics
are noted: the child/mother ratio for divorced/widowed/single women
combined ranges from 3.4 (Peru), to 5.1 (in Botswana), to 6.6 (Honduras).
Widowed and divorced women aged 35 in Guatemala have an average of 5
children.

The average number of children per single mother is 2.2 in Chile; 3.0
in Colombia; 3.2 in Honduras, 3.3 in Guatemala, 3.4 in Peru, 3.3 in
the Caribbean. The percentage among the total adult population of
single women who are mothers is 27% in Guatemala, Colombia and Peru
when computed on the basis of those single women whose parity is known.
When all signle women who have children are counted for whom the exact
number of children is not known, the percentage of mothers in the single
adult female population is more than double. In Jamaica, nearly all
women 24 and over classified as "no longer living with common law
partner" are mothers.

According to the census figures for all adult single women, 20% are
mothers in Mozambique, 46% in Botswana. The average number of children
per single mother is 2.7. In the case of Africa it is not clear whether
the appearance of single mothers results from arbitrary categorization
of civil status according to whether the form of marriage is based on
customary or contract law.

The particular difficulty for rural women heads of household to find
work is pointed out for Bangladesh and Botswana and Kenya. (Cain 1979;
Kossoudji and Mueller 1980). In Bangladesh women heads of household
find wage labor for 17% of all persons days, compared to 41% for
male heads of household. For all type of income-generating work, women
find work for 63% of all persons days; men for 83% (Cain 1979). A survey
in rural Kenya, identifies twice as many household heads who are women
among the unemployed as there are men heads of household. (Kenya Employment
Mission nd,); in Morocco, among all the divorced in the population
who were actively seeking work 65% were women; among all the widows.
the percentage female was 78% (Youssef 1977).

The low level of asset ownership among women as compared to men has
been identified as a major cause of poverty among women heads of house-




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