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1_Article on Gender and Employment_FionaMacPhail

1_Article on Gender and Employment_FionaMacPhail

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Published by: ADBGAD on Aug 28, 2012
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The e-Newsletter of the Gender Network
August 2012 | Vol. 6, No. 2
Promoting gender equality in employment and decent work forinclusive growth: experiences from Cambodia, Philippines, andKazakhstan
by Fiona MacPhailGender, employment and inclusive growth
While low income countries have experienced increases income per capita, such growth hasnot been inclusive in all countries. That is, economic growth has occurred without reducingthe incidence of income poverty or the number of poor population has actually increased.Many international development agencies and national planning agencies recognize thatemployment is a key pathway out of poverty and consequently, a critical mechanism for achieving inclusive growth. Expansion of employment and decent work for women, and poor people generally, would increase their earnings and income, and contribute to inclusivegrowth. Employment of women is necessary to ensure that over 50 percent of the populationis included, and would further increase labor productivity and provide further incentives toinvest in human capital of girls.Given the importance of gender equitable employment for inclusive growth, the ADB RDTA
Promoting gender equality in the labor market for inclusive growth 
seeks to examine thegendered nature of labor markets in Cambodia, the Philippines, and Kazakhstan, as well ashighlighting current good practices for promoting gender equality in the labor market. Thepreliminary findings from the RDTA were presented at the Multilateral Development BankGender and Employment Workshop, held in Istanbul, April 24-25, 2012. This note provideshighlights from the presentation.
Dimensions of gender inequality in the labor markets of Cambodia, the Philippines,and Kazakhstan
The nature of 
women’s employment varies across the three countries given their specific
historical conditions and contemporary economic policy. In Kazakhstan, market reformssince 1991 contributed to economic growth but are also associated with a decline in
women’s labo
r force participation rates, compared to the planned Soviet economic system.The industrial and occupations in which women are employed in this resource-orientedeconomy are different from those in the Philippines, where women have found employmentin electronics manufacturing and a growing business processing outsourcing service sector.The end of civil war in Cambodia left a primarily agrarian economy, but trade policy hascontributed to the rise of the garment sector in which large numbers of women areemployed. International migration also plays different roles, as considerable out-migrationoccurs from Cambodia and the Philippines, whereas, Kazakhstan has experienced in-migration.
The full presentation is available from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development website, athttp://www.ebrd.com/downloads/research/sustain/4macphail.pdf . 
Despite differences in women’s employment, it remains the case, that
labor marketoutcomes in all three countries are unfavorable to women. Women have lower labor forceparticipation rates (LFPR), compared to men, in all three countries (see Figure 1); the largestgender LFPR gap occurs for the Philippines. While varying across countries and over time,social norms tend to assign domestic and care responsibilities to women. Women allocatemany unpaid hours of work to provide domestic and care products and services for their families and this often constrains their ability to fully participate in the labor market, as wellas resulting in women shouldering a greater total work burden (paid and unpaid) than men.
In addition, the demand for women’s labor is affected not only by aggregate demandconditions but also employers’
hiring decisions which may be affected by discriminatorysocial norms.
Figure 1: Labor force participation rates, Cambodia, Philippines,and Kazakhstan, Women and Men, 2010
Notes: Labor force participation rate (%), all three countries 
15 years +, 2010 Source: compiled from ILO, Key Indicators of the Labour Market.
Gender inequality in labor market outcomes is reflected in types of work performed bywomen, as well as their wages. Women are more likely, compared to men, to be working asunpaid contributing family members (see Figure 2), and thus do not benefit directly fromwages and income.While there has been an increase in the percentage of women with wage employment in thenon-agricultural sector (one the MDG-3 indicators of gender equality), women comparedwith men in each of the countries have less access to wage employment. Within the wagedlabor market, women tend to be restricted to a very narrow range of industrial sub-sectorsand occupational categories. For example, in Kazakhstan, women are highly concentrated inthe lower paid services sector such as trade and education, whereas as men are more likelyto have access to the higher paid resources sub-sector. As entrepreneurs, women aredisproportionately operating micro and small enterprises, and further, these microenterprisestend to be in the less productive and remunerative, wholesale and retail trade sector.
Figure 2: Unpaid family workers, Cambodia, Philippines,and Kazakhstan, Women and Men, 2008
Notes: Unpaid contributing family worker (%), Cambodia 
7 years +, Philippines and Kazakhstan 
15 years plus, 2008.Source: compiled from ILO, Key Indicators of the Labour Market.
There is some evidence that decent work conditions are deteriorating and that women areparticularly vulnerable. For example, among women, there has been: an increase in thepercentage of low wage workers (Philippines); increase in the gender wage gap (Cambodia);and increased employment vulnerability due to fluctuations in global demand for labor intensive products and services (Cambodia and the Philippines).
Good practices to expand women’s employment
Examples of good practices to expand women’s employment and decent work exist in all
three countries. First, at the macroeconomic level, as part of national fiscal policy,Kazakhstan has undertaken some reinvestment in infrastructure and services to increaseaccess to potable water and electricity; such infrastructure and services may reduce
women’s unpaid time burden. In Cambodia, the link between trade policy and working
conditions in the garment sector improves access to employment and decent work for women. The Philippines has a strong legal framework, the Magna Carta, and well-developednational machinery for gender mainstreaming to assist with gender-responsive planning.Second, policies to promote employment opportunities for women are being planned or implemented in each country. Cambodia plans to expand technical and vocationaleducation and training which recognizes the benefits of including training for women in non-
traditional areas; such training should enhance women’s access to employment and
assist inreducing occupational and industrial segregation. Legal provisions exist in Kazakhstan thatoffer some job security to women who take unpaid leave for child care reasons.Third, in terms of social protection, the Philippines has initiated a cash transfer program,funded by among others, the Asian Development Bank, and a pilot project to expand socialinsurance to informal workers.
Finally, there are several examples of projects designed to support women’s voice, rights
and representation. In Cambodia, for example, the Urban Sector Group has engaged withstreet vendors and provided training and capacity building in advocacy and negotiating. The

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