Women's Employment in Africa

by Developed Africa 21. October 2013 09:00

Women's employment in Africa is a matter of great importance, the job market cannot be allowed to remain so unequal and discriminatory.

Firstly, we need to identify the problem.

The issue that is perpetuating across Africa is that women are not treated similarly to men when it comes to employment. This can be seen in many different instances, but, unlike youth unemployment, it is not a case of unemployment across the board, it is a lot more complicated.

An overview of the situation can perhaps be described as the unfair treatment of women in employment. This can be through unequal pay, unstable employment, harsh working conditions, longer working hours (with less pay), but more often than not, women have to stay at home to look after their families and have no power over themselves because they cannot raise their own capital. Women find most of their employment in the informal sector, and whilst, as is argued in a document written at Harvard University that:

Africa is known for its high rate of female labour force participation"

this does not mean that it is fair paid or stable work. With a growing number of women in political positions across Africa, it is time that fair employment rates should begin to be seen.

Secondly, the causes. 

So why is this the case? It has to do with the incredibly unfair, misogynistic, social discrimination that is rife throughout many African countries. There are a number of causes which lead to women being either in unstable, unequally paid, or no employment. A first point to mention is the lack of education, many girls and women in Africa often achieve less in education (again, for reasons other than their own capabilities) which leads to not being able to get into jobs that require certain standards of education. This of course then leaves them fewer options in the job market. But even this lack of education has something causing it, and that is the  discrimination against women that perpetuates throughout society in Africa.

Women face discrimination foremost because they are expected to only be able to work in the home, to fetch water, and to look after their family. This belief stops girls from attending school, getting good jobs, and from being able to develop themselves further. In our next post, we will discuss the solutions to this problem, and what Developed Africa believes to be the best method for giving more power to women in Africa.

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