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The Contribution of African Women to Economic Growth and Development in Post-Colonial Africa : Historical Perspectives and Policy Implications

ACCESS OF WOMEN ACCESS TO EDUCATION ACCESS TO RESOURCES ACCESS TO SCHOOLING ADULT EDUCATION ADULT WOMEN AGE OF MARRIAGE AGRICULTURAL SECTOR BASIC EDUCATION BASIC NUMERACY BREADWINNERS CAPACITY OF WOMEN CAREGIVERS CHILD EDUCATION CHILD HEALTH CHILD MORTALITY CHILD MORTALITY RATES CIVIL WAR COMPLETION RATES COUNTRY CASE COURTS CULTURAL VALUES CURRICULUM CUSTOMARY LAW DEPENDENCE ON MEN DEPENDENCY RATIOS DESCENT DETERMINANTS OF GROWTH DEVELOPING COUNTRIES DEVELOPMENT POLICY DROPOUT DROPOUT RATES ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES ECONOMIC ACTIVITY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN ECONOMIC GROWTH ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES ECONOMICS EDUCATION OF GIRLS EDUCATION PROGRAMS EDUCATION SECTOR EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT EDUCATIONAL GENDER EDUCATIONAL GENDER GAPS EDUCATIONAL POLICIES EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM EMPIRICAL RESULTS EMPIRICAL STUDIES EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ENROLLMENT OF CHILDREN ENROLLMENT RATES ENROLLMENT RATIO EQUALITY IN EDUCATION ETHNIC GROUPS EXAMS FAMILIES FAMILY PLANNING FAMILY PLANNING PROGRAMS FEMALE FEMALE ACCESS FEMALE CHILDREN FEMALE EDUCATION FEMALE EMPLOYMENT FEMALE ENROLLMENT FEMALE LABOR FEMALE LABOR FORCE FEMALE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION FEMALE MIGRANTS FEMALE POPULATION FEMALES FERTILITY FERTILITY RATE FERTILITY RATES FORMAL EDUCATION GENDER GENDER BIAS GENDER DISCRIMINATION GENDER EQUALITY GENDER EQUALITY IN EDUCATION GENDER GAP GENDER GAPS IN ACCESS GENDER INEQUALITIES GENDER INEQUALITY GENDER PARITY GENDER RELATIONS GIRLS GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT GROWTH REGRESSION HEALTH CARE HEALTH OUTCOMES HEALTH SECTOR HIGHLY EDUCATED WOMEN HIV HOME HOUSEHOLD INCOME HOUSEHOLD LEVEL HOUSEHOLD SURVEYS HUMAN CAPITAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INCIDENCE OF POVERTY INFANT INFANT MORTALITY INFECTION RATES INFORMAL ECONOMY INFORMAL SECTOR INFORMAL SECTOR EMPLOYMENT INFORMAL SECTORS INTERVENTIONS ISLAMIC LAW KINSHIP LABOR FORCE LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION LABOR MARKET LEARNING LITERACY LITERACY CLASSES LITERACY RATES LONG RUN LONG-RUN GROWTH LOW-INCOME COUNTRIES LOW-INCOME COUNTRY MEDICAL SCHOOL MIDWIVES MIGRANTS MIGRATION MINORITY MOBILITY OF WOMEN MOTHER NATIONAL ACCOUNTS NATIONAL LEVEL NATURAL RESOURCE NATURAL RESOURCES OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OPPRESSION PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN PARTICIPATION RATES PATRIARCHY PERSONAL COMMUNICATION PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES PHARMACIES POLICY DISCUSSIONS POLICY IMPLICATIONS POLICY RESEARCH POLICY RESEARCH WORKING PAPER POLITICAL PARTICIPATION POPULATION GROWTH POVERTY REDUCTION PREGNANCY PREGNANT WOMEN PRIMARY EDUCATION PRIMARY ENROLLMENT PRIMARY ENROLLMENT RATES PRIMARY ENROLLMENTS PRIMARY SCHOOL PRIMARY SCHOOL ENROLLMENTS PRIMARY SCHOOLS PRODUCTIVITY PROGRESS PROSTITUTION REDUCTION OF FERTILITY RELIGIOUS BELIEFS REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN REPRODUCTIVE CAPACITY REPRODUCTIVE ROLES RESOURCE ALLOCATION RICH COUNTRIES ROLE MODELS ROLE OF WOMEN RURAL AREAS RURAL POPULATIONS SAFETY NET SAFETY NETS SCHOOL ATTENDANCE SCHOOL QUALITY SCHOOLS SECONDARY EDUCATION SECONDARY SCHOOL SECONDARY SCHOOL LEVEL SECONDARY SCHOOLING SEX SEXUAL DIVISION OF LABOR SINGLE WOMEN SKILLED WORKERS SOCIAL NORMS SOCIAL RETURNS SOCIAL SCIENCES SOCIAL STATUS STATE SCHOOLS SUBSISTENCE AGRICULTURE TEACHERS TEACHING TECHNICAL TRAINING TERTIARY EDUCATION TRADITIONAL SOCIETIES TUITION UNDP UNEMPLOYMENT UNEMPLOYMENT RATES UNESCO UNICEF UNIFEM UNIVERSAL ACCESS UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION URBAN AREAS URBAN CENTERS URBAN GROWTH RATE URBAN MIGRATION URBAN POPULATION URBAN POPULATIONS URBAN WOMEN URBANIZATION VULNERABILITY WAGE GAP WARS WDR WIFE WOMAN WOMEN WORKERS WORKFORCE WORKING MOTHERS YOUNG MEN YOUNG WOMEN YOUTH YOUTH LITERACY
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Africa
2013-09-26T20:55:56Z | 2013-09-26T20:55:56Z | 2013-07

This paper draws on history, anthropology, and economics to examine the dynamics and extent of women's contribution to growth and economic development in post-colonial Africa. The paper investigates the paradox of increased female enrollment in education and the persistence of gender discrimination in labor force participation; it also considers the overwhelming importance of the informal economy in female economic activity. The first axis the paper studies is whether reducing educational gender gaps enhances growth in per capita gross domestic product and reduces female fertility rates and infant mortality. The question is, why would some African countries resist this pattern? The second axis examines agriculture and home production. Women's economic activities in the informal economy largely represent the commercialization of domestic skills and dependence on social networks. The shunting of female production to the informal sector in the male-dominated colonial economy is easy to understand, but why has the informal economy persisted where female production is concerned well beyond the colonial period? The paper attempts to explain these trajectories by using country case studies on Senegal, Botswana, and Kenya. Although women's contribution to growth and economic development seems to be positive and significant in predominantly Christian and mineral-rich economies, it is more constrained in pronounced Muslim dominated countries and agrarian economies. At the same time, impressive uniform growth in informal sector production in recent years suggests that occupational job segregation and gender inequality remain strong across the region, despite the apparent loosening of traditional norms and cultural beliefs, most notably illustrated by the reduction in educational gender gaps and increased female labor force participation rates.

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