Determinants of Female Labor Force Participation in Rwanda
The government of Rwanda has registered remarkable achievements regarding gender equity and women empowerment over the years. However, in the labor force there seems to be a persistent gender gap. Female Labor Force Participation (FLFP) rate remains disproportionately below that of men, and more women are in the informal sector whereas men record a large number in the formal sector. There exists a dearth of empirical evidence on the factors influencing FLFP in Rwanda. Thus, this paper sought to bridge this knowledge gap by analyzing the factors that influence female labor force participation in Rwanda, using the recent Rwandan Labor Force Survey data 2017. The study employed the binary logit model to establish the determinants of female labor force participation. We find that the main factors associated with female participation in the labor force are higher levels of education, urban residence, household size, head of household and age. In an attempt to investigate the factors influencing participation in formal and informal sectors, the study used the multinomial logit model. We establish a positive and significant effect of higher levels of education on female participation in the formal sector as opposed to informal sector. In particular, we find that all levels of education are negatively associated with participation in the informal sector. The results suggest that educational attainment particularly higher levels, age of a woman, being married, head of the household, as well as urban residence, are associated with participation in the formal sector. The findings indicate almost similar results for informal sector with the exception of education. The study established the large extent of informal employment in Rwanda and the urgency to formalize the informal sector.
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