Untapping Low Female Labor Force Participation In Egypt: Ending The Marriage Mismatch - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Untapping Low Female Labor Force Participation In Egypt: Ending The Marriage Mismatch

Rana Hendy

September, 2015


6 pages

J3. Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
I2. Education and Research Institutions

In a nutshell

  • Despite significant increases in female educational attainment, Egyptian women’s labor force participation rate remains one of the lowest in the world.
  • This can be partially explained by the fact that while transitioning into marriage is an important phase in a woman’s life, it poses a major obstacle to her economic participation. Accordingly, a marriage mismatch exists, whereby marital conditions and responsibilities do not respond to labor market needs and vice versa.
  • Considering the fact that women largely seek out government jobs, policies that would make private sector jobs better fit the lifestyle of women, especially married women, would go a long way in improving the situation.
  • This can be achieved by creating more part-time jobs and jobs that allow married women to work from home. Moreover, parental leave policies, equal-pay policies and policies that do not impede the growth of the services sector are other solutions.
Research Associates

Rana Hendy

Assistant Professor, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Qatar University



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