Young and female - a double strike? Gender analysis of school-to-work transition surveys in 32 developing countries
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This report addresses the topic of gender equality from the perspective of the youth cohort aged 15‒29. More specifically, it makes use of data from recent ILO school-to-work transition surveys (SWTS) to offer insight into the labour market transitions of young men and women from more than 30 developing countries. The analysis will show that being young and female can serve as a double strike for those seeking to find productive employment. With more young people going to school and staying in education for longer periods, there is a long-term trend of decreasing labour force participation rates for both sexes. Yet still the labour force participation rate of young men remained 16 percentage points higher than that of young women in 2014. Parenthood exacerbates the gaps, pushing young men into employment and young women out of employment. Gender gaps also remain evident in unemployment rates, informality rates and levels of labour underutilization. The underlying causes of young women’s weaker employment outcomes are many but certainly include early marriage, the gender roles that ascribe greater unpaid work burdens for females, limited access to productive resources and persistent job segregation.