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Gender Regime and Women’s Employment in Kazakhstan

Mieke Meurs, Maigul Nugmanova (), Aizhan Salimzhanova () and Stevie Marvin ()
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Maigul Nugmanova: Narxoz University
Aizhan Salimzhanova: Narxoz University
Stevie Marvin: American University

Comparative Economic Studies, 2021, vol. 63, issue 4, No 4, 603-622

Abstract: Abstract Researchers have analyzed care policies in the wider Europe in order to understand how these may impact labor force decisions of women. We extend this analysis to Central Asia, focusing on the emerging gender regime in Kazakhstan, which has become a leader in announcing policies to facilitate combining family responsibilities with employment. While childcare services have expanded rapidly in Kazakhstan, female labor force participation has not increased as might have been expected based on the European cases. We draw on the data from the EBRD Life in Transition Survey from 2006, 2010 and 2016 to examine how motherhood and the availability of childcare are related to the employment choices of Kazakhstani women. We find that motherhood of very young children is strongly associated with a lower likelihood of employment and that the availability of childcare does not affect this relationship. Considering possible reasons for this and the typology European gender regimes, we suggest that greater availability of quality care for children under 2 and increased support for caring by fathers which would reduce opportunity costs of employment for women and could help Kazakhstan achieve its goal of increasing gender equity.

Keywords: Central Asia; Childcare; Employment; Gender; J2; P2; B52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1057/s41294-021-00173-0

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