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Social Institutions and Gender-Biased Outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa

Tendai Zawaira (), Matthew Clance () and Carolyn Chisadza
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Tendai Zawaira: Department of Economics, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa

No 2020101, Working Papers from University of Pretoria, Department of Economics

Abstract: Using data on historical homelands of ethnicities from the Ethnographic Atlas (Murdock, 1959, 1967) and World Values Survey (WVS) data, we analyse how social institutions perpetuate social attitudes that legitimise gender inequality in the labour market, specifically on female labour force participation in sub- Saharan Africa. We find that patriarchal systems in general such as patrilineal kinship, patrilineal land inheritance and patrilocal residence upon marriage reduce female labour force participation, whilst matriarchal systems have the opposite effect. These results are partly influenced by unequal gender attitudes towards women and their work. The findings suggest that social institutions are an important element in understanding gender dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa because they have over time informed on gender identification and appropriate gender roles in most societies.

Keywords: Gender; Africa; Institutions; Culture (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J16 O11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2020-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-dev, nep-hme, nep-lab and nep-soc
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