Women in the Egyptian Labor Market An Analysis of Developments from 1988 to 2006

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1 Women in the Egyptian Labor Market An Analysis of Developments from 1988 to B Y R A G U I A S S A A D P O P U L A T I O N C O U N C I L A N D F A T M A E L - H A M I D I U N I V E R S I T Y O F P I T T S B U R G H

2 Introduction Despite significant closing of the gender gap in education and health, Egypt ranks very poorly in international comparison of gender equality 120 of 128 countries in most recent WEF report 2 Worst ranking is in the women s economic opportunity component of the gender equality index (120) Better ranking in educational attainment (101) and in health and survival (81) How much progress have Egyptian women made in the labor market in recent decades? Focus will be on women in wage and salary employment, especially outside the now contracting government sector

3 Outline I. Trends in labor force participation and unemployment by gender II. The evolution of the structure of overall employment by gender III. Women s Wage and Salary Employment I. By Education II. Over the Life Cycle IV. Conclusions 3

4 4 I. TRENDS IN LABOR FORCE PARTICIPATION AND UNEMPLOYMENT BY GENDER

5 The Measurement of female labor force participation is subject to error. Available evidence suggests that it has declined slightly since Trends in Market Labor Force Participation Rates (%), by Gender and Year, Ages Rural Urban Total adj 2006 Males Females

6 Unemployment Rate by Gender and Urban/Rural Location, Ages Standard Unemployment Definition and Market Labor Force Definition. Female unemployment rates are 4 times as high as male rates, but declined at the same rate. Male 6.8 urban rural Total Female 22.8 urban 20.0 rural Total Total urban rural Years Total Percent

7 7 II. THE EVOLUTION OF THE STRUCTURE OF OVERALL EMPLOYMENT BY GENDER

8 Female Employment is dominated by government employment and non-wage work (mostly self-employment and unpaid family work in home-based enterprises). Together they make up 81% of female employment. The structure has not changed much since Structure of Employment By Gender % 33% 26% 45% 45% 4% 14% 9% 8% 5% 15% 4% 4% 2% 19% 9% 9% 8% 4% 6% 3% 2% 11% 7% 6% 52% 27% 36% 36% 22% adj 2006 Non-Wage Work Irregular Wage Informal Regular Wage Formal Public Enterprises Government Male Female

9 Urban female employment is dominated by government work, but has a growing share of private sector wage work (both formal and informal). Rural female employment is dominated by non-wage work % 17% 9% 7% 61% 12% 55% 68% 68% 22% 21% 9 Structure of Female Employment by Urban/Rural Location 44% 45% 6% 9% 4% 6% 4 36% 1998 Adj Adj Adj 2006 Non-Wage Work Irregular Wage Informal Regular Wage Formal Public Enterprises Government Urban Rural All

10 Total employment grew at about the same rate for men and women, but female employment is growing faster than male employment in private wage and salary work Average Annual Growth Rate of Employment (%) by Sector and Sex, males females

11 The overall female share of employment has remained constant at 23 percent, but governmental and non-governmental wage & salary employment has feminized 35% 3 25% 2 15% 5% 33% 31% 31% 29% 23% 23% 12% 12% 13% 11% 11% 12% 11% 6% 7% 11 Female Share of Employment by Sector, 1998,

12 12 III.1 WOMEN S WAGE AND SALARY EMPLOYMENT BY EDUCATION

13 Women s participation in Wage & Salary Work is strongly determined by educational attainment, but participation has declined correcting for education, essentially due to declines in public sector participation All Wage and Salary Work Public Sector Education Education

14 formal wage and salary work is also strongly associated with education, but informal wage and salary work is more weakly associated and peaks for technical secondary graduates. Informal employment rates are rising for educated women 14 9% 8% 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% Formal Wage & Salary Work 9% 8% 7% 6% 5% 4% 3% 2% 1% Informal Wage Work Education Education Note Change of scale

15 15 III.2 WOMEN S WAGE & SALARY EMPLOYMENT OVER THE LIFE CYCLE

16 As public sector hiring slows, there is a marked aging of the public sector labor force. Notice the shift of the age distribution to the right. Only young women (mostly unmarried) seem to work in the private sector, with little shift over time 6 Employment-to-Population Ratios for Public Sector Employment Urban Females 16 6 Employment-to-Population Ratios for Wage and Salary Employment Urban Females Age Poly. (1988) Poly. (1998) Poly. (2006) Age Poly. (1988) Poly. (1998) Poly. (2006)

17 Marital status is a strong determinant of the form of wage & salary work women engage in. The majority of working ever married women are public sector workers. Nearly half of never married working women in 2006 were informal private sector workers Distribution of Female Wage and Salary Workers by Marital Status and Year Ever Married Never Married Ever Married Never Married Informal Formal Public Sector

18 Never married women save a significant proportion of their income, but their ability to save is declining over time. Ever married women save little Proportion of Income Saved by Marital Status for Female Wage and Salary Workers All More than half Between quarter and half Less than quarter None Never Married Ever Married

19 The proportion of never married W&S workers desiring to work after marriage is lower in the private sector, but is rising over time. Same is true for confidence in being able to do so Proportion of Never Married Female W&S Workers Desiring to Work After Marriage by Sector, 1998, Proportion of Never-Married Female W& S Workers Confident in their Ability to Work After Marriage Among Those Desiring to Work by Sector, 1998, Public Sector Formal Informal 0 Public Sector Formal Informa;

20 Proportion of never married female W&S workers believing that work prior to marriage increases marriage prospects has risen significantly over time. But the proportion of married female W&S workers whose husband accepts their work is not changing much Proportion of Never Married Female W&S Workers Believing that Work Increases Marriage Propsects by Sector, 1998, 2006 Public Sector Formal Informal Proportion of Married Female W&S Workers whose Husbands' Firmly Accept or Accept their Work by Sector, 1998, 2006 Public Sector Formal Informal

21 Fewer married female W&S workers are able to get pregnant on the job in private sector, but proportion is increasing. Paid maternity leaves are getting shorter and are non-existent in informal employment Proportion of Married Female W&S Workers who Were Working During Last Pregnancy by Sector, 1998, 2006 Public Sector Formal Informal Proportion of Married Female W&S Workers Who Were Pregnant on the Job Who Recieved a Paid Maternity Leave Public Sector Formal Informal more than 12 weeks 6-12 weeks 4-6 weeks 2-4 weeks no maternity leave

22 LE/month formal sector workers are most reliant on paid child care and pay the most for it when they get it Proportion of Married Female W&S Workers with children Under Six by Type of Child Care Paid Unpaid Other Unpaid Family 22 Average Amount Paid in 2006 for those who Paid for Child Care Public Sector Formal Informal Public Sector Formal Informal

23 Conclusions 23 Although female labor force participation rates are stable or slightly declining, they should have in fact increased due to rising educational attainment levels Correcting for education, participation rates are dropping, primarily due to fewer opportunities in the government Unemployment rates are also dropping due to the rising futility of waiting for government employment Non-governmental wage employment is growing and the female share in it is rising slightly

24 Conclusions Marital status has a strong impact on the kind of W&S work women are able to perform. Married women are almost exclusively in the public sector 24 The majority of unmarried women who work to do in order to save (probably for marriage) but their ability to save has declined with time Desire and confidence in ability to work after marriage depends on the sector of work, but is rising for private sector workers

25 Conclusions 25 A rising proportion of never married women think work increases their marriage prospects, but the proportion of married women whose husband s accepts their work is stagnant Public sector is clearly more accommodating of women s reproductive roles, but the length of paid maternity leaves in that sector is falling Formal private sector workers with children under six are most likely to use paid child care and they pay the most for it Informal private sector work makes no concessions to women s reproductive roles

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