Making the workplace work for women

The traditional economic rationale for increased female labour force participation is that it benefits women directly and society indirectly. A new argument looks at how increased female labour force participation can boost aggregate economic growth and hence, benefit everyone, on average. Yet, several factors hinder women’s productive employment.

This Growth Brief presents International Growth Centre (IGC) and related research on the key factors that constrain female labour force participation (FLFP) in developing countries and strategies to address these constraints. The discussion is structured by ‘spaces’, with a focus on social and cultural norms in the home space; issues of safety and mobility in the public space; and gender inequities and lack of enabling conditions in the workplace. Many of these barriers are cross-cutting – particularly norms – and interlink across spaces.