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Gender Inequality and Female Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries

OLAREWAJU, Tolulope and Fernanado, Julia (2020) Gender Inequality and Female Entrepreneurship in Developing Countries. In: Decent Work and Economic Growth. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals . Springer, Switzerland. ISBN 978-3-319-71058-7

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Abstract or description

Gender inequality is one of the oldest and most pervasive forms of inequality in the world. It denies women their voices, devalues their work and makes women’s positions unequal to men’s. Despite some significant progress to change this in recent years, in no country do women have economic equality with men, and women are still more likely than men to live in poverty (Daly, 2019). Across the world, women are in the lowest-paid work and on average they earn 24 percent less than men (Huffman et al. 2017; Oxfam, 2020).
Gender inequality is particularly problematic in developing countries. Here 75 percent of women are in the informal economy, where they are less likely to have employment contracts, legal rights or social protection, and are often not paid enough to escape poverty. 600 million women in developing countries are in the most insecure and precarious forms of work (Hannum et al. 2009; Oxfam, 2020). Research also shows that in many developing countries, women occupy fewer senior positions, earn less than their male counterparts, are less likely to own land, and are more disproportionately affected by the haphazard application of customary and religious laws (Bertrand et al. 2015; Olarewaju, 2019).
Furthermore, gender differences driven by social norms might exist for occupational statuses. For example, Boden (1996) reports that women are more likely than men to shoulder family-related obligations, especially child-rearing: and there is evidence that this affects the female propensity to be
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entrepreneurial. While the value that women create in familial environments cannot be ignored, they often face a bias in paid employment, commonly called a “glass ceiling” (Ng and Sears, 2017). To compound matters, many developing countries have rigid informal perceptions of gender roles for women and a cultural bias against women being in formal paid employment which might push females into entrepreneurship.

Item Type: Book Chapter, Section or Conference Proceeding
Faculty: School of Business, Leadership and Economics > Business, Management and Marketing
Depositing User: Library STORE team
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2020 13:19
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 13:59
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