Publication: Women in Paid Employment: A Role for Public Policies and Social Norms in Guatemala

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Embargoed until 2024-11-03
1360-0818 (print)
1469-9966 (online)
Viollaz , Mariana
With only 32% of women in the labor market, Guatemala has one of the lowest rates of female labor force participation (FLFP) in the Latin America and Caribbean region and in the world. We explore information from different micro data sets, including the most recent population censuses (2002 and 2018) to assess the drivers of recent progress. Between 2002 and 2018, FLFP increased from an average of 26% to 32% nationwide. This increase was partly explained by increases in the school attainment of women, reduction in fertility and the country’s structural transformation towards services. However, a large part of the increase remains unexplained. Exploring 2018 data, we show that social norms, attitudes towards women and public policies are important determinants of FLFP. The analysis suggests that, taken together, these factors can all become an important source of increased participation of women in the labor market moving forward.
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