Demographic change and employment inequality in Cameroon: trends and sources

Fatou Jah, Cornell University

Like other developing regions, African countries have witnessed a global transformation in progress in women’s schooling, delayed marriage, and reduced fertility in the last three decades. Theoretically, these three trends could improve employment prospects for women and reduce gender inequalities in employment and enhance child and family welfare. Combining discrete event history analysis and qualitative information in Cameroon, I assess how the employment gender inequality has changed and the relative contribution of schooling, marriage, and fertility to the observed changes. Findings suggest that the inequality in employment has persisted within both the overall and formal economic sectors and Cameroonian women have not reaped the anticipated economic benefits from the transitions, particularly education. Much as calendar time, periods of economic growth have not eased the gender inequality. Instead, institutional/segregated employment opportunities tied to demographic factors and to a smaller degree, discrimination, are driving the rooted employment inequality.

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Presented in Session 102: Gender inequalities in demographic outcomes