Volume 2013 Number 1
  • EISSN: 2309-3927


Educational attainment and economic need are factors that contribute to female labor supply, while the structure of the economy and the development strategy in place create demand for female labor in both public and private sectors. Other factors that shape female labor supply are age, marital status, and the presence of young children. Across the world, as the female share of the global work force has grown to near parity with that of men, even mothers of small children have achieved labor force attachment. And yet, the double burden that they face is a matter of concern for policymakers and women's rights advocates alike. Moreover, this burden is complicated by social class. Upper-income women are able to secure the services of a nanny or an expensive childcare center, which enables them to remain at their professions. Such an option is not, however, available to most middle-class women, and certainly not to women from working-class or low-income households. In many countries where statutory paid maternity leaves are available, such leaves are available only to women in the formal sector and they are of short duration, leaving working mothers dissatisfied and anxious. Where mothers have the possibility of lengthy, unpaid maternity leaves, their status in the workplace and possibility for advancement or promotion may diminish.


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