Inclusive Growth and Gender Inequality

Publication | December 2012

Economic necessity is a key factor driving women to join in market-based employment in Asia’s low-income countries. But married women’s role in the household reduces the likelihood of their labor market participation.

This study examines gender inequality in labor markets in Asia and the Pacific, with a focus on the structural drivers of women's labor force participation. Demographic survey data indicate that in Asia's lower-income countries, economic necessity is an important push factor behind women's employment. Also, being married and having young children both reduce the likelihood that a woman is employed. In a separate analysis for Taipei,China, this disincentive effect from young children on women's employment has increased over time. These results point to the importance of policies that support women's roles as caregivers while they are employed in market-based activities.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Links Between Economic Growth and Gender Inequality
  • Gender Inequality in Asian Labor Markets: Macro-Level Evidence
  • Drivers of Women's Labor Force Participation: Micro-Level Evidence
  • Conclusions and Policy Implications
  • References

Additional Details

  • Economics
  • Gender
  • Social development and protection
  • Social protection - labor and employment
  • WPS125255
  • 1655-5252 (Print)

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