Gender and Changing Transition to First Employment among Youth in Urban Africa: Evidence from Ouagadougou

Anne-Emmanuèle Calvès, Université de Montréal
Jean-François Kobiané, Université de Ouagadougou

In a context of decreasing gender gap in education and feminization of the labor market in African cities, the research uses unique retrospective longitudinal data recently collected in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso, to explore gender differentials in contemporary dynamics of transition to first employment among youth. Results suggest a substantial economic activity of young urban females during adolescence, especially among the least educated, migrants, and those from poor socioeconomic background. Despite persistent gender inequality, especially in the estimated unemployment rate and type of activity performed, the presence of young women on the paid labor market is increasingly visible, including in the emerging private sector. Today, many young Ouagalese reconcile domestic and paid work, and although the birth of a first child slows down their transition to the job market, marital life is not incompatible with young women’s transition to the labor market.

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 Presented in Session P8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, and Inequality/Gender, Race and Ethnicity