Factors Affecting Women’s Participation in Namibia’s Workforce: Evidence from the 2009/10 Namibia Households Incomes and Expenditure Survey

  •  Pempelani Mufune    


This study examines factors that influence the labour force participation of women in Namibia. The objectivesare to (1) examine the rates of employment among women in Namibia; (2) compare patterns of employment andunemployment across women and men taking into account and type of work and industry; (3) gain insights intofactors (marital status, age, residence, education) that promote or hinder women from work. The rationale is thatidentifying factors affecting women’s participation in Namibia’s workforcemay provide insight for practitionersand policy makers on how best to support women to either continue in employment or get engaged with work,thereby achieving Namibia’s goal of gender equality. This study utilizes data from the Namibia HouseholdsIncomes and Expenditure Survey of 2009/2010. The results indicate Namibian women are increasingly enteringthe labour force as a result of post-independence policies that emphasize greater gender equality. Still womenlag behind men in many aspects of labour force participation. Age, education level, and place of residence(urban residence) are predictors of labor force participation rates of women. Marital status seems to be more apredictor of men’s than of women’s paid employment. We conclude that increases in women’s education inparticular may prove useful in increasing women’s employment in Namibia. Policies should target women’seducation.

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