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What firm characteristics determine women's employment in manufacturing? evidence from Bangladesh

journal contribution
posted on 2016-01-01, 00:00 authored by Salma Ahmed, S Feeny, A Posso
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the principal determinants of women's employment in the manufacturing sector of Bangladesh using a firm-level panel data from the World Bank's "Enterprise Survey" for the years 2007, 2011 and 2013. The paper sheds light on the demandside factors, mainly firm-level characteristics, which also influence this decision. Design/methodology/approach - The authors estimate a fractional logit model to model a dependent variable that is limited by zero from below and one from above. Findings - The results indicate that firm size, whether medium or large, and firms' export-oriented activities, have an important impact on women's employment in the manufacturing sector in Bangladesh. Moreover, the authors find that women are significantly more likely to work in unskilledlabour- intensive industries within the manufacturing sector. Research limitations/implications - The research is limited to Bangladesh; however, much of the evidence presented here has implications that are relevant to policymakers in other developing countries. Practical implications - The study identifies factors that affect female employment, that is, where the main constraints to increase female labour force participation. The study focuses on the demand-side factors, which has been somewhat neglected in recent years. As such, it has practical policy implications. Social implications - Focusing on female employment in Bangladesh also sheds light on the nexus between labour market opportunities and social change within a country that is characterised by extreme patriarchy, which has wide-reaching implications. Originality/value - This is an original and comprehensive paper by the authors.



Equality, diversity and inclusion : an international journal






99 - 122


Emerald Group Publishing


Bingley, Eng.







Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited