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Social Norms as a Barrier to Women's Employment in Developing Countries

Sep 2019
By  Seema Jayachandra
This paper discusses cultural barriers to women's participation and success in the labor market in developing countries. I begin by describing how gender norms influence the relationship between economic development and female employment, as well as how gender norms differ substantially across societies at the same level of economic development. I then discuss in more detail specic gender-related social norms and how they constrain women's employment. I present examples of policies aimed at dismantling these cultural barriers to female employment and the impacts they have.