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Explaining Gender Differences in Economic Outcomes in Burkina Faso
World Bank
2024.06.19
Gender equality is central to economic development. This paper examines gender gaps in Burkina Faso and find that women’s labor force participation is 10 percentage points lower than men’s in 2019, while their wage earnings are 82 percent lower, business revenues are 61 percent lower, and value of agricultural production is 61 percent lower. Nationally, gender gaps in labor force participation, business revenues and crop sales are unchanged when compared to 2014 but increased significantly for wage earnings and (to a lesser extent) for harvest value. The gender gap in labor force participation increased in urban areas, while the northern part of Burkina Faso witnessed large increases in the business revenue gender gap. The wage gap increased most in more rural regions. Results from decomposition analysis show that women’s lack of capital and male workers, lack of control over income and lower economic benefits from marriage―along with lower levels of skills and farming inputs―have the largest associations with the gaps. The paper reviews evidence-based policy options for tackling the identified gaps for each sector, which include providing vocational skills to women, improving their access to capital, increasing the effectiveness of agricultural extension services and expanding the provision of childcare services and gender norms interventions.