In Egypt, the share of women in employment is far lower than men. Not just that, an increasing number are in irregular or seasonal work. The instability of these jobs makes finding future employment far more difficult for women.
How has mothers’ employment in Egypt shaped their daughters’ labour force attachment? A new study published in Sex Roles, co-authored by Dr Mariam Abouelenin and Professor Yang Hu, of Lancaster University, answers just this.
They find daughters whose mothers were employed during their adolescences were much more likely to have stable employment.
“The key finding of this study was the strong intergenerational relationship between having an employed mother and a daughter’s employment stability,” said Dr Abouelenin.
“Daughters whose mothers were employed were more than twice as likely to have stable employment compared to daughters whose mother were not employed.”
The paper also emphasises that the relationship is even stronger when a daughter is employed in the same sector as her mother was from a young age.
Importantly, the study shows that interventions early in life to help support women’s labour force participation can have far-reaching implications for promoting gender equality at work a generation down the line.
Dr Abouelenin, who works in the Centre for Family Justice Research at Lancaster University, said future interventions aimed at increasing women’s labour force participation in Egypt should focus on ensuring that mothers are informed of how their employment can impact on their daughters’ labour force attachment.
If the new generation of mothers now entering the Egyptian labour force remain in employment, then their daughters are more likely to too. Over time, this could increase the overall share of women in work, leading to longer-term social and economic benefits for the country.
You can access the full article here: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11199-022-01326-w
Discussion about this post