Financial inclusion and labour market participation of women in selected countries in Africa.

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Date

2021-06-30

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Publisher

Sciendo/ De Gruyter on behalf of EKA University of Applied Sciences, Latvia.

Abstract

Research purpose: This study investigates the impact of financial inclusion on female labour force participation in Africa. It also complements the existing studies by evaluating how advancement in information and communication technology (ICT) and Trade openness (TO) modulate the relationship between financial inclusion and female economic participation in selected African countries. Design/methodology/approach: The study focuses on twelve African countries while the empirical evidence is based on Fixed Effects, Random Effects and Generalised Least Square estimators (GLS). Data over the period of 2005-2016 are sourced from the World Bank Development database and IMF international Financial Statistics. Findings: The results show that financial inclusion has a non‐monotonic relationship with female labour force participation. The study establishes that if the level of financial inclusion can be increased to the range of 33-57 per cent, it would improve the level of women participation in economic activities. The results further show that ICT moderates the nexus between financial inclusion and female economic participation at a threshold level of 38.17 per cent. These findings persist when the TO is used as the moderating factor at a threshold value of 80.90 per cent. The results are robust enough to suggest an alternative proxy for female labour force participation and alternative estimation techniques. Originality/value/practical implications: Ending gender inequality has become one of the priorities in the global development policies in which most African nations domesticate the same for their national planning. There are voices at every corner in Africa demanding the possibility of achieving gender equality in employment, among others. This article is one of the few articles that evaluate whether financial inclusion can be used to accelerate female economic participation in Africa.

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Keywords

Financial inclusion; Female empowerment; Africa

Citation

Ajide, F. M. (2021). Financial inclusion and labour market participation of women in selected countries in Africa. Economics and Culture, 18(1), 15-31. Published by Sciendo/ De Gruyter on behalf of EKA University of Applied Sciences, Latvia. Available at https://sciendo.com/es/issue/JEC/18/1

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