Gender Differences in Rural Off-farm Employment Participation in Tanzania: Is Spatial Mobility an Issue?

This paper investigates gender differences in spatial mobility with respect to participation in off-farm employment in rural Tanzania. The mobility issue arises because the recent increase in women participation in off-farm employment is likely to saturate the local labor market/off-farm opportunities and dampen the rural wages/profit among women if it is not accompanied by increased geographical mobility. The results show that, despite the recent increase in their participation, women do not have significant geographical mobility, thus tends to operate more locally as compared to men. The results of decompositions of gender differences in participation in off-farm employment show that a substantial portion of the gender differences is not explained by individuals' endowments. However, policy interventions that could narrow the education gap between male and female are likely to narrow the existing gender gap. Likewise, policies that increases access to water (reduce time needed to collects water) have the potential of reducing the observed gender differences. Since geographical mobility among women is likely to be dictated by cultural factors that tend to have policy inertia, in the short run, there is need to create diversified off-farm opportunities for women within the rural areas in order to reduce unnecessary competition among them.

Issue Date:
Jan 01 2014
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Record Identifier:
Published in:
African Journal of Economic Review, Volume 02, Number 1
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 Record created 2017-10-18, last modified 2018-01-23

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