Presentation on theme: "Markets, Power and Production Malian Women in the Informal Sector."— Presentation transcript:
Markets, Power and Production Malian Women in the Informal Sector
A Picture of Mali Population: million people (2008) GNP per capita: $440 (2007) Economic growth rate: average of 5.1% ( ) Ranked 168 out of 179 on UNDP’s Human Development Index (2008) Adult literacy rate: 15.6% (women), 31.1% (men) Total fertility rate: 6.7% (2005)
The Informal Sector What is it? The International Labor Organization considers the informal sector to include “all remunerative work – both self-employment and wage employment – that is not recognized, regulated or protected by existing legal or regulatory frameworks and non- remunerative work undertaken in an income-producing enterprise.” (ILO, Women and Men in the Informal Economy, 2002) Worker constraints: not protected by labor laws, tend to earn less money than formal counterparts, lack healthcare and other worker benefits, may work under irregular contracts Women face specific constraints, for example: lack of access to capital, lack of access to markets and possible competition from men pushed out of the formal sector by economic recession. How big is it in Africa? As a percentage share of: Non-agricultural employment: 78% Urban employment: 61% New jobs: 93%
The Informal Sector in Mali Share of Non-agricultural Workforce in informal Sector and Women’s Share of Informal Sector Percentage of Non-Agricultural Labor Force in Informal Sector Women’s Share of Informal Sector in the Non- Agricultural Labor Force WomenMen Size and Contribution of Informal Sector in Trade and Women Traders in Informal Trade Informal Sector as a Share of: Women Traders as Share of: Total Trade Employ ment Total Trade GDP Total Informal Trade Employme nt Total Informal Trade GDP
Gender and Social Power What are gender roles/relations in Mali, particularly as they pertain to the market/production? “M’ba” versus “M’se” Burden of domestic responsibilities in addition to income-producing responsibilities Women have different access to markets at different stages of life (women in child- bearing years versus post-menopausal women) Women of child-bearing years may have responsibilities to their husband’s family and to their children. Later in life, women have more control over their labor-time. Factors affecting market strategies of women therefore are a function of relationships in their household, social and material resources, health and energy.
Women in the Informal Sector Men and women involved in different activities or types of employment even within the same trades For example, men tend to have larger scale operations and can deal in non-food products, such as manufactured goods, while women tend to have smaller scale operations and deal largely in food products. Men may dominate the more lucrative activities, resulting in increased ability to reinvest in their businesses. For example, men typically control income from the sale of cotton, one of Mali’s significant cash crops. Earning a wage does not necessarily empower women, however Income from informal sector work does not necessarily imply control over its use. May find that once additional income is earned, husbands contribute less to the family May have large start-up and/or transportation costs Introduction of additional risks, often without access to risk-reducing institutions like business clubs or trade associations that are male-dominated.
Toward gender equity in the marketplace How are women being supported/supporting themselves? Women’s associations Microcredit associations Skills-based trainings Coordination des Associations et ONG Féminines au Mali (CAFO) More than 2000 member associations Coordinates activities Advocates for the interests of women at a local and national level
Next steps/Recommendations The literature highlights the importance of women acting in groups in order to achieve transformations in gender relations Importance of organizations like CAFO in advocating for the interests of women on a political level Increased representation of women in local and national government Creation of policies that specifically support women in the informal sector For example, support for daycare centers or preschools to ease the childcare burden on women