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Markets, Power and Production Malian Women in the Informal Sector.

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Presentation on theme: "Markets, Power and Production Malian Women in the Informal Sector."— Presentation transcript:

1 Markets, Power and Production Malian Women in the Informal Sector

2 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)

3 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%

4 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

5 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.

6 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.

7 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

8 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


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