114 Int'l Lab. Rev. 281 (1976)
Education and Female Participation in the Labour Force

handle is hein.journals/intlr114 and id is 289 raw text is: International Labour Review, Vol. 114, No. 3, November-December 1976

Education and female
participation
in the labour force
Guy STANDING'
Introduction
In recent years a growing proportion of the national income of many
low-income industrialising countries has been devoted to education. The main
reasons for this have been the exceptionally rapid growth of population and
the widespread belief that  human investment  is one of the most effective
means of stimulating economic growth. However, in this process the education
of women has lagged considerably behind that of men.
This neglect of female education has typified most non-socialist societies
in the early stages of industrialisation. Yet being deprived of education women
have also been deprived of much of their potential ability to contribute to the
development of their countries. Without education or the associated access
to most forms of vocational training women have been unable to secure skilled
or even many semi-skilled jobs. To that extent, whereas women have often
played an important role in traditional agrarian and trading economies,
with growing industrialisation they have tended to be relegated to a purely
domestic role or have been expected to take non-domestic work on an irregular
basis. This has placed them in an increasingly dependent position in so far as
they have had to rely on the income-earning abilities of men. Yet the shortage
of job opportunities as well as the low wages and incomes earned by women
workers have deterred families from investing in girls' education, especially
when there have been sons also needing education. In essence it is a vicious
circle. Because women have not been expected to work in the labour force
they have been deprived of education; because they have been deprived of
education their employment opportunities have been restricted; and because
those opportunities have been restricted their limited access to education
has been rationalised and perpetuated.
' International Labour Office.

Copyright © International Labour Organisation 1976

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