The World Bank says there are wide gender gaps in women and men’s economic opportunities in terms of labour force participation, earnings and control of productive assets.
In its Gender and Poverty in Malawi note, the Bretton Woods institution finds that 80.2 percent of men compared to 71.9 percent of women above the age of 15 are in the workforce.
In terms of earnings, the World Bank also finds that apart from being less involved in wage employment, women also earn less when they are employed.
Reads the report in part: “Women’s median annual income is K396 000 whereas men’s median income is K507 600. Nevertheless, the picture is heterogeneous across regions.
“Participation of highly educated women [who have completed secondary or more] is 9.3 percentage points lower than that of their male peers, and the gender gap between women in the highest income quintile and their male peers is even larger at 13.6 percentage points.”
It further says women in urban areas participate less than men, with 58.5 percent women compared to 75.5 percent men.
“The gender gap in labour force participation is larger among the non-poor [11.4 percentage points] than among the poor [4.9 percentage points],” reads the report.
In an interview yesterday, Malawi University of Business and Applied Science associate professor of economics Betchani Tchereni said to attain inclusive wealth creation as envisioned in Malawi 2063, there is need to have more women participate in the economy.
He said: “We need more women to participate in economic activities and earn just as men.
“More so in a country where there are more women than men, we cannot have women earning less and marginalised.”
The recent Integrated Household Survey produced by the National Statistical Office shows that poverty among women, as measured by the share of women who live in poor households, was 51.4 percent compared to 50 percent for men.