NTA2020 Mutegi

Global Meeting on Population and the Generational Economy, August 2020

Presentation: Reuben Mutegi, Moses Muriithis, Germano Mwabu, Unpaid work and schooling inequalities: profiles by gender and age in selected African countries


This paper constructs profiles of the amount of time spent by men and women on unpaid work and schooling using survey data from Ethiopia, Malawi, Uganda, and Tanzania. The focus is on gender and age distributions of the time spent fetching water and firewood over the life course and on the association between these activities and schooling. We find that at ages 5 to 25 – the schooling years, a substantial amount of time is spent in all countries collecting water and firewood. The differential in this time allocation across gender may be the reason for observed gender gaps in schooling at different ages. We find that women spend much more time than men collecting water and firewood but a sizable expenditure by men is also detected. Men’s time expenditure is restricted to the teenage phase, whereas the women’s is spread over the entire life span. We uncover a large variation in reasons given for not being enrolled in a learning institution. Nearly 26% of respondents cite unpaid work as the main reason for not participating in education. The policy value of study findings is discussed.

File: NTA2020 Mutegi

Paper: NTA2020 paper Mutegi

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