Assessment of the gender gap in Sudan

Type Working Paper - UNU-MERIT Working Paper
Title Assessment of the gender gap in Sudan
Issue 004
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
This paper examines the gender gap in education and investigates the related implications on
labour market and returns to education in Sudan. Our results confirm two stylized facts: first,
the incidence of significant gender gap in education in Sudan and second, the incidence of
gender inequalities and gap in skill level, share of women in economic activities, labour force
participation rate, employment and returns to education can be interpreted in relation to the
incidence of gender gap in education. We fill the gap in the Sudanese literature by addressing
the gender gap in education and related implications in labour market and returns to
education, since these issues are not adequately discussed in the Sudanese literature. A novel
element in our analysis is that we use new primary survey data at the micro level to show the
gap and differences in returns to education and correlation between wage and education,
experience and its square defined by gender in Sudan. Our findings at the micro level imply
that the slightly gender gap or difference in the rate of return to education in favour of women
is only 0.2 which is not very noticeable. These findings indicate the importance of enhancing
educational attainment for women to facilitate improvement of return to education for
women. We find that in general women are likely to be more unemployed than men. The
major policy implications and recommendations from our analysis are that Sudan needs to
reduce the gender gap in education and related implication in labour market. By investing
large amount of resources in increasing women’s educational attainment, improving
economic participation, increasing employment opportunities and improving equal and fair
returns to education for Sudanese women to better integrate Sudanese women into the
economy to reap the benefits of investment in empowerment of women.

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