Lovise Aalen

This project studies the impact of women’s labour force participation on female political participation in a country in political transition– Ethiopia. This East African country, the second most populous state in Sub-Saharan Africa, has for the last decade had one of the largest economic growth rates globally. Industrial growth has expanded the opportunities for women to take jobs and work outside the home, and women are to a much larger extent formally employed than before. From 2018, the authoritarian regime started a political reform process, also expanding the general opportunities for political participation in the country. 

The combination of studying a country during its political transition and our research design of a large randomised control trial (RCT), spatial data analyses, and in-depth qualitative interviews will enable us to provide new and unique knowledge on female employment and empowerment. In particular, we already have a large data set from before and under the major political changes taking place in Ethiopia. If complemented with data from the aftermath of the reforms, this will enable us to trace the different changes and connect them causally with women’s empowerment and political participation, and identify the effects of jobs in the different stages of transition.