Encouraging greater labour market participation of women
finally, there is ample scope for raising Mexico’s overall labour force participation rate, which remains low relative to the rate recorded in most other OECD countries and major emerging economies (Figure 5.6). This would help to promote even more rapid economic development in Mexico and reduce the risk of poverty. The low participation rate in Mexico largely reflects the low share of women involved in the labour market. In 2011, the participation rate for women was 46% in Mexico, the lowest rate in the OECD area after Turkey. It was also significantly lower than in other key emerging economies, with the exception of India. While the participation rate of women in Mexico has risen moderately during the past two decades, many women still face major obstacles to participating more fully. One
Figure 5.6. Labour force participation rate of the population aged 15-64, 2011
Source: For China, based on census estimates; for India and Indonesia, ILO (2012), "Key Indicators of the Labour Market (KILM)”, 7th Edition, ILO Department of Economic and Labour Market Analysis, Geneva, available at kilm.ilo.org; and, for all other countries, OECD Employment database 2012. In the case of China and India, the data refer to 2010.
is the high amount of unpaid work at home: Mexican women spend four hours per day more on unpaid work than men (OECD, 2012c). Another is the traditional gender roles when it comes to work and care. A third is the lack of policies to facilitate women’s employment, especially in terms of child care and family-friendly workplace practices. Some measures have already been taken to tackle these barriers to women’s employment, such as increasing the coverage of child care (Programa de Estancias Infantiles para Apoyar a Madres Trabajadoras) and preschool services (enforcing the compulsory nature of preschool education). Nevertheless, further efforts are required that would improve women’s employment opportunities - and Mexico’s economic growth potential more generally.