Increasing female labour participation is an important aspect contributing to the development process in many emerging economies. Identifying the determinants of female labour participation decision improves our understanding of the dynamics of labour supply and its interaction with economic development.
The rise in female labor force participation has several explanations as well. A major determinant is the stream of biotechnological advancements that have provided women greater control over and timing of childbearing decisions. This greater flexibility, along with advancements in household technologies (such as the introduction of the dishwasher and the microwave oven), has afforded women greater freedom and time to increase their educational attainment, providing yet another reason to devote more time to the labor market. Further, changing social attitudes about the role of women and the appropriateness of women working have increased job opportunities and, thus, incentives for women to enter the labor market.
The position of women in the European labour market has changed significantly, due to their entry into the workforce in large numbers in recent years. Despite this, there is still substantial segregation and inequality between the sexes. Men continue to work more hours in paid employment, and more men than women have paying jobs. Women are more likely to work part time and men are more likely to work long hours. However, when unpaid domestic work is accounted for, the picture changes dramatically: research shows that a woman working part time works more hours in total than a man working full time.