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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses major issues related to gender economics in four North African countries, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. It analyzes historical trajectories of widely used gender inequality indicators and focuses in particular on the behavior of fertility. Historical data show that the long-term behavior of fertility in Tunisia was significantly different from that in Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco, and that this was primarily due to major differences in the governments’ approaches to population policy and family planning. All four countries exhibit symptoms of the so-called “gender equality paradox”; implying that significant progress in closing gender gaps in education and health was not accompanied by a comparable increase in female economic and political participation. The chapter also discusses the implications of the analysis and outlines some lessons for developing countries in Africa and other regions.

Keywords: North Africa, gender economics, gender equality paradox, fertility, mortality, female labor force participation, demographic transition

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