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Motherhood and labour force participation : evidence from national income dynamics study panel data (2008 - 2012).

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By encouraging female labour force participation, South Africa will make progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals objective, advocating for gender equality and female empowerment. The study aimed to provide insight into the relationship between motherhood and labour force participation in South Africa, a topic that has been severely under researched. Additionally, other factors that influence females labour force participation after childbirth is discussed. Becker’s theory on allocation of time and household production provides a framework for understanding mothers time expended on childrearing and its effect on employment activities. The National Income Dynamics Study Wave 1 and Wave 3 dataset was utilised. Logistic regression in the form of bivariable and multivariable analysis were used to examine the study’s research questions. The main finding revealed that women with children were 162% more likely to decrease their labour force participation than women without children. The variables motherhood, age, and education were found to be statistically significant in relation to decrease in labour force participation. In terms of working hours, the findings of this study indicated that there is no significant association between motherhood and decrease in working hours.


Master of Population Studies. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2017.