A Study on Women in Manufacturing in Ethiopia


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A Study on Women in Manufacturing in Ethiopia

December 4, 2018

This study entitledWomen in Manufacturing, jointly commissioned by the Ministry of Trade and Industry and UNDP Ethiopia, is indeed very timely and will have a significant impact on policy discourse. This is particularly important as the country pursues an aggressive industrial transformation agenda towards economic growth and human development. The chosen topic resonates well with the increasingly important role that Ethiopian women are playing in the national transformation agenda and is also in line with the objectives of SDG 5 on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the context of inclusive and equitable development.

This study was intended to help us develop a better understanding of critical gender issues in the manufacturing sector at various levels of value chains in priority sub-sectors in the manufacturing industry in order to be able to devise possible interventions. Specifically, this study hoped to uncover the existing situation, outlook and emerging challenges, including current assumptions, cultural attitudes and prejudices regarding women’s participation and leadership in manufacturing; it was also aimed at helping us develop a knowledge base and information framework that increases understanding in order to improve women’s participation and benefits.

The report has posed plausible arguments and recommendations on the matter in order to pursue concrete and harmonized actions that will address women’s right to pro-actively participate in public and private spheres of development. The anticipated expansion of the economy’s industrial sector should provide an equal opportunity for women to obtain decent employment in the manufacturing sector. Addressing the challenges facing female participation in the manufacturing labor force will catalyze the growth of the manufacturing sector in Ethiopia. In this regard, we wish to re-affirm the policy’s imperative of creating and expanding job opportunities for women in the manufacturing sector in order to advance the human development agenda and transform livelihoods. There is no doubt that the untapped potential for increased women’s participation in manufacturing, especially in the recently launched industrial parks and integrated agro-industrial parks, are major opportunity to ensure growth and potential in this sector.  We are therefore collectively challenged to ponder and offer solutions to the critical gender issues in the manufacturing sector at various levels of value chains and to ensure that women play their rightful role in the economy.

The report also provides a comprehensive policy framework for addressing the drawbacks faced by women in the manufacturing sector. This will complement the government’s on-going efforts to enact laws, policies and regulations to foster an environment that enables the equitable participation of women. No sustainable growth and transformational human development plan can be achieved without meaningful participation of women.  

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