Report / Factsheet

Qualitative evidence on barriers to and facilitators of women’s participation in higher or growing productivity and male-dominated labour market sectors in low- and middle-income countries


Despite significant global progress toward gender equality across several key indicators in the economic, social, political and legal realms, a substantial difference persists in labour force participation rates between men and women in low- and middle-income countries. The current review advances knowledge of women’s economic empowerment by systematically reviewing qualitative literature to address the following key question: What are the main barriers to, and facilitators of, women’s employment in male-dominated sectors with higher or growing productivity in low- and middle-income countries? By focusing on qualitative research, which is deeply contextual, this systematic review speaks to aspects of social and economic experiences that cannot be fully captured in quantitative analysis.