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Women's work role and fertility in Liberia


There is a general recognition, supported to a large extent by research findings, that in most of the Western industrialized world, women's participation in the salaried work force has a depressing effect on fertility (Kupinsky, 1977; Stycos and Weller, 1967). But research findings on this topic in the less developed world have been largely inconsistent. While a number of these studies find the fertility of women who work for wages to be lower than that of other women (Miro and Rath, 1965; Jaffe and Azumi, 1960; World Fertility Survey, 1980; and Lightbourne et al., 1982), the findings of other studies suggest very little or no differences in the fertility of wage working and nonwage working women (Stycos, 1965; Stycos and Weller, 1965; Okediji, 1976; and Mott, 1974). Furthermore, the findings of other studies suggest that it may not be the assumed role incompatibility between wage employment and familial role per se that leads to reductions in fertility, but rather the degree of approval/disapproval of domestic roles for women (Hass, 1972), normative conflicts (Mason and Pelan, 1981), or the degree of work commitment (Safilios-Rothschild, 1972).


Rôle du travail des femmes et fertilité au Libéria

Cette étude examine l’hypothèse travail-fertilité en se fondant sur un sous-échantillon de femmes libériennes, agées de 15 à 49 ans. L’analyse est basée sur un échantillon du recensement libérien de 1974, et considère l'hypothèse que la fertilité des femmes qui travaillent sans rémunérations ainsi que celle des autres femmes sera similaire; mais, la fertilité des femmes salariées sera plus basse que celle des femmes non rémunérées et des autres femmes. Les conclusions tendent à pourvoir un support indirect à l’hypothèse. Alors que la fertilité des femmes non rémunérées et autres est similaire, les femmes salariées tendent généralement à avoir une fertilité légèrement plus basse que celle des femmes non rémunérées et autres. Cependant, les femmes employées dans le secteur professionel, technique et médical tendent à avoir la plus haute fertilité, tandis que les femmes employées dans le secteur domestique ont la plus basse. Les implications de ces découvertes sont explorées.

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