Working Paper
Framing the change: analysing employment change, (in)adequacy, and (de)feminization in Cameroon's tertiary firms

Cameroon is an example of a developing country where the transition from agriculture to services has defied standard patterns seen in developed countries. While prior research has explored this shift’s impact on economic growth, its effects on women’s representation in the labour market have been overlooked.

This study addresses this gap by examining how changes in the tertiary sector affect women’s employment. Decomposition analysis based on 461 Cameroonian firms indicates a 6.2 per cent feminization pattern over the past decade, primarily driven by increased female employment in wholesale and construction industries.

This growth results from within-industry effects rather than reallocation effects, emphasizing the significance of internal industry factors over external influences like government policies or broader economic changes.

Importantly, econometric estimations, adjusting for fixed effects, endogeneity, and selection biases, reveal that an inadequately trained workforce hinders further feminization. The paper concludes with recommendations for promoting gender equality in Cameroon and across Africa.