Harnessing the Gender Dividend to Boost Economic Growth in ECOWAS Countries

This project aims to analyse the gender dividend in West Africa. The gender dividend is the increase in national production per head attributable to more equality between women and men in the labour market. Declining birth rates can alter gender relations and the distribution of roles within the household, leading to increased female's labour force participation. In a context of hierarchical social relations unfavourable to women, and in the absence of supportive public policies, the process of women's increased participation to the labour market can lead to their over-representation in informal and / or low paying jobs. The analysis of female's labour force participation will therefore be supplemented with an analysis of fiscal policies in ECOWAS countries to determine whether those policies contain specific provisions aimed at facilitating women's integration into the labour market. The evidence generated will inform policy recommendations to national and regional policy makers seeking to maximise the gender dividend by harnessing women's economic potential fully.

Project ID


Project status



36 months

IDRC Officer

Flaubert Mbiekop

Total funding

CA$ 689,400


Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo