Child Labour, Gender Inequality and Rural/Urban Disparities

Tassew Woldehanna
Poverty and inequality
Child protection
Children's work and time-use
Working paper

National poverty strategies frequently overlook important elements of children's experiences of poverty, including trafficking, sexual exploitation and access to information about how to avoid HIV/AIDS. Non-immediate impacts of broader economic development policies on children's well-being often remain largely invisible. This paper primarily investigates factors relating to child labour and child schooling in order to understand the possible impact of policies on households and children. The authors consider the extent to which the Ethiopian Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Programme (SDPRP) is making a difference to poor children's lives, particularly in respect to agricultural policy and its impact on school enrolment and child work. The authors also focus on how change varies depending on gender and rural-urban differences. They assess whether the SDPRP's focus on labour-intensive agricultural production pressures children to stay at home and carry out agricultural, domestic and care tasks while their parents work. The authors consider whether parental education levels influence decisions about children's school attendance, and whether there is a gender difference in time spent on labour and on school enrolment rates. They also consider whether children in female-headed households have greater pressure to forego educational opportunities in order to work.

Keywords: child well-being, education, child labour, child protection