Divorced, Separated, and Widowed Women Workers in Rural Mozambique
A remarkably high proportion of women wage workers in rural Mozambique are divorced, separated, or widowed. This paper explores the factors underlying the difference between the marital status of these wage workers and other rural women in Mozambique and establishes a strong relationship between labor-market participation and female divorce or widowhood. The association is likely to work in both directions. Moreover, contrastive exploration suggests that divorced and separated women differ from partnered women in many other important respects: they tend to have access to better jobs, and divorced and separated mothers are also remarkably good at investing in their daughters' education compared with other mothers and male respondents. This paper concludes by stressing the limits of regression techniques in teasing out causation and interactions between variables, and by suggesting that policies to increase women's access to decently paid wage employment could make a substantial difference to the welfare of very poor rural sub-Saharan African women and their children.
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