On Thursday, November 30th, Professor Sandra Fredman gave a talk on production, reproduction and empowerment at the Oxford Martin School along with Professor Jo Boyden (Director of Young Lives). The full recording is available on YouTube (above).
Many women in Africa are congregated in poorly paid and precarious work (ILO, 2016) and have very high rates of school dropout and maternal mortality and child morbidity. This is crucially linked to their role in childbirth and child-care. Women and girls still perform the bulk of unpaid domestic and care work, severely limiting their access to work with fair working conditions. Across a diverse continent, empowering women and achieving decent work is a vital element in developing dynamic economies that include the full political and social citizenship of women, while supporting their care-giving roles.
This lecture focused on young women (aged 15-24), who are at the cusp of reproduction and production. Drawing on the rich data sets collected by Young Lives in Ethiopia, Professor Jo Boyden, Director of Young Lives, & Professor Sandra Fredman, Director of the Oxford Human Rights Hub, examine transitions of adolescent girls and boys from education to labour markets and how their opportunities are shaped by other intersecting transitions (family formation, marriage and parenthood). On the basis of this evidence, they will consider the role of legal frameworks in obstructing or facilitating women’s access to decent working conditions, the social support for care-giving roles, and ways of interrupting intergenerational transmission of poverty.
The lecture was part of a series: ‘Great Transitions: Navigating 21st Century Challenges’.
This part of the early 21st century is a time of ‘Great Transitions’. Our ability to navigate these transitions successfully, harvesting the opportunities in the fields of science, technology and policy, as much as steering a course through the risks, will be crucial to our common future.
This diverse series looks at how pandemics spread, economic and political governance as well the empowerment of women in Africa, the future of energy, and the transition to a post-carbon future.
More information here.