A workshop to disseminate the results of the study “Female Middle Class and Demand for Childcare Services in West Africa: Cases of Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal” took place on Tuesday , August 22, 2023 at the Ministry of Women, Family and Children (MFFE) located on the 8th floor of Tower B, in the administrative city of Abidjan Plateau.
At the opening of the workshop, the director of cabinet of the MFFE, Moussa Diarassouba, explained that these results will enable the targeted countries and in particular Côte d’Ivoire to achieve their development agendas and to meet international commitments, especially the SDGs 3 and 4. “This study, which targets the mother/child couple, thus offers the opportunity to address the problem as a whole and to draw the full dividend”, he continued.
According to the project leader, Pr Joseph Cabral of Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar (Senegal), this research program led by 22 teacher-researchers from the four countries concerned, was organized by the Laboratory for Research on Institutions and growth (LINC) of this university, in collaboration with IDRC, UAM and Houphouët-Boigny University of Abidjan.
“Despite the emergence of a female middle class in Africa, women continue to be disadvantaged in terms of employment opportunities compared to men. The lack of Childcare Services (SDG) appears to be one of the major constraints faced by women in the labor market,” he explained the relevance of the subject.
The study reveals that the SDGs in the workplace or nearby are beneficial in more ways than one for women, for children and for the whole economy. Indeed, access to childcare services contributes, on the one hand, to a reduction of the woman’s stress and, on the other hand, to the safety of the child.
Thus, the scope of the issue is to enable women to free up the time essential to their integration, promotion and leadership in the world of work.
This research program was articulated around five axes, according to the presentation made by Dr Vassy Pierre Sangaré, on behalf of the country coordinator for Côte d’Ivoire, Pr Kouakou Clément.
He noted that in this country, 8.3% of women participate in the formal labor market against 17.1% of men (12.9% overall). There are 33.3% women in the upper class, 31% in the lower class and 35.8% in the middle class. Rural areas register 41% of women in the middle class against 53% in urban areas. For the upper class, there are 80% in urban areas and 19.39% in rural areas.
Women are 38.6% illiterate, 41.8% at the primary education level, 25% at the post secondary level and 5.73% at the secondary and higher level, continued Dr Sangaré. He noted, among other things, that housing, source of energy and human capital mainly contribute to placing women in the middle class, respectively at 19%, 17% and 14%.
As for the director of the coordination of basic socio-educational services at the MFFE, Koutouan Félicité, she noted that according to the 5th General Census of Population and Housing (RGPH 2021), Côte d’Ivoire has 3,696,301 people under the age of five (ie 12.58% of the total population).
Among other things, in the country, 157 community action centers for children (CACE), 112 early childhood protection centers (CPPE) and 173 approved structures made it possible to register 22,941 children on behalf of the MFFE; 4,041 structures at the Ministry of National Education and Literacy with 263,451 children; seven structures at the Ministry of Employment and Social Protection.
To conclude, Pr Cabral expressed the wish that through a more advanced interaction between researchers and decision-makers, adequate responses will be provided to these real obstacles to the promotion of women in the world of work which constitute access constraints. to child care services.