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Tropentag, September 14 - 16, 2022, Prague

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Access to water and women in the labour market in Ethiopia: economy-wide analysis

Abdulaziz Mosa

Wolkite university, Economics, Ethiopia


The majority of Ethiopian rural households have inadequate access to drinking water infrastructure. Households travel long distances and spend large amounts of time every day for collecting water. Women and children are among the household members who are in charge of collecting water for daily consumption. Water fetching is one of the daily routine of many rural women in Ethiopia. Fetching water reduces women’s labour available for income generating agricultural and non-agricultural activities which negatively affects women’s labour participation in these sectors. Improved access to water facility is expected to release women’s labour for market related activities which can have economy wide impacts.
The objective of this study is to investigate the effect of improved access to water facility on women’s market labour participation in Ethiopia. The study uses the 2005/06 Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) of Ethiopia which is updated and adjusted for the purpose of this study. The SAM is modified to account for a detailed representation of water fetching activities and commodities. Distinct water fetching activities and commodities are added to the SAM in accordance with household classification. This study analyses policy scenario of an increase in the total factor productivity (TFP) of water fetching activities due to public investment in water facility. The simulation outcome indicates that employment of women in agriculture, industry and service sectors are increased as a result of reallocating released women labour from water fetching activities. This stimulates domestic production in the major economic sectors that leads to higher total domestic production and overall welfare is improved. Macro-economic indicators such as GDP, total absorptions and export supply also increased as a result of better access to water facility and hence enhanced women employments in income generating activities.

Keywords: Ethiopia, water, women

Contact Address: Abdulaziz Mosa, Wolkite university, Economics, Gurage zone, Wolkite, Ethiopia, e-mail: abdulazizmosa@gmail.com

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