In a context of high urbanization, societal changes such as increasingly generalized access to education, increasing participation of women in the labor market, understanding demographic, socio-cultural and economic factors that enable women to get to the top of the social ladder, reveals a programmatic as well as scientific interest. Thus, the general objective of the research on "Gender and socio-economic success trajectories of women in Ouagadougou" was to study the effects of the transformations of the participation of women in education and in the labor market on their chances of getting socioeconomic success. Adopting a mixed methodological approach, the research reveals that despite progress in women's access to education and employment, inequalities between women and men persist, particularly in terms of access to high levels of education, quality education and jobs. These educational and labor market participation trajectories subsequently impact women's chances of getting to socio-economic success.

It thus emerges from the analysis of the determinants of socio-economic success measured both objectively (access to high socio-professional categories or to high incomes) and subjectively (opinion of respondents on their success in the family, community, professional and political spheres), that the place of birth (urban/rural), the level of education attained, the number of children ever born have an impact on women’s chances to be socio-economically successful.  Education not only allows women delay their entry into union, but also enables them to overcome an initial limited endowment in terms of family background. These findings have implications in terms of education policy (promoting women's access to secondary and higher education), health policy (ensuring the availability of reproductive health services) and social protection policy (effective application of laws on equality in the professional as well as the decision-making spheres, family support services, in particular the generalization of childcare institutions).

This is collaborative research between ISSP and the Department of sociology at the University of Montreal, funded by the French Agency for Development (AFD) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Brief Biography

Jean-François Kobiané is Full Professor of Demography and former Director (2012-2018) of the Institut Supérieur des Sciences de la Population (ISSP), University Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Burkina Faso). His research interests include the analysis of the links between fertility, family structure, poverty, child’s labor and schooling, youth transition to adulthood (childbearing, first marriage, employment…), gender and women empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa. He has worked at the National Statistical Office of Burkina Faso (1993-1996) and has been an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Demography at the University of Montreal/Canada (2003-2006).

Prof. Kobiané has been the President of the Union for African Population Studies (UAPS) from 2012 to 2015, and Vice-president from 2008 to 2011. He holds a Bachelor in Economics from the University of Ouagadougou, a Master degree in Demography from the Institut de Formation et de Recherche Démographiques (IFORD) in Yaoundé/Cameroon, and a Ph.D. in Demography from the Institute of Demography at the Université Catholique de Louvain/Belgium.