Working Within Confines: Occupational Segregation by Gender in Three Latin American Countries

Aug 2002
Latin America has the dubious distinction of being the region with the highest level of occupational segregation in the world. In this context, this study poses four important questions. Has occupational segregation by sex decreased in the 1990s? Can we expect occupational segregation to decline as economic development occurs? To what extent does gender segregation explain the male-female wage gap? Are gender differences in employment opportunities especially injurious to poorly educated women, or are all women equally affected? By analyzing each of these questions, this study of gender-based occupational segregation in three countries of Latin America -Costa Rica, Ecuador and Uruguay- constitutes valuable reference material for policy-makers, researchers and activists interested in the advancement of equality between men and women.