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Year: 2011 Type: Report Language: English

This paper is meant to inform the NWRO on the link between characteristics of work, domestic violence, and personal status as a platform for addressing the gaps in policy that leave women vulnerable. This paper looks at the results of the Working Women’s Characteristics Survey (WWCS) that was carried out as part of the “Understanding Women’s Work and its Empowering Potentials in their Everyday Life” project by researchers Hania Sholkamy and Ragui Assaad. The WWCS looks empirically, for the first time in Egypt, at the relationship between labour-market participation for women and different empowerment indicators, asking whether work is empowering for women in Egypt. Assuming an inextricable link between women’s work and their private lives, the WWCS looks at engagement in different types of labour-market participation, namely formal, informal and from-home employment, in relation to various empowerment indicators that reflect on women’s access to resources, and their agency within the home and outside of it. The study found that women engaged in work where contracts are signed, i.e. formal work, show positive empowerment outcomes, whereas those engaged in informal work with no contractual backing, either outside or within the home, showed weaker outcomes.