Monday, 31 August 2015

Restrictions on working wives damage DRC businesses

Many countries have only recently given women the right to work without their husband's permission, and others have not given them the right yet.  I am not sure of the legal requirements in the DRC, but in practice a husband's approval is frequently required for their wife to work.  For data over the period 2011-2013, if a company hired married women, 37 percent of the time it had to get the permission from the husband to employ at least one of these women.  When it didn't hire any married women, 21 percent of the time the company said that it didn't do so because written permission of the husband was required.

It would be surprising if a husband's permission is legally required in the DRC.  It is an extra cost on business, and is preventing them hiring the employees they want.  It is a further employment restriction on women when they already face restrictions linked to violence.  The population, like many political leaders, is young and presumably has been exposed since childhood to ideas of female equality before the law.

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