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Gender, youth and urban labour market participation: evidence from the tailoring sector in Kabul, Afghanistan

Working paper

Written by Richard Mallett

Image credit:Kabul, Afghanistan Image license:Mohammad Husaini/Unsplash

The creation of good jobs and decent work in conflict-affected places is widely seen to generate not just better-off households, but also safer societies and more legitimate states. However, the good jobs agenda is dominated by technical approaches more concerned with balancing out supply and demand than with serious analysis of the role of institutions, identity and power in mediating access to opportunities.

This study looks at young women’s and men’s experiences in Kabul’s tailoring labour market, with a particular focus on:

1) How young women and men acquire skills and enter the urban labour market in the first place, particularly in light of the highly gendered nature of boundaries between public and private space;

2) What the nature, terms and limits of their labour market participation look like

3) Whether participation in that urban labour market is working for or against them (in terms of its effects on various dimensions of their well-being).

Adam Pain and Richard Mallett