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Impact of Chronic Diseases on Labour Force Participation among South African Women: Further Analysis of Population-Based Data
Authors: Michael Ekholuenetale, Anthony Ike Wegbom, Clement Kevin Edet, Charity Ehimwenma Joshua, Amadou Barrow, and Chimezie Igwegbe Nzoputam
Source: World, Volume 4, Issue 1; DOI:
Topic(s): Diabetes
Women's health
Women’s empowerment
Country: Africa
  South Africa
Published: FEB 2023
Abstract: The impact of chronic diseases on labour force participation is not frequently examined or considered as part of cost-of-illness studies. The aim of this study was to determine the impact of chronic diseases on labour force participation among South African women. This study included 6126 women from the 2016 South African Demographic and Health Survey. Labour force participation/employment was the outcome variable. Data were analyzed in percentage and multivariable binary logistic regression. Results showed that approximately 28.7% of women participated in the labour force and about 5.0% had diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes among women who are not in the labour force was 5.5%, whereas those in the labour force reported 3.8% prevalence of diabetes. The diabetic women had 35% reduction in labour force participation when compared with non-diabetic women (aOR = 0.65; 95% CI: 0.48 to 0.89). Geographical region was associated with labour force participation. Rural women and those currently in union/living with a man had 35% (aOR = 0.65; 95% CI: 0.56 to 0.76) and 27% (aOR = 0.73; 95% CI: 0.64 to 0.85) reduction in labour force participation, respectively, when compared with their urban and single counterparts. The findings of this study revealed that diabetes was significantly associated with reduction in labour force participation among women.