In this paper, we examined the impact of female employment status on their fertility in two urban areas in Africa: Dakar in Senegal and Lome in Togo. In Dakar where the Muslim religion is largely prevailing, female economic activity outside the domestic sphere clashes with the tenacious model of a clear separation in husband’s and wife’s roles, and with the ideal of wives economic dependency on their husbands. Whereas in Lome where Christianity and Animism are dominant, the economic dynamism of the women and their consequent contribution to the incomes of households is an old, developed and highly encouraged reality. Findings show that it’s only in Lome that employment has a significant effect on fertility. But in both cities, a longer work experience has a negative impact on fertility. The depressing effect of education on fertility seems to be more important in Lome than in Dakar.
Population Association of America (PAA) Conference in New Orleans, USA 17-19 April 2008, 25 pp.