Women in the Work Force

Women in the Work Force

The female proportion of the country's wage-earning work force increased markedly after World War II, although women continued to bear most of the responsibility for maintaining Albanian's households. Women had played a subservient role in traditional Albanian society and were for hundreds of years considered little more than beasts of burden. During Albania's Cultural and Ideological Revolution, which began in 1966, the regime encouraged women to take jobs outside the home in an effort to overcome their conservatism and compensate for labor shortages. An enormous increase in the number of preschools facilitated the entry of women into paying jobs. By late in the decade, the regime was struggling to overcome male resistance to the appointment of women to government and party posts once held exclusively by men. Women accounted for about 41 percent of the overall rural labor force in 1961 and 51.3 percent in 1983. Despite Albania's high annual birth rate in the late 1980s, women made up about 47 percent of the country's overall work force, including 53 percent of the labor force in agriculture; 43.5 percent in industry; 55 percent in trade; 80 percent in health care; and 54 percent in education and culture. In mountain areas, women made up a significantly higher proportion of farm labor. In 1981 women accounted for 70.7 percent of the collective-farm work force in Pukė District and constituted a similarly disproportionate segment in Kukės, Tropojė, Mat, and Librazhd.


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