Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



This Population Council working paper analyzes data collected from a survey of firms and workers in the textiles and clothing sector in Egypt. These data allow for the explanation of the sector’s gender wage gap by poorer endowments, and relegation of women to low-paying firms and occupations; and by within-firm and within-occupation differential in returns. There is a pay gap in this sector, with men receiving an hourly wage 29 percent higher than that of women, partly because women are concentrated in the lower paid occupations, with a clear glass ceiling in effect, and outright discrimination occurs. The largest of the pay gaps is attributable to differences in endowments, such as worker education and experience. Thus, closing the pay gap is not just a matter of equal pay for equal work, as is now being discussed in Egypt, but of enhancing women’s capabilities to ensure equality of opportunity upon entering the labor force.