The Impact of Lactations Rooms on Women’s Labor Force Participation and Productivity
Childbearing reduces women's likelihood of participating in the labor market, and often reduces women's pay and opportunities. One challenge facing working women is whether to continue breastfeeding, an activity strongly recommended for the health of the child, or to return to work. In 2017, Kenya enacted a health law requiring employers to create lactation rooms, but compliance with lactation rooms is low.
Researchers are developing an intervention to increase workplace compliance with the lactation room law and measure its impact on women's participation, working hours, and productivity. The research team will identify 62 organizations to participate in the study among public institutions with high shares of female employees in Nairobi. Institutions will be randomly assigned to different groups to assess:
- The effectiveness of a "soft" vs "hard approach": Under the "soft approach", the organizations will create specific committees with the mandate to advance the lactation room policy. Under a "hard approach," organizations will receive monetary incentives to create lactation rooms.
- The effectiveness of different approaches that involve only female employees compared to other approaches that involve mixed-gender groups.
Results of this project will be available by May 2023.