Economic participation describes all the contributions by various individuals and groups to economic activities and performance at both micro and macro levels. Economic development is one dimension of development that requires the collective effort of men and women of various ages, ethnic groups, races, marital status and educational levels.
Participation in the economy may be active or passive; and the benefits from such economic participation are determined by the general political and socio- economic factors in the wider community. Gender division of labour and politics are essential components of economic participation and how the benefits of development are distributed and controlled. Equality, equity, power, recognition and entitlement aspects assume greater importance in the analysis of economic participation by both men and women.
Women’s economic participation can be examined through assessing various dimensions of the economy. OXFAM (2007), points out that women participate and sustain the economy through both productive and reproductive roles although these two roles may be trivialized and unrewarded.