Recognizing gender perceptions of workplace health and wellbeing within Africa

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Though, recently women seems to have started enjoying a greater autonomy as they earn more money, they still encounter challenges including low wages relative to the wages of men, life in dormitories, and pressure to send remittances home (George et al., 2017). As a discrete field of scholarship, female within Africa, particularly the Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is appealing to both academics and political (Nziku and Henry, 2019; Nziku, 2018). Women and men have different experiences and perceptions of workplace health and wellbeing which some of the most current researchers have found these to have an impact on psychosocial factors in the work places (Quinn and Smith, 2018). Psychosocial risks are a major health global concern. Unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness, knowledge, research, and policy in the field of psychosocial risks at work in developing countries (Kortum et al., 2010, 2011; Kortum & Leka, 2014). Further, Chacha and Houdmont (2017; 2018) found that psychosocial risks present a challenge in many organisations in Kenya and that there is a need to prioritise efforts to mitigate these challenges. To date, there is no research on gender differences on health and well-being experience in an African context. As such, this study aims to critically investigate the gender perceptions of workplace health and well-being among workers in Africa.

Critical exploration of psychosocial factors affecting men and women at work will be done concurrent with critical examination of the extent of gender differences in different occupational exposure in order to assess the impact on health and well-being. Researchers in this study intends to provide some key priorities for addressing gender challenges affecting health and well-being. Leinonenen et al., (2018) confirmed that, despite growing participation of women in the paid labour force, there remains extensive gender segregation across and within jobs. This study intends to look at the psychosocial factors across gender and within jobs.

A mixed method approach using the Delphi technique will be adopted (Keeney, Hasson & McKenna, 2011). A Delphi technique is a multi-stages survey which aims to achieve consensus on a topic under investigation. A Delphi technique is significantly appropriate in researching issues that lack sufficient knowledge and research (Giannarou and Zervas, 2014).

The study will be a 3-level Delphi. The first level will be a qualitative study exploring the overall gender perceptions of workplace health and well-being in Africa. The second and third level will use a questionnaire that will be designed using the qualitative findings. Participants will be asked to rank the issues identified in the qualitative findings in order of priority in order to determine the level of consensus on the issues identified.

Work in progress

Research limitations/Implications
Recognising gender perceptions in the workplace, health and well-being within the SSA has some social potential towards appreciating the economic situation and contribution made by women in the societies. However, authors in this study appreciate that, the analysis of gender while excluding sex in the workplace, health and well-being currently might be challenging. This might to be the case following the metrics of gender and sex diversity (Quinn and Smith, 2018). Conversely, researchers believe that, context will play an important role towards navigating through this particular aspect while realising social implications.

Additional exploration of the role of work organization and other contextual factors is needed and quantitative studies could benefit from having a qualitative methods complement (Cherry, et al., 2018).

Practical Implications
The particular study will subsequently create more awareness on gender issues in relation to health and well-being in an African context. It may further create a basis for reviewing and establishing gender sensitive policies that promote health and well-being.

Social Implications
Recently, the situation of labour market within the SSA has become more diverse than in the past with female being more exposed to more roles that previously perceived as male dominated industries. Therefore, critically investigation of gender in the workplace health and well-being among workers will provide concrete evidence base for good practice and policies in most of the SSA countries.

Originality/Value of a paper
The purpose of gender analyses in occupational health, as in public health more broadly, is to improve the health and well-being of all people by providing the evidence base for good practice and policies.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2019
Event Centre for African Research on Enterprise and Economic Development 4th Annual Conference - Universitt of the West of Scotland, Paisley, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Aug 201930 Aug 2019


Conference Centre for African Research on Enterprise and Economic Development 4th Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleCAREED 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Gender
  • Health
  • Well-being
  • Psychosocial factors
  • Africa


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