Structural Transformation and Gendered Transitions to Adulthood among Rural Youth: Cross-National Evidence from Low- and Middle-Income Countries uri icon


  • Using frameworks on gendered transitions to adulthood, we analyse nationally-representative, sex-disaggregated data from 36 countries to examine how structural transformation (share of GDP from non-agriculture) and rural transformation (agricultural value added per worker) are associated with landownership, labour force participation, and sector of employment for rural young women and men. Transformation has different implications for young men's and women's transition to adulthood. Higher levels of structural transformation are associated with a higher likelihood of landownership for young men, but not young women. Structural transformation is associated with lower employment of young rural men and women alike but is positively associated with on-farm employment of young women. Rural transformation is associated with a higher probability of employment for young rural men, but not women. Instead, rural transformation is negatively associated with young women's on-farm work and positively associated with not being in education, employment, or training. Whereas domestic responsibilities affect young women's livelihoods more than young men's, recognising the importance of both productive and reproductive roles in young women's and men's lives is needed to support the transition to adulthood at different levels of structural and rural transformation.

publication date

  • 2021
  • 2020