The Delayed Transition to Motherhood in Iran: The Role of Women’s Employment and Education

Amir Erfani, Nipissing University
Javad Shojaei, National Institute in Population Studies and Comprehensive Management of I.R. of Iran

Iran’s total fertility rate has remained far below-replacement level in the last decade (1.6 births in 2011). Postponement of childbearing, as a determinant of Iran’s low fertility, has been understudied in the literature. Using data from four large-scale surveys (the 2000 Iran DHS, and the 2008, 2014 Tehran Fertility Surveys, and the 2012 Tehran Fertility Intention Survey), this study examines trends and determinants of the transition to motherhood, applying hazard regression models and cohort analyses. The preliminary findings indicated that the transition time from marriage to the motherhood has increased by 6 months, from 29 months in 2000 to 35 in 2014, among young women aged 15-35. Multivariate results showed that women’s continued employment, education and contraceptive use after marriage prolonged the transition time to motherhood, adjusting for confounding factors. This implies that the recent Iran’s pronatalist population policy needs to be geared toward reducing the competition between women’s employment and education and their motherhood role.

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 Presented in Session P3. Fertility Intentions and Behaviors