Explaining Women's Autonomy in Egypt: The Role of Household Location and Context

Goleen Samari, University of California, Los Angeles

There is growing interest in the status of women in transitional Egypt. This study examines household determinants and regional variation of women’s autonomy in Egypt. Using the Egyptian Labor Market Panel Study, a nationally representative panel of households in Egypt, I use a sample of married women to test the relationship between household characteristics like wealth, size, urban/rural, and region of residence and four measures of women’s autonomy. Preliminary results from multilevel OLS models suggest across all outcomes, variance in women’s autonomy is due to differences between communities and regions. The women in rural upper, rural lower, and urban upper Egypt have less autonomy compared to women in the Cairo area. Women in rural areas and in larger families are consistently associated with less autonomy. This work highlights the importance of Egyptian women’s household and location for their level of control.

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 Presented in Session P8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, and Inequality/Gender, Race and Ethnicity