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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - The Economic Research Forum (ERF)
Title Empowerment is a Community Affair: Community Level Determinants of Married Women’s Empowerment in Egypt
Issue 959
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
URL https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hanan_Nazier/publication/283343690_EMPOWERMENT_IS_A_COMMUNITY_A​FFAIR_COMMUNITY_LEVEL_DETERMINANTS_OF_MARRIED_WOMENS_EMPOWERMENT_IN_EGYPT/links/5634b50f08ae88cf81bb​cac5.pdf
This paper examines the contextual and community-level determinants of multidimensional women’s empowerment in Egypt, while accounting for the usual individual and household level factors typically included in studies of women’s empowerment. The paper analyzes two dimensions of women’s empowerment: the decision-making and the mobility dimensions by means of two indices constructed from various survey questions relating to these dimensions. We use data from the Population Census of 2006 and the Demographic Health Survey of 2008 to construct community and governorate-level contextual variables to complement the individual-level data we obtain from the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey of 2012 (ELMPS 2012). In line with the literature, the determinants that are relevant to the decision-making and mobility dimensions of women’s empowerment turned out to be quite different, confirming that “empowerment” is a multi- dimensional phenomenon, with women relatively empowered in some aspects of their lives but not in others. Moreover, our results show that context plays an important role in determining women’s empowerment in Egypt after controlling for a variety of individual and household-level characteristics. These results highlight the importance of viewing women’s empowerment, and hence development as social and normative transformations rather than as just resulting from shifts in individual conditions, attitudes and behaviors. Thus, empowering Egyptian women will require changing community norms and values about gender relations rather than simply providing greater educational and employment opportunities for women.

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