Resources, Time and Gender: Determinants of Women's Housework in Bahir Dar and nearby Rural Villages, Northwest Ethiopia
AbstractWomen's disproportionate engagement in housework and its determinants has been relatively well studied in the developed countries. There is, however, a serious lack of such research for less developed countries. Unless the barriers to women's participation in development efforts are understood and addressed, poverty reduction programs may not succeed. This paper used data from a household survey of 502 married women to analyze determinants of women's hours of housework in light of available theories and employing a multivariate hierarchical linear regression model. Results show that, in line with theory and past research, time availability (measured as women's employment status) and resources or bargaining power (measured as years of schooling and loan receipt status), and gender ideology/display (measured as traditional gender perception/practice) have statistically significant negative associations with a woman's housework time. Similarly, traditional gender perception/practice as a measure of gender ideology/display has the expected positive association with a woman's housework time, despite the weaker statistical significance level. Also, among control variables, housework and non-housework performed by other members, number of young children, and household asset values have the expected associations to women’s hours of housework. National strategies aiming at poverty reduction may need to pay more attention to educate women, help them overcome shortage of working capital, and improve employment opportunities since these may also empower women and thereby minimize traditional gender ideology/display and having too many young children.
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