Do Economics Trump Culture? Effects of Women’s Work and Relative Economic Resources on Household Decision-Making among Currently Married Women in Jordan

Gheda Temsah, University of Maryland

Despite the profound implications of demographic changes on gender dynamics within the household and the market, there is limited research on the intersection of gender, work and family in the Arab region. Using the 2007 Jordan DHS I explore the effects of women’s work and relative economic resources on their authority in household decision making net of culturally relevant factors. The country has undertaken efforts to enhance its human capital base, develop new industries and promote women’s work, but it also remains a bastion of traditional gender norms. Drawing on resource theory, performance theories and feminist theories of power I argue that women’s work and relative economic resources matter more for some dimensions of household decisionmaking than others. While economic resources and engagement in the labor market may influence women’s ability act on their own behalf, when it comes to family management, other factors maybe more relevant.

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Presented in Poster Session 3