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Women’s Age at First Marriage and Long-Term Economic Empowerment in Egypt

Kathryn M. Yount, AliceAnn Crandall and Yuk Fai Cheong

World Development, 2018, vol. 102, issue C, 124-134

Abstract: Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 calls on nations to promote gender equality and to empower women and girls. SDG5 also recognizes the value of women’s economic empowerment, entailing equal rights to economic resources and full participation at all levels in economic decisions. Also according to SDG5, eliminating harmful practices—such as child marriage before age 18—is a prerequisite for women’s economic empowerment. Using national data for 4,129 married women 15–43years who took part in the Egypt Labor Market Panel Survey (ELMPS 1998–2012), we performed autoregressive, cross-lagged panel analyses to assess whether women’s first marriage in adulthood (at 18years or older, as reported in 2006), was positively associated with their long-term post-marital economic empowerment, measured as their engagement in market work and latent family economic agency in 2012. Women’s first marriage in adulthood had positive unadjusted associations with their market work and family economic agency in 2012. These associations persisted after accounting for market work and family economic agency in 2006, pre-marital resources for empowerment, and cumulative fertility. Policies to discourage child marriage may show promise to enhance women’s long-term post-marital economic empowerment.

Keywords: age at first marriage; Egypt; economic empowerment; family economic agency; market work; panel analysis (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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