Investigating trends and patterns in household marital power structure between couples across 4 generations (1980-2018): A study of marriage and gender power relations

Bamidele Emmanuel Ola

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review

Abstract

This study examined changes in marital power settings between couples over a space of 40 years. The central question is whether the traditional gender inequality gap is closing, and women are experiencing increasing levels of power, signalling shifts in marital power from the traditional male-dominated household power structure to a more egalitarian power structure in new and emerging families. To answer this question, we compared power structure in traditional marriages contracted across four decades: 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, and 2010s. Power was defined and measured as "who decides what?" in key household decision-making domains. Relative power was also measured using income gap, age difference, and educational difference among couples. Preliminary data involved the analysis of standardized national Demographic and Health Surveys across 7 sub-Saharan African countries, involving 181,631 ever-in-union women. Our findings reveal that though men still dominate marital relationships in key household decision-making domains, the pattern is gradually changing in newer marriages. While women in older marriages are more likely to be autonomous in decision-making domains, women in newer marriages are more likely to engage in joint family decision-making with husbands. There is evidence that seems to suggest gradual changes in household decision-making and power-sharing configurations across the years.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2021
EventThe 29th IUSSP International Population Conference (IPC2021) - Virtual
Duration: 5 Dec 202110 Dec 2021
https://ipc2021.popconf.org/

Conference

ConferenceThe 29th IUSSP International Population Conference (IPC2021)
Period5/12/2110/12/21
Internet address

User-Defined Keywords

  • Family demography
  • Gender
  • Age structure
  • Cross-country comparative analyses

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