The determinants of married women's autonomy in Indonesia

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Journal Article
Feminist Economics, 2009, 15 (4), pp. 31 - 55
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This paper investigates the determinants of married women's autonomy in Indonesia using the 2000 Indonesian Family Life Survey 3 (IFLS3). It considers the role of kinship norms and the effect of labor force participation on married women's autonomy. The measure of autonomy is based on self-reported answers to an array of questions relating to decision-making authority in the household. They include own-clothing, child-related and personal autonomy, physical mobility, and economic autonomy. The analysis examines if variations in women's autonomy are due to the prevailing kinship norms related to marriage in the community. In keeping with the anthropological literature, the analysis finds that living in patrilocal communities reduces physical autonomy for married women, whereas living in uxorilocal communities improves personal and child-related decision-making autonomy. Estimation results show that labor force participation, higher educational attainment, and increases in household wealth all have positive effects on married women's autonomy in Indonesia.
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