Women’s Empowerment across the Life Course in Madhya Pradesh, India: The Influence of Time-Varying and Fixed-Time Covariates
Kerry MacQuarrie, University of Washington
Women’s empowerment both influences and is influenced by family formation processes. Yet, most studies describe empowerment as a fixed attribute, ignoring variations across the life course. This paper examines its dynamic changes over the life course. It uses retrospective data from a representative sample of 2,444 married women in Madhya Pradesh, India, that captures reproductive events, household circumstances, and empowerment (mobility, spending decision-making, violence) for each of 11,309 pregnancy intervals from marriage until the time of survey. In a structural model, I analyze the influence of initial empowerment resources and socio-demographic determinants (education, spousal age gap, age at marriage) with time-varying determinants (childbearing pressures, family size, sex composition) of women’s empowerment at marriage and each pregnancy interval to the time family formation is complete. I find that initial empowerment resources enhance initial empowerment, and that women’s final empowerment is determined by their family formation and initial empowerment, but not initial empowerment resources.
Presented in Session 10: Empowerment, Agency and Gender Dynamics