This paper investigates the lives and livelihoods of rural women in Egypt. Rural women have lower economic participation, by standard measures, than urban women or men. This paper introduced additional measures of economic participation and found that standard measures vastly underestimated the economic engagement of rural women. These additional measures also allowed us to better delineate the nature of women’s contributions to the economy and society. Rural women were frequently engaged in tending livestock, in household non-farm enterprises, and domestic work. Rural women had distinct patterns of family formation, with higher rates of early marriage than urban women and higher fertility rates. Although gender role attitudes were equitable in some respects, such as gender equality in education, other aspects, such as attitudes towards work and domestic violence, showed rural women were particularly vulnerable.
The study of labor market behaviors and dynamics is a central part of Egypt's development
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