Gender Inequality in Early Adulthood Work and Family Life Courses in Egypt: Change and Continuity

Zafer Büyükkeçeci , Humboldt University of Berlin
Anette E. Fasang, Humboldt Universität zu Berlin

In Egypt, despite notable increases in the human development index, women’s employment participation has remained low and fertility recently even increased. This is inconsistent with theories on the first and second demographic transition. We map gender inequality in early adult work and family life courses from age 9 to 30 for cohorts born between 1956 and 1982 in Egypt as a particularly interesting country to study the dynamics of a stalled or reversed development towards gender equality. Rich retrospective life course data from the Egyptian labor market panel survey and multichannel sequence and cluster analyses show 5 typical combined work and family life courses. Results specify very high levels of gender polarization in life courses mainly characterized by the employment patterns. Patriarchal pathways are less common among younger generations. Yet, access to meritocratic pathways is also harder for younger generations and improvements in economy do not increase the transition from patriarchal to meritocratic pathways in Egypt. Our findings further emphasize the importance of cultural, structural, and family conditions in individuals’ life courses.

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 Presented in Session 108. Life Course