Till Marriage Do Us Part: Education and Remittances from Married Women in Africa

Till Marriage Do Us Part: Education and Remittances from Married Women in Africa

Till Marriage Do Us Part: Education and Remittances from Married Women in Africa

Till Marriage Do Us Part: Education and Remittances from Married Women in Africas

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Référence bibliographique [3154]

Eloundou-Enyegue, Parfait M. et Calvès, Anne-Emmanuèle. 2006. «Till Marriage Do Us Part: Education and Remittances from Married Women in Africa ». Comparative Education Review, vol. 50, no 1, p. 1-20.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs

Intentions :
« In this article we examine the remittance interpretation for parents’ selective investment in boys’ education in sub-Saharan contexts. » (p. 2)
« [The remittance interpretation can be summarized as follows:] parents worry about losing access to the fruits of their daughters’ education when they get married, especially in areas in sub-Saharan Africa in which patrilocality is disproportionately the residential arrangement. In such contexts, parents would favor boys in their educational investments. » (p. 1)

Questions/Hypothèses :
« A commitment by the United Nations in 2000 to reduce the global gender gap in education has rekindled a debate over the reasons for the persistence of this inequality. One question at the heart of the debate is whether parents’ preferential investment in the schooling of their sons rather than their daughters, which is evident in many developing countries, is rooted in culture or in economic circumstance. Does this selective investment reflect a broader cultural system of patriarchy? Alternatively, should it be seen as a strategic response to lower economic returns to daughters’ schooling? » (p. 1)

2. Méthode

Échantillon/Matériau :
« Our analysis considers two complementary indicators of women’s capacity to remit to their families. We consider their leverage in fosterage assistance (in the case of Cameroon). We also consider the control of their own earnings (for [Benin, Malawi, Mali, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe]). We briefly describe these two indicators and the corresponding sources of data. » (p. 5)
« The data that we use to measure women’s leverage in fosterage assistance in Cameroon come from a demographic survey fielded in 1999, the Enquête Population et Scolarisation (EPS). This survey covered a national representative sample of 3,369 women ages 15 years and over. » (p. 5)
« In [Benin, Malawi, Mali, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe], recent Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) have collected data on married women’s self-reported control of their own earnings. Women who had worked for pay within the past 12 months were asked whether decisions on the use of their earnings were made by (a) themselves alone, (b) themselves along with someone else, or (c) by someone else alone. Women answering either a or b were defined as having some control over their own earnings. » (pp. 6-7)

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse statistique

3. Résumé

« Using evidence from several African countries, we compare the relative capacity of married women versus men to assist their respective families of origin. We measure this capacity by women’s leverage in two areas of household decision making that affect remittances: fosterage assistance and women’s control of their own earnings. Using these two indicators, we ask two questions: Are married women less able than married men to assist their relatives? Second, are educated women more likely to assist their relatives than are less educated women? By answering these questions, we hope to shed empirical light on the relevance of a remittance argument for gender inequality in education in sub-Saharan Africa. » (p. 2)
« Our analysis of the remittance argument for gender inequality in education in the sub-Saharan countries covered here suggests the following conclusions. First, women appear to have a substantial capacity to remit, whether this capacity is measured by leverage in fosterage assistance to kin (in the case of Cameroon) or by the control of own earnings. Second, within countries, women’s individual capacity to remit, again as measured by these indicators, increases with their education level, especially when they are employed. Third, a comparison of West and East African countries shows an apparent paradox because women’s control of resources is greater in West Africa, despite the lower levels of female education in that region. Taken together, our findings seem inconsistent with an interpretation of marriage as a resource takeover. Even when women are symbolically incorporated into their husband’s lineage through a new residence and bride name, they have leverage in decisions about fosterage and the use of their earnings. This leverage gives them a capacity to assist their relatives. It does not appear that women so fully drift into the husband’s lineage as to become an unreliable source of remittances for their families of origin. » (pp. 17-18)