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Relationship between Young Women and Parents in Rural Ethiopia

Discussion Papers


March 2013


In rural Ethiopia, parents play an important role in the major life events of their daughters such as education and marriage. However, parents’ roles have been evolving, likely due to the rapid expansion of educational opportunities for girls and the growing need of cash income among rural households. Currently, encouraging their daughters to take up further education and jobs in the formal sector contrasts with rural Ethiopian women’s conventional life course events in the past, which are characterized by early marriage and low educational profiles. An interview analysis with parents of young women indicated that under the continuing de-agrarianization among rural households, women are expected to have their own cash income generating activities to qualify as marriage partners.

Keywords: young women, parents, education, marriage, Ethiopia
JEL classification: Z13 R23,

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