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Measuring social norms about female labor force participation in Jordan

Published by: World Bank
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This study conducted a large-scale, representative survey of social norms for female labour force participation in three governorates of Jordan. The social norms measures are disaggregated into thematic clusters, empirical and normative expectations, and interpersonal expectations within the household. The measurements satisfy reasonable tests for internal consistency, external validity, and test-retest reliability. The survey shows that the great majority of men and women favour women’s labour force participation, although support falls under specific scenarios. Most non–working women would like a job. Among married women, the strongest correlates of working are the woman’s expectations of her husband’s views and the husband’s personal beliefs. Among unmarried women, empirical expectations of the number of women working correlate strongest with labour force participation. The study findings indicate that information campaigns highlighting hidden support for women working could be effective, although distinct messages for men, married women, and unmarried women may be useful.