Terms of marriage and time-use patterns of young wives – Evidence from rural Bangladesh

Sajeda Amin, Luciana Suran

Marriage, time use, Bangladesh, gender, leisure, work

This paper explores the relationship between marriage arrangements and daily activities of young married women, using detailed time-use data from an adolescent study in rural Bangladesh. Measures of marriage arrangement are payment of dowry and the relative wealth status of natal and marital families. The data were collected in three rural districts in 2001 and 2003. Using multivariate regression analysis, the results show that women’s time spent in domestic work, socializing, and self-care is significantly associated with marriage arrangement variables. Those who paid dowry spent more time in domestic work and less time in self-care relative to those who did not pay dowry. These patterns of association are similar to those the authors found in an earlier study between marriage arrangements and domestic violence, where paying dowry and marrying up are associated with greater violence. This paper contributes evidence regarding the non-market determinants of women’s time use patterns and highlights the contribution of marriage-related decisions to women’s well-being.