Articles

Measuring gender equality in family decision making in Latin America: a key towards understanding changing family configurations

Maira Covre-Sussai, Bart Meuleman, Jan Van Bavel, Koen Matthijs

Abstract


This study investigates gender equality in terms of decision making in Latin American families. Multi-group latent class analysis (MGLCA) is applied to extract the construct of gender equality from DHS data. Its cross-cultural validation for seven Latin American countries (N=62,554) is attested and the influence of women’s age, education and type of union on family decision making is shown. The types of union included in this analysis are marriage and three previously identified types of cohabitation: traditional, innovative and blended (Covre-Sussai et al., 2014). Three types of decision making are found. In the first two types, women make household decisions alone or jointly with their husbands or partners. These are married, older and higher educated women. The third type groups women who have the decisions in their household made by their partners. These are lower educated women, who tend to live in the traditional cohabitation. The differences in terms of decision making for the innovative and blended types of cohabitation inLatin America are not clear. Results confirm earlier evidence that changes in gender roles happen in different rhythms for different social classes: in the upper social strata the gender revolution is in a more advanced stage than in the lower ones.

Maira COVRE-SUSSAI, PhD Researcher. Centre for Sociological Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven, Belgium. E-mail: mairacovre@gmail.com.

Bart MEULEMA, Assistant Professor, Centre for Sociological Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven, Belgium. E-mail: Bart.Meuleman@soc.kuleuven.be.

Jan Van BAVEL, Professor of Demography, Centre for Sociological Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven, Belgium. E-mail: Jan.VanBavel@soc.kuleuven.be.

Koen MATTHIJS, Full Professor, Centre for Sociological Research, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Leuven, Belgium. E-mail: Koen.Matthijs@soc.kuleuven.be.


Keywords


Gender Equity, Multi-group Latent Class Analysis (MGLCA), Measurement Equivalence, Demographic and Health Survey (DHS)

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ISSN: 2035-5556

Reg. Tribunale di Roma n. 3321/54