Strengthening Economic Rights and Women’s Occupational Choice: The Impact of Reforming Ethiopia’s Family Law
This paper evaluates the impact of strengthening legal rights on the types of economic opportunities pursued. Ethiopia changed its family law, expanding wives’ access to marital property and removing restrictions to working outside the home. This reform was initially rolled out in the two chartered cities and three of Ethiopia’s nine regions, allowing for a difference-in-difference estimation of the reform’s impact. The analysis finds that women were significantly more likely to work in occupations that require work outside the home, employ more educated workers, and in paid and full-time jobs where the reform had been enacted.
Keywords: property rights; women’s empowerment; occupational choice; family law; Ethiopia"