Inter-generational co-residence and women's work and leisure time in egypt

Nadia Diamond-Smith, David Bishai, Omaima El Gibaly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background Labor force participation among women in Egypt remains low. Due to low fertility and increases in life expectancy, in the future women in Egypt may spend more time co-residing with aging in-laws. Past literature has suggested that in some settings co-residence allows women to enter the labor force, as mothers-in-law help care for their grandchildren, or inhibits labor force participation, when mothers-in-law reinforce traditional values or require care. There is little research on co-residence and labor supply or leisure time in Egypt, especially accounting for mother-in-law disability status. Objective This paper examines the role of intergenerational co-residence in women's work, work time, and leisure time using data on time allocation in Egypt. Methods Data were collected from 548 women with a living mother-in-law: 291 co-residing their mother-in-law and 257 not. Survey data included work status, a 24-hour time diary, and a health assessment of the mother-in-law. Multivariate regression models predicted work, work time, and leisure time use using standard models. Results Co-residing with a disabled mother-in-law was associated with decreased odds of women working and fewer minutes spent working a day. Leisure time was not associated with the co-residence and disability status of a mother-in-law. Factors relatedto couples' relationships and the woman's views on gender norms were also associated with women working. Conclusions Co-residence appears to be associated with women's work, depending on the disability status of the co-residing mother-in-law. If increased life expectancy is associated with more time spent in a disabled state for mothers-in-law, this could put downward pressure on women's work in this setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)909-938
Number of pages30
JournalDemographic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography


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