Women’s education, time use and marriage in Iran

Fatemeh Torabi*, Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    In many parts of the world, higher education has increased female chances of paid work and reduced the economic benefits of marriage. In Iran, however, female labour force participation has remained in low rates despite considerable improvements in female education. In the absence of direct economic benefits of education for women, this paper uses data from the 2009 Time Use Survey, representing urban areas of Iran, to explore another pathway of the impact of education on transition to marriage. It is postulated that female education can lead to later marriage by changing women’s role priorities, at least in two ways. While enrolment in education is time-consuming and incompatible with requirements of marital life, higher education can increase the chances and desire for engagement in alternatives to the roles related to marriage. The findings provide partial support for both explanations. These findings not only deepen our understanding about differentials in the time use and the potential pathway of the impact of female education on marriage, but also provide important information for policy makers who are concerned with marital and fertility behaviours of the large cohort of young educated women in Iran.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)229-250
    Number of pages22
    JournalAsian Population Studies
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


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