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Women's Status

The focus here is on the relative balance of women's involvement in traditional (family and household) versus modern (non-household) roles. To the extent that a significant proportion of women in the community are active in the modern sector, there should be some legitimation and freedom to break with traditional roles, including high fertility. We suggest that much of the impact of socioeconomic development on fertility is mediated by the structure of women's roles in and outside the family. This concept consists of two contextual indicators of women's status at the provincial level: (1) the proportion of women, aged 15-34, who work in nonagricultural occupations, and (2) the proportion of women, aged 15-34, who have secondary (or above) educational attainment. the age boundaries identify women in the peak childbearing years whose behavior might serve as a model for the normative context of appropriate fertility behavior.