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The Consequences of the Demographic Transition for Women’s Status in Society

Namasaka, Martin (2015): The Consequences of the Demographic Transition for Women’s Status in Society.

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The demographic transition is perhaps the most important event to occur in human affairs during the last 250 years, since the time of the enlightenment. It started in the countries of north-western Europe, and it has gone on to affect the rest of the world (Dyson 2009). Signified by the sustained decline in mortality and subsequently fertility, it has major implications for women’s status within the family and in the society as women become less tied to concerns of the domestic domain. Consequently, the process of the transition, presents an interesting reduction in gender differentiation (Davis, Van den Oever, 1982) with women’s lives becoming more like those of men, rather than the reverse. This paper discusses the consequences the transition for women’s status in both high and low fertility populations by presenting evidence that women gain from the process, however this by no means the end of the story in improvements to issues such as gender equality.

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