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Heterogeneous impact of traveling to Western countries on gender norms in Middle East and North Africa countries

Atamanov, Aziz (2015): Heterogeneous impact of traveling to Western countries on gender norms in Middle East and North Africa countries.

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Abstract

Social gender norms shape individuals’ opportunities and actions. Traditional and gender biased norms can contribute to persistent gender disparities. However, counter-stereotypical images can shift an expected behavior for men and women. This paper investigates if traveling to Western countries relaxes gender norms in the Middle East and North Africa region using the Arab Barometer data. Preliminary empirical findings suggest that international travel to Western countries is associated with relaxed gender norms only for those individuals who spend abroad longer than one month and only for less binding gender norms not related to changing power relationships between males and females.

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