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Beyond ‘death do us part’: the long-term implications of divorce perception on women’s well-being and child schooling in rural Ethiopia

This publication is part of a series on 'Asset inheritance and the intergenerational transmission of poverty'

Neha Kumar
Agnes Quisumbing


This paper examines how women’s perception of the division of household assets between spouses affects long-term poverty and well-being in the rural Ethiopian context. It also explores the potential impact of recent legislation strengthening women’s property rights upon a divorce on household and individual well-being. Finally, it investigates whether perceptions of asset devolution upon divorce have long-term implications for schooling outcomes among children in these households. Findings suggest that women who perceive that their husband would get all the assets in case of a divorce also tend to perceive less control over their lives. More striking are the implications of perceptions of unequal divorce allocations on child schooling. The results show that, not only do children in households where divorce allocations favor the husband do worse compared to children of the same age, but girls fare even worse than boys in these households.

This paper is one of a series on Asset inheritance and the intergenerational transmission of poverty commissioned and published by the CPRC. It was first presented at a Roundtable on Inheritance and the Intergenerational Transmission of Poverty hosted jointly by the CPRC and the Overseas Development Institute on 11 October 2010.

Publication Type(s)

CPRC Working Paper


assets rural gender childhood poverty Ethiopia inheritance households Asset inheritance and IGT of poverty series

ISBN: 978-1-906433-93-2


1 Beyond death do us part PDF 544.4 KB

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