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In many developing countries, men also have control over women's reproductive health.As policy makers and service providers, men can perpetuate a dominant male definition of what is important for women's needs.Some studies have also stressed that economic development per se will not reduce gender discrimination unless social structures, such as dowries, patrilineal living arrangements, and discriminatory inheritances, will be eliminated.
In my recent paper, using 'family' as the main unit of analysis, I identify situations in which men's actions or decisions affect women's achievements and analyze the implications of policies designed to foster gender equality.
The paper first describes the process that governs decisions within the family and the economic factors that affect this process.
Factors that alter a household's economic environment, particularly its members' respective bargaining positions, are also important.
Existing literature has identified several factors that, over time, have led men to share or give up some of their traditional privileges and authority in favor of women.
Thus, the bargaining strength of each member is crucial to the process of final allocation.
Relative income clearly influences the intra household distribution of power, but it is not the only variable that affects the decision process.But it is important to look at the evolution of theories of nation-building and at the other concepts which it has both supplanted and included.Many people believe that nation-building is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, that is takes a long time and is a social process that cannot be jump-started from outside.For example, the rise in the returns to human capital has increased men's incentives to share power with women and has made polygamy less affordable.There is evidence that women spend more resources on children's well-being than men.However, despite important advances towards equality, gender differences in many socioeconomic outcomes still persist.In light of this, policy makers and social scientists have shifted attention to the role of men in reducing gender disparities.Families are formed by multiple agents that have different preferences.Household allocation decisions are the result of a bargaining process in which household members seek to allocate the resources that they control and particularly care about.Thus, more bargaining power for women means greater investments in children's human capital.Also, in a context of technological progress, skilled men value skilled women for their ability to raise skilled children.