Determinants of Decision Making Power of Ethiopian Women on Large Household Purchases


  • Jemal Tekile Department of Statistics, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • Eshetu Wencheko Department of Statistics, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  • Mekonnen Tadesse Department of Statistics, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia


Women, Decision Making, Ethiopia


Empowerment of women is critical for the development of any country, because it enhances both the quality and quantity of human resources available for development. The objective of this study was to identify socio-economic and demographic factors/variables that are associated with or affect the economic empowerment of women in Ethiopia using data from the 2011 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey. The paper used women’s participation in large household purchases independently or jointly with their partners as an indicator of economic empowerment. The sample data comprised 5,818 married women within the reproductive age group of 15 to 49 years. This study focused on women’s economic empowerment assessed by socio-economic and demographic characteristics that included age of a woman, region, place of residence, economic status, number of living children, women’s level of education, religion, employment, and husband’s level of education. Data analysis was done using binary and multilevel multiple logistic regression models. The covariates; place of residence, region, number of living children, husband’s level of education and economic status were found to be significant determinants of decision making about large household purchases. The random coefficient model was used to investigate whether the effects of women level covariates varied across the regions. The results revealed that there was a significant variation in economic empowerment across the regions of Ethiopia. We recommend that due attention should be given to economically empower rural women and women in low income households and efforts should be made to make women in all regions have uniform and increased economic empowerment such as involvement in decision making of large household purchases.