Gender Roles in Economics

In rural areas there is a gendered division of labor among men and women. Women in the household do much of the work on the farm: they milk the cows, feed the chickens and pigs, bake the bread, make cheese, butter, and yogurt, and tend to the small household gardens. Although men work the large agricultural lands, build structures, and dig wells, the division of labor is uneven because women work throughout the year while men only work in the planting and harvest seasons.

In urban areas, there is also a gendered division of labor. Depending on a man's educational and socioeconomic background, he can choose from a variety of professions including law, medicine, academia, politics, government, engineering, law enforcement, trade, and service work. With the same socioeconomic and educational restrictions, women can choose from the following professions: law, medicine, education, academia, engineering, and the arts. In the home, women are responsible for all household chores, including cleaning, cooking, laundry, shopping, and making preserves. Men, however, are only responsible for maintaining the family's automobile.

With the transition to a market economy, many men and women have become involved in trading. Both men and women have become shuttle traders, traveling to foreign countries to bring back goods to sell in Armenia. Traditionally, men were the ones who were absent from home because of work, trade, and warfare. With the globalization of the economy, the number of women who leave Armenia to work abroad as labor migrants or shuttle traders is increasing. Both men and women can equally inherit land, money, and property.

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