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Religious Institutions & Gendered Time Use: Evidence from Ramadan Festivities in India

  • Economics Discussion Papers
  • January 19, 2023
  • Aparajita Dasgupta, Ashokankur Datta

How does religious institutions bear upon the gender-gap in time use for individuals? In this paper, we examine how religious mandates of the holy month of Ramadan affects the gendered distribution of time use within Muslim households in India. Using rich data from a nationally representative time use survey we construct a composite measure of gendered life that incorporates gender gaps. We employ a difference-in-difference methodology to test if this gender imbalance in accentuated by Ramadan. We find that contrary to popular belief, Ramadan moderates the gender disparities in intra-household time use for Muslim households. The moderating influence is stronger in districts with a higher Muslim proportion. We find a reduction in absolute gender gap in time use for employment, unpaid domestic work and learning activities. However, at an individual level, men and women in different age groups are differentially affected by Ramadan.

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