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Armed Conflict and Gendered Household Power in Guatemala

The power dynamics present at the individual household level can indicate gender norms in a given society. Factors that impact intra-household power dynamics include the gendered share of unpaid labor, access and control of financial assets, and the gender of the primary household decision-maker. These factors have substantial implications on gender norms in a society because if women are unable to have autonomy over the decisions and dynamics that impact their everyday lives, it is more difficult to assert freedom and autonomy in every other realm of their lives. Under this assumption, this research investigates the relationship between conflict experience during the Guatemalan Civil War and post-war gender norms. To understand conflict experience, this research will examine data broken down at a sub-national level on civil war deaths and the genders of the deceased. Post-conflict gender norms will be assessed by analyzing census data also broken down at a sub-national level that indicates the gender of the primary household decision-maker. In Guatemala, departments are the 22 regions that the country is divided into, and for this research, departments will be the sub-national variation that I will analyze.