Forced displacement has disrupted Syrian refugees’ lives and exposed them to new communities and norms. This paper assesses how gender norms shape the lives of Syrian refugee adolescent girls in Jordan, using nationally representative data. Factor analysis is used to summarize a variety of beliefs and behavioral aspects of norms: gender role attitudes, justification of domestic violence, decision making, and mobility. The paper compares these outcomes by sex, nationality, and for adolescents versus adults. It complements the data on individual beliefs and behaviors with family and community beliefs and behaviors as proxies for others’ expectations and behaviors. The paper then examines how own, family, and community gender norms relate to two key adolescent outcomes: domestic work and enrollment in school. The findings show that while gender role attitudes are similar across generations and nationalities, Syrian adolescent girls are particularly restricted in their mobility. Nonetheless, they have similar educational outcomes as boys and, after accounting for differences in socioeconomic status, as Jordanian girls. While gender inequality in domestic work is substantial, higher levels of own and mother’s decision making predict lower domestic workloads, illustrating the linkages between different dimensions of gender norms and social and economic outcomes.
Funding Note: This work is part of the program “Building the Evidence on Protracted Forced Displacement: A Multi-Stakeholder Partnership.” The program is funded by UK aid from the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), it is managed by the World Bank Group (WBG) and was established in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The scope of the program is to expand the global knowledge on forced displacement by funding quality research and disseminating results for the use of practitioners and policy makers. This work does not necessarily reflect the views of FCDO, the WBG or UNHCR. This paper is part of a larger effort by the World Bank to provide open access to its research and make a contribution to development policy discussions around the world. Policy Research Working Papers are also posted on the Web at http://www.worldbank.org/research and on the Open Knowledge Repository at https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/