Control of Earnings and Assets

Although only 7% of Yemeni women report working for wages, a large majority of those who do so say they feel either completely free (64%) or somewhat free (22%) to decide how their earnings are used (Figure 13). Only 8% of working women feel that they are completely restricted in deciding how their earnings are spent.

In Yemen, women and men do not report differences in how much control they exercise over how their earnings are spent.

More women age 45 and older feel completely restricted than women less than 45 years of age. Women with more education or urban residence report greater decision-making control of their earnings than women with less education or from rural areas. There were not differences by marital status in the control of women’s earnings.

More than three-quarters of working women (76%) report spending some of their earnings on their family (Figure 14). Nearly half (49%) spend all their earnings on family and 27% spend a portion while keeping the rest for personal use. Eleven percent of working women keep all of their earnings for personal use and another 11% give some (6%) or all (5%) of their earnings to their husband or relatives. Only 1% of women say that they put their earnings in a bank account.

Women (11%) are twice as likely as men (5%) to say they keep all their earnings for their own use. Men’s earnings are primarily used for family expenses (59%).

Younger and never-married women are more likely to keep their earnings for their own use. Older women and those who are divorced or widowed primarily spend their earnings on family needs.

Women with less formal schooling and living in smaller towns or villages are less likely to keep their earnings for their personal use than women with more schooling (completed primary or more) and living in urban areas. Even among urban women or those with more than primary schooling completed, most women use their earnings to support their families.