What is missing in measures of Women's Empowerment?

  • Cueva Beteta H
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Abstract

This paper argues that the Gender Empowerment Measure is an incomplete and biased index on women's empowerment, which measures inequality among the most educated and economically advantaged and fails to include important non?economic dimensions of decision?making power both at the household level and over women's own bodies and sexuality. After addressing in more depth the relevance and limitations of existent and potential indicators on women's empowerment in the political and economic spheres, this paper identifies and assesses potential indicators in those spheres currently absent in the Gender Empowerment Measure (household and individual dimensions). Finally, the paper stresses that empowerment is not primarily an outcome, but a process; as such, there are elements enabling or limiting it, such as ? but not limited to ? the legal and regulatory framework. Considering this, the construction of a new aggregated measure on the Gender Empowerment Enabling Environment of countries is suggested. The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of UNIFEM.
This paper argues that the Gender Empowerment Measure is an incomplete and biased index on women's empowerment, which measures inequality among the most educated and economically advantaged and fails to include important non?economic dimensions of decision?making power both at the household level and over women's own bodies and sexuality. After addressing in more depth the relevance and limitations of existent and potential indicators on women's empowerment in the political and economic spheres, this paper identifies and assesses potential indicators in those spheres currently absent in the Gender Empowerment Measure (household and individual dimensions). Finally, the paper stresses that empowerment is not primarily an outcome, but a process; as such, there are elements enabling or limiting it, such as ? but not limited to ? the legal and regulatory framework. Considering this, the construction of a new aggregated measure on the Gender Empowerment Enabling Environment of countries is suggested. The views expressed in this paper are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of UNIFEM.

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Authors

  • Hanny Cueva Beteta

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