Measuring women’s economic empowerment: Critical lessons from South America


The objective of this book is to provide empirical evidence from the South American countries of Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay about our experiences as researchers implementing existing methods and questionnaires used to explain and measure women’s economic empowerment in terms of individual outcomes. Our evidence focuses on the results, effects, impacts, and measurement of economic empowerment. To this end, the book explores both quantitative and qualitative methods to measure the usual proxies for empowerment—such as decision making and labor market participation—and the subjective dimensions of these measurements.


In this book, we use the theoretical framework proposed by Naila Kabeer in her 1999 article "Resources, Agency, Achievements: Reflections on the Measurement of Women's Empowerment," which frames empowerment as a process rather than an outcome.


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