Gender Equitable Norms

Indicator Phrasing

% of respondents with high support for equitable gender norms

Indicator Phrasing

INDICATOR PHRASING: % of respondents with high support for equitable gender norms

What is its purpose?

This indicator use the Gender Equitable Men (GEM) Scale methodology to determine the proportion of respondents with high support for equitable gender norms. Although the methodology was developed for young men living in low-income countries, it has also been successfully used with adult men, women and girls.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Calculate the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) Open the publication Compendium of Gender Scales below (page 14-15) and review the 24 statements that are included in the original GEM scale methodology. Select 11 – 15 statements that are most relevant to the cultural and gender context of the area where you plan to conduct the survey. See IMAGES survey report (at the bottom of this site) and country-specific reports for examples of which statements were chosen by previous surveys in different countries.


2) Incorporate the country-specific GEM Scale method into your questionnaire by taking the following steps:

  - include the following introduction: Now I am going to read different statements. Please show me on this scale how you feel about each statement [show the scale provided at the bottom of this page and explain how it works, including the meaning of each face]. There are no right or wrong answers – please answer according to your feelings about each statement. I would again like to assure you that your answers will not be shared with any people living in this area, and that you do not have to answer any questions that you do not want to. 

  - for each statement, include the following question: Which of these three faces [point to the scale] best represents your feelings about the following statement? [read out the given statement]

  - for each statement, include in your questionnaire the following pre-defined answers: 1) agree; 2) somewhat agree; 3) disagree


3) Conduct individual interviews with a representative sample of your target group members, assessing whether they agree, somewhat agree, or disagree with each of the context-specific statements.


4) To analyse the data, provide 3 points for each response representing gender equality, 2 points for each response representing moderate gender equality, and 1 point for each response representing the lowest gender equality. For example, in the case of the statement “There are times when a woman deserves to be beaten”, the response “agree” represents the lowest gender equality and should be given 1 point. The response “disagree” would represent the highest gender equality and receive three points.


5) For each respondent, calculate the total number of points. The minimum number of points on the GEM scale is zero (absolutely no support for equitable gender norms), the highest number (full support for equitable gender norms) equals the number of survey questions multiplied by a maximum of 3 points per question. For example, 12 survey questions multiplied by 3 equals the highest possible score of 36 points.


6) Count the number of respondents with GEM scores in the top third of the scale. For example, if you have 12 questions, the maximum score would be 36 points (12 x 3). In the “top third” are those respondents whose score was between 25 and 36 points.


7) To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of respondents with GEM scores in the top third of the scale by the total number of surveyed respondents. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by the respondent’s age group, gender (if the respondents are both women and men) and other factors depending on the local context.

Important Comments

1) If you realize that the threshold of “in the top third of the scale” includes either too many or extremely few respondents, you can adjust it (e.g. change it to the top quarter or upper half). However, what matters most is that the baseline and endline surveys use exactly the same threshold; otherwise, the data will not be comparable.


2) The visual scale is used to make it easier for the respondent to choose the response that best represents her/his feelings. Ensure that the data collectors always clearly explain the meaning of the three faces included in the scale. If you do not wish to use the visual scale, you will have to ask the respondent: Would you say that you agree, somewhat agree or disagree with the following statement? [include the given statement]


3) Before you start amending the set of statements for a given context, check on Promundo’s website whether this has already been done by someone else.


This guidance was prepared by Tearfund from People in Need’s IndiKit guidance ©

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