Women’s Economic Empowerment Scale

Impact indicator

Indicator Phrasing

% of targeted women scoring in the top third of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Scale
to be added later
to be added later
to be added later

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of targeted women scoring in the top third of the Women’s Economic Empowerment Scale

Français: to be added later

Español: to be added later

Português: to be added later

What is its purpose?

This indicator measures the extent of women’s economic empowerment using a combination of the following variables: decision-making power over purchases, access to finance, choice of pursued income generating activities, mobility, attitudes to women’s economic roles, and perceived self-efficacy.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Determine the indicator's value using the following methodology:

 

1) This indicator uses a set of survey questions that should reflect the factors that either hinder or strengthen women’s economic empowerment (WEE), such as access to finance, decision-making power, choices of income generating activities, mobility, etc. Below are several examples of such questions. However, it is important to realize that in different countries of the world, the factors influencing WEE often are not the same and/or are not equally significant. This means, that the survey questions also have to be adjusted to the local context.

Therefore, the first step is to review the questions below and, if required, adapt them (change / delete / add) so they capture those factors that most influence WEE. At the same time, it is very important that they focus only on those factors that your project can realistically influence. Otherwise, you will be measuring something that your project does not / cannot change and the data will not tell you what it actually achieved. When revising the questions, consult key informants (such as representatives of community women’s groups, gender specialists working for NGOs or the government, etc.) on the main factors that influence WEE in the given area.

 

EXAMPLES OF SURVEY QUESTIONS (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)

Q1: Did you earn any income in the past 6 months?

A1: yes / no

 

(ask the following question only if the previous answer was YES)

 

Q2: Who usually decides how to spend the income that you bring into the household?

A2:

1) Respondent herself

2) Husband / partner

3) Respondent and husband / partner jointly

4) Another household member

5) Respondent and another household member jointly

6) Someone outside the household

 

Q3: Who usually decides what type of work you will do in order to earn some money?

A3: Use the same answer options as in A2 above.

 

Q4: Sometimes, when people want to earn more money, they have to make some investments, such as [provide examples relevant to the respondent’s livelihoods, such as: buy better seeds, purchase better tools, buy more animals, etc.]. Who usually decides about making such investments?

A4: Use the same answer options as in A2 above.

 

Q5: Sometimes it happens that people suddenly need money for some unexpected needs, such as health care or for addressing some difficulties in life. If this happens to you, would you be able to take from your savings or borrow a larger sum of money from anyone, such as [include an amount in a local currency that represents approximately a fifth of the target population’s monthly income]?

A5: yes / no

 

Q6: Now I am going to read two statements. Please tell me which of these two statements you agree with more.

The first statement is: “If a woman wants to attend a meeting, training or other event in her village, she does NOT need to ask her husband for permission to go there.”

The second statement is: “If a woman wants to attend a meeting, training or other event in her village, she should first ask for her husband’s permission.”

A7:

1) agrees more with the first statement (women can work outside the home)

2) agrees more with the second statement (women should work at home)

 

Q7: Now I am going to read two more statements. Please tell me again which of these two statements you agree with more.

The first statement is: “It is acceptable for a woman to work outside the home if it is to support her family economically.”

The second statement is: “Women should be working at home and let their husbands work outside the home.”

A7:

1) agrees more with the first statement (women can work outside the home)

2) agrees more with the second statement (women should work at home)

 

Q8: Now I am going to read the last two statements. Please tell me again which of these two statements you agree with more.

The first statement is: “I believe that with my current knowledge, skills and resources, I can improve the economic situation of my family.”

The second statement is: “I feel that with my current knowledge, skills and resources, it will be very difficult to improve the economic situation of my family.”

A8:

1) agrees more with the first statement (can improve family’s economic situation)

2) agrees more with the second statement (very difficult to improve family’s economic situation)

 

Q9: Often, when people want to improve their economic situation, they have to invest some time in it. They often have to learn new skills; try to get a better job or to expand their business; and other things that take their time. When you think about all the work that you have to do during a normal day, how much time do you have for doing additional activities that could improve your economic situation? Would you say that you have quite a lot of time, some time, very little time or no time?

A9:

1) quite a lot of time

2) some time

3) very little time

4) no time

 

2) Conduct individual interviews among a representative sample of women, asking the questions prepared in the previous step.

 

3) Take the following steps to calculate the value of the indicator:

  - provide 1 point for each answer that contributes to (or does not hinder) women’s economic empowerment, this means: A1 and A5 = answer yes; A2 - A4 = answers 1, 3 or 5; A6 - A8 = the first statement; and A9 - answer “quite a lot of time” or “some time”

  - calculate the total number of points per respondent

  - count the total number of answered questions – you have to exclude those questions that were not relevant (e.g. Q2 in the case that the respondent had no income)

  - divide the total number of points by the total number of answered questions – for example, 7 divided by 9

  - the result is the respondent’s score on the WEE Scale

  - since the maximum score on the WEE Scale is 1, the top third of the WEE Scale is 0.666 or more; therefore, the respondent scores in the top third of the WEE Scale if her score is equal to or higher than 0.666

 

4) To calculate the indicator’s value, divide the number of women in the top third of the WEE Scale by the total number of interviewed women. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.

Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by whether the respondent has a partner and by age groups.

Important Comments

1) When reviewing the survey questions, consider:

- the social and cultural norms, laws and policies that make up the environment surrounding women and girls and that supports or hinders their economic empowerment

- the potential sensitivity of asking some of the questions – you should avoid making the respondents feel very uncomfortable or face any risks as a result of the interview

 

2) Tearfund recognizes that women’s economic empowerment can be influenced by a range of different factors. If your project focuses primarily on WEE, it is recommend that you complement this indicator with other indicators that will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of these factors and the extent to which the project managed to influence them.

 

3) This guidance was developed using the following resources:

- PIN (2018) Women’s Autonomy Index

- IDRC (2017) Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment

- ICRW (2011) Understanding and Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment

- UNF - Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment

 

 

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

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