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What is missing in measures of Women's Empowerment?


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  • Hanny Cueva Beteta
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    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.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Human Development and Capabilities.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 221-241

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:jhudca:v:7:y:2006:i:2:p:221-241

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    Keywords: Women in politics; Gender indicators; Empowerment; Gender Empowerment Measure; Enabling environment;


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    Cited by:
    1. Costantini, Valeria & Monni, Salvatore, 2009. "Gender disparities in the Italian regions from a human development perspective," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 256-269, March.
    2. Eduardo Bericat, 2012. "The European Gender Equality Index: Conceptual and Analytical Issues," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 108(1), pages 1-28, August.
    3. Chaudhuri, Sanjukta, 2013. "A Life Course Model of Human Rights Realization, Female Empowerment, and Gender Inequality in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 55-70.


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