IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Empowerment of women for health promotion: a meta-analysis


  • Kar, Snehendu B.
  • Pascual, Catherine A.
  • Chickering, Kirstin L.


The objective of this paper is to identify conditions, factors and methods, which empower women and mothers (WAM) for social action and health promotion movements. WAM are the primary caregivers in almost all cultures; they have demonstrated bold leadership under extreme adversity. Consequently, when empowered and involved, WAM can be effective partners in health promotion programs. The methodology includes a meta-analysis of 40 exemplary case studies from across the world, which meet predetermined criteria, to draw implications for social action and health promotion. Cases were selected from industrialized and less-industrialized nations and from four problem domains affecting quality of life and health: (1) human rights, (2) women's equal rights, (3) economic enhancement and (4) health promotion. Content analysis extracted data from all cases on six dimensions: (1) problem, (2) impetus/leadership, (3) macro-environment, (4) methods used, (5) partners/opponents and (6) impact. Analysis identified seven methods frequently used to EMPOWER (acronym): empowerment education and training, media use and advocacy, public education and participation, organizing associations and unions, work training and micro-enterprise, enabling services and support, and rights protection and promotion. Cochran's Q test confirmed significant differences in the frequencies of methods used. The seven EMPOWER methods were used in this order: enabling services, rights protection/promotion, public education, media use/advocacy, and organizing associations/unions, empowerment education, and work training and micro-enterprise. Media and public education were more frequently used by industrialized than non-industrialized societies ([chi]2 tests). While frequencies of methods used varied in all other comparisons, these differences were not statistically significant, suggesting the importance of these methods across problem domains and levels of industrialization. The paper integrates key findings into an empowerment model consisting of five stages: motivation for action, empowerment support, initial individual action, empowerment program, and institutionalization and replication. Implications for policy and health promotion programs are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Kar, Snehendu B. & Pascual, Catherine A. & Chickering, Kirstin L., 1999. "Empowerment of women for health promotion: a meta-analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 49(11), pages 1431-1460, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:49:y:1999:i:11:p:1431-1460

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Godoy, Ricardo A. & Patel, Ankur & Reyes-García, Victoria & Seyfried, Craig Jr. & Leonard, William R. & McDade, Thomas & Tanner, Susan & Vadez, Vincent, 2006. "Nutritional status and spousal empowerment among native Amazonians," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 1517-1530, September.
    2. Bakshi, Sanjeev & Pathak, Prasanta, 2006. "An Analysis of the State of Empowerment of Females vis-à-vis Males at Old Ages in India," MPRA Paper 23573, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:eee:jcecon:v:45:y:2017:i:2:p:325-343 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bakshi, Sanjeev & Pathak, Prasanta, 2013. "Ageing and the socioeconomic life of older adults in India: An empirical exposition," MPRA Paper 68651, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Musonera, Abdou & Heshmati, Almas, 2016. "Measuring Women's Empowerment in Rwanda," IZA Discussion Papers 10131, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Swendeman, Dallas & Basu, Ishika & Das, Sankari & Jana, Smarajit & Rotheram-Borus, Mary Jane, 2009. "Empowering sex workers in India to reduce vulnerability to HIV and sexually transmitted diseases," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1157-1166, October.
    7. Elnekave, Eldad & Gross, Revital, 2004. "The healthcare experiences of Arab Israeli women in a reformed healthcare system," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 101-116, July.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:49:y:1999:i:11:p:1431-1460. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.