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Refining the Conceptualization and Measurement of Women’s Empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa Using Data from the 2013 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey

Pierre Pratley () and John Floyd Sandberg ()
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Pierre Pratley: The George Washington University
John Floyd Sandberg: The George Washington University

Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, 2018, vol. 140, issue 2, 777-793

Abstract: Abstract The measurement of women’s empowerment has long eluded academics and practitioners alike. A key challenge relates to the way researchers construct measures of empowerment, pairing indicators together in either composite indices, or multiple dimensions. This study tests three commonly found measurement models of women’s empowerment using data from the 2013 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey. Model fit statistics indicate that a seven factor first order Functional Scales of Empowerment model best fits the data. Implications following from this study’s findings include that simplification into composite indices, a commonly used method to aggregate indicators of empowerment may lead to erroneous conclusions regarding the effect of empowerment on development and health outcomes and hamper comparative research. The results from this study contribute to the highly important and often ignored discussion regarding measurement of women’s empowerment.

Keywords: Measurement; Women’s empowerment; Sub-Saharan Africa; Nigeria; Capability approach; Empirical validation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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