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Measuring women’s economic empowerment: Critical lessons from South America

Susana Martinez-Restrepo, Laura Ramos-Jaimes, Alma Espino, Martín Valdivia () and Johanna Yancari Cueva ()

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Abstract: Women face significant economic, social, and cultural challenges that limit their access to markets, quality jobs, and entrepreneurship and income-generation strategies. The big question among policy makers, development agencies, and researchers in the fi¬eld of women’s economic empowerment is how to effectively improve women’s economic empowerment through income-generation strategies, training, and social programs. Conventional measures of economic empowerment have used employment, income, and education as proxies. More recently, the research community has recognized the relevance of subjective dimensions such as decision-making power over purchases, bargaining power, subjective perceptions of well-being, and freedom of choice. In this context, the objective of this book is to provide empirical evidence from the South American countries of Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay about our experiences as researchers implementing existing methods and questionnaires used to explain and measure women’s economic empowerment in terms of individual outcomes. Our evidence focuses on the results, effects, impacts, and measurement of economic empowerment. To this end, the book explores both quantitative and qualitative methods to measure the usual proxies for empowerment—such as decision making and labor market participation—and the subjective dimensions of these measurements. In this book, we use the theoretical framework proposed by Naila Kabeer in her 1999 article "Resources, Agency, Achievements: Reflections on the Measurement of Women's Empowerment," which frames empowerment as a process rather than an outcome.

Keywords: Mujeres; Empoderamiento Económico; Equidad de Género; Evaluación de Impacto; Interseccionalidad; Medidas Subjetivas; Métodos Mixtos. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I00 J01 O11 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hme
Date: 2017-11-14
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