Frequently Asked Questions

Gender equality is the state in which rights, responsibilities and opportunities for people are unaffected by gender. Gender empowerment is a form of social empowerment -“an iterative process with key components including an enabling environment that encourages popular participation in decision-making that affects the achievement of goals like poverty eradication, social integration and decent work for all as well as sustainable development.” In the case of gender empowerment, this process is based in a means of change that alters the positioning of those in a lesser position due to their gender (including women and transgender individuals) to allow for autonomy and self-determination.

You can read more in this report: Theoretical and Definitional Basis for Identification of Measures of Gender Equality and Empowerment

You can use the search bar to find survey measures in your domain of interest. Once you can find the measure(s) that suit your purpose, we recommend you adapt them to your research context. If you do not find a survey measure, consider developing a new survey measure using the 10 steps laid out in the Measurement Report.

To identify the most appropriate measures for your survey, we recommend that you consider three core factors:  measure specifics, population demographics, and research constraints. 
Measure Specifics (or “specs”) broadly deal with the nature, availability, and rigor of measures used to quantify a given construct and what the measure represents and how useful of a tool it is purported to be according to the literature and study needs.
Consider the following measure “specs”:
  • What is the construct (concept or phenomena) trying to be measured?

Note: You may refer to our Measurement Framework to identify and operationalize constructs.

  • How is it best measured (e.g. investigator observation, self-report, parent report)?
  • Do available measures exist?
  • If measures exist: What is the level of measurement (i.e., individual, neighborhood, state, and nation)?
Note: Index measures may be more useful to understand gender equality and empowerment (GE/E) issues at a higher level, such as the state or country level, whereas scales can be more useful to understand GE/E as experienced at the individual level.
  • If measures exist: How do these measures compare in terms of scientific (psychometric) quality and use (citation frequency) in the literature?
Note: Single-item indicators tend to be less psychometric rigorous than multi-item measures and newly published measures need time to become widely “used” in the field.
Population Demographics deal with attributes of the population of interest/target population to whom the measure will be administered. Attributes to consider are gender, age, literacy and cultural norms.
Research Constraints deal with the practical aspects such as time, funding, and situational or personnel details (e.g place of interview) that one considers when thinking about how the selected measure will be administered.
Additional information on determining the ideal measure for use can be found in our Resources for Researchers.

We have worked with these groups and recommend their data for multinational studies.

  • DHS
  • Afrobarometer
  • Gender Data Portal
  • VACS
  • WVS
  • LSMS and LSMS+

Need more help? You can write to us here.

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