Women's Autonomy Scale

The Women's Autonomy Scale is a 7-item measure intended to capture autonomy of wives with migrant husbands across multiple dimensions of independence within the domains of mobility, production, consumption and health. The scale classifies respondents as having "low", "medium" and "high" autonomy.


Geographies Tested: Mozambique

Populations Included: Female

Age Range: Adults


Now I would like to ask you about things that you sometimes many want or need to do. About every one of these things tell me whether you would (1) need to ask your husband's or his family's permission to do them, (2) would just need to inform them, or (3) whether even informing them would not be necessary.

1. To visit your parents or other relatives who live outside of this community.
2. To visit a friend or neighbour who lives in this community.
3. To go to the city or a district capital to buy or sell something or to take care of some other business.
4. To spend money on family needs (such as food, school materials, clothes for children).
5. To spend money on your personal needs (such as capulanas [clothing fabric], clothes, shoes, or earrings for you).
6. To get a job or to engage in commerce.
7. To do an HIV test.

Response Options:
I need to ask my husband's or his family's permission - 0
I need to inform my husband or his family - 1
I would not need to inform my husband or his family - 2

Scoring Procedures

The total score is the rounded average of responses to the seven questions, each of which is measured from 0 (low autonomy—have to ask permission) to 1 (medium autonomy—have to inform) to 2 (high autonomy—do not even have to inform).

Original Citation

Yabiku, S. T., Agadjanian, V., & Sevoyan, A. (2010). Husbands' labour migration and wives' autonomy, Mozambique 2000-2006. Population Studies, 64(3), 293-306.

Psychometric Score

Ease of Use Score

Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








Criterion (gold-standard)



Ease of Use


Scoring Clarity


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