Women's Role in Household Decision-Making

Woman’s Role in Household Decision-Making includes 16 items to assess women’s decision-making power in the household, such as for making purchases or selling items. These items were adapted from the Demographic and Health Survey Women's Status Module. Navigational aspects (i.e. skip-out patterns and next question sequences) have not been included on this page but can be viewed on the original questionnaire located here.


Geographies Tested:

Populations Included: Female

Age Range:


Please respond to the following questions.

1.Who in your family usually has the final say on whether or not you should work to earn money?
2.Who in your family usually has the final say on the following decisions about your child(ren):

  • Any decisions about children’s schooling?
  • What to do if a child falls sick?
  • How children should be disciplined?
  • Whether to have another child?

Response Options:
Respondent - 1
Husbandpartner - 0
Respondent & husbandpartner jointly - 0
Someone else - 0
Respondent & someone else jointly - 0
Decision not made not applicable - 0

3.Do you and your husbandpartner talk about the following with each other often, sometimes, or never?

  • Things that happen at this workon the farm?
  • Things that happen at home?
  • What to spend money on?
  • Things that happen in the community?

Response Options:
Often - 1
Seldom - 0
Never - 0

4.Do you yourself control the money needed to buy the following things?

  • Vegetables or fruits?
  • Clothes for yourself?
  • Any kind of medicine for yourself?
  • Toiletries for your like (give local examples)?

Response Options:
Yes - 1
No - 0
Does not buy - 0

Now I would like to ask you some questions about financial matters. I ask these questions only to understand more about the financial position of women.

5.Please tell me if you alone, or jointly with your husband or someone else own….

  • Land?
  • The housedwelling you live in?
  • Any other house, apartment, or dwelling?
  • Jewelry or gems?
  • Livestock such as (give local examples)?

Response Options:
Does not own - 0
Owns jointly - 0
Owns alone - 1

6.If you ever need to, can you sell (ASSET) without anyone else’s permission?

Response Options:
Yes - 1
No - 0
Don’t know - 0

Now I would like to get your opinion on some aspects of family life.

7.Please tell me if you agree or disagree with each statement:

*a. The important decisions in the family should be made only by the men of the family
b. If the wife is working outside the home, then the husband should help her with household chores.
c. A married woman should be allowed to work outside the home if she wants to.
d. The wife has a right to express her opinion even if she disagrees with what her husband is saying.
*e. A wife should tolerate being beaten by her husband in order to keep the family together.
*f. It is better to send a son to school than it is to send a daughter.

Response Items:
Agree - 1
Disagree - 0
Don’t know - 0

8.Are you usually permitted to go to the following places on your own, only if someone accompanies you, or not at all?

  • To the local market to buy things?
  • To a local health center or doctor?
  • To the community center or other nearby meeting place?
  • To homes of friends in the neighborhood?
  • To a nearby shrinemosquetemplechurch?
  • Just outside your house or compound?

Response Options:
Alone - 1
Not alone - 0
Never - 0

9.Are you a member of any type of association, group or club which holds regular meetings?

Response Options:
Yes - 1
No - 0

10.When there is a local or a national election of any kind do you vote always, sometimes, or never?

Response Options:
Always votes - 1
Sometimes votes - 0
Never votes - 0
Too young to vote - 0
Never an election - 0

*Items are reverse coded

Scoring Procedures

Item scores are summed. Higher values signify a greater role for the woman in household decision-making.

Original Citation

U. N. Foundation (2015). Women’s economic empowerment: A roadmap. Guidelines for monitoring and evaluating women’s economic empowerment programs. Appendix 1. Suggested questionnaire modules for measuring wee outcome indicators.

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Scoring breakdown

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Qualitative Research

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