Household Level Empowerment

Household Level Empowerment is an 11-item tool designed to measure women’s empowerment in India in relation to one’s own health and wellbeing using women’s self-efficacy related constructs. It asks items on bodily integrity, economics, decision-making and interaction with non-family groups and public visibility. Items are adapted from the India Human Development Survey-II (IHDS-II).


Geographies Tested: India

Populations Included: Female

Age Range: Adolescents, Adults


1.Who has most say about how many children you have
2.Who has most say about what to do when you fall sick
3.Who has most say whether to buy an expensive item
4.Who has most say about whether to buy land or property
5.Who has most say about how much to spend on a social function
6.Can you go alone (or need permission) to the local health center
7.Can you go alone (or need permission) to home of relativesfriends in the villageneighbourhood
8.Whether you are a member of a Mahila Mandal
9.Whether you are a member of a self-help group
10.Whether you are a member of a creditsavings group
11.Whether you have attended any public meetinggram sabhaward committee in the last year

Response Options:
NoI have no say - 0
YesI have most say - 1

Scoring Procedures

Items are summed for the index score. The index takes the value from 0 to 11 with increasing scores corresponding with higher levels of empowerment.

Original Citation

Samanta, T. (2020). Women's empowerment as self-compassion?: Empirical observations from India. PLoS ONE, 15(5), 1-18.

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Scoring breakdown

Formative Research

Qualitative Research

Existing Literature/Theoretical Framework

Field Expert Input

Cognitive Interviews / Pilot Testing








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