Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment

Project Duration

2010 - 2011

Project Countries

Bangladesh ,Cambodia ,India ,Lao People's Democratic Republic (the) ,Nepal

Project issues/theme

Economic Opportunity & Security

ICRW Project Director

Anne Marie Golla


Women’s economic empowerment is critical for reducing poverty and achieving broader health and development objectives. However, there is limited evidence on how programs can economically empower women and which measures can be used to know whether programs are effective.

ICRW, with funding from the U.K. Department for International Development, created a conceptual framework for measuring women’s economic empowerment that takes into account their capacity to earn income as well as their ability to make decisions and control resources.

The framework reflects the latest thinking on economic empowerment, ICRW’s experience and discussions ICRW had with staff and participants during site visits to economic development programs in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos and Nepal. The framework also incorporates feedback from a workshop that ICRW convened with donors, multilateral institutions and implementing partners to discuss the applicability of the framework for measuring women’s economic empowerment.