Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment in Financial Inclusion

A Mapping of relevant measurement tools
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As a growing number of researchers and practitioners have started using women’s economic empowerment (WEE) measurements to better understand the impact of financial inclusion, there is widespread recognition that financial inclusion can help low-income women improve their livelihoods and resilience while contributing to their economic empowerment. Although measuring the more tangible aspects of economic empowerment, such as increased income and asset ownership, is well understood, the assessment of more subjective, context-specific aspects, like intra-household decision-making and bargaining power, is less clear.

This FinEquity publication developed by the Data & Measurement Working Group serves as a reference guide for financial inclusion practitioners, researchers, and other stakeholders interested in applying WEE measurements to their work. Our guide maps out twelve WEE tools that allow users to quickly preview their content and assist them in selecting or developing measurement frameworks and approaches that meet their needs. These tools were selected for their relevance and applicability to women’s financial inclusion initiatives following an extensive review of WEE measurement guides, indexes, and indicators.

For each resource, the mapping synthesizes the following elements:

  • WEE definitions, measurement domains, and main-indicator domains.
  • Description of the guide’s main uses – such as monitoring and evaluation, impact evaluation, gender-analysis performance, among others, to design measurable interventions seeking to advance women economically and to access data on WEE indicators.
  • References to additional resources included in each tool – such as guidelines on developing a program ToC, instructions on selecting and defining indicators as well as on developing surveys for data collection.

Measuring women’s economic empowerment can be challenging but its importance cannot be overstated. Economic empowerment remains one of the most powerful routes for women to achieve their potential and advance their rights. This mapping exercise serves as a starting point for FinEquity’s work towards a common approach to measuring WEE in financial inclusion as part of our newly launched Impact Pathways learning theme.

About this Publication

By Diana Dezso