Measurement of Women's Empowerment in Rural Bangladesh

World Dev. 2012 Mar 1;40(3):610-619. doi: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2011.08.003.


Women's empowerment is a dynamic process that has been quantified, measured and described in a variety of ways. We measure empowerment in a sample of 3500 rural women in 128 villages of Bangladesh with five indicators. A conceptual framework is presented, together with descriptive data on the indicators. Linear regressions to examine effects of covariates show that a woman's exposure to television is a significant predictor of three of the five indicators. A woman's years of schooling is significantly associated with one of two self-esteem indicators and with freedom of mobility. Household wealth has a significant and positive association with a woman's resource control but a significant negative association with her total decision-making score.

Keywords: Bangladesh; Empowerment; South Asia; choice; measurement; self-esteem.