Women’s Participation in Community Groups
English: % of women participating in at least X community group(s)
French: % de femmes participant à au moins X groupes communautaires
Portuguese: % de mulheres que participam em pelo menos X grupo(s) comunitário(s)
Czech: % žen participujících v alespoň X komunitních skupinách
What is its purpose?
Women’s participation in community groups is an important empowering factor as it enables women to increase their social capital and helps them to gain new knowledge, receive support, access a range of services (such as access to finance), and advocate for the required changes.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of women:
RECOMMENDED SURVEY QUESTIONS (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)
Introduction: In the following questions, I will be asking you whether you regularly attend meetings of any formal or informal groups that are in or near your community. By regularly, I mean you attending most of the meetings.
[The following questions are just examples. Adjust them based on the community groups present in the target areas.]
Q1: Do you regularly attend meetings of any religious group?
A1: yes / no
Q2: Do you regularly attend meetings of any savings group?
A2: yes / no
Q3: Do you regularly attend meetings of any agricultural group?
A3: yes / no
Q4: Do you regularly attend meetings of any women’s group that is different from the agricultural or saving group?
A4: yes / no
Q5: Do you regularly attend meetings of any water users group?
A5: yes / no
Q6: Do you regularly attend meetings of any other group? If so, which group?
1) yes – specify the name and focus of the group: ___________________
To calculate the indicator’s value, count the number of women participating in the minimum number of community groups and divide it by the total number of interviewed women. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage.
Disaggregate the data by age groups and other factors depending on the local context.
1) Consider assessing also the extent to which the respondent actively participates in the group and how much influence she has (i.e. the quality of their participation). Once the respondent says in which group she participates, you can ask:
Q: During the meetings of this group, do you sometimes tell your opinions to other group members?
A: yes / no
Q: When you tell your opinions to other group members, how often do they take them into consideration?
A: very often / sometimes / rarely / never
In such case, you can rephrase the indicator to “% of women actively participating in at least X community groups”. To calculate the indicator’s value, use the methodology described above but as ‘active participants’ count only those women who express their opinions and whose opinions are ‘very often’ or ‘sometimes’ taken into consideration by the other group members.
2) Be careful about setting the number of community groups women should participate in – if you choose only one (i.e. “% of women participating in a community group), the indicator might be too easy to achieve (especially if many women already participate in an existing group (e.g. religious group) or in a community group established by your project, such as saving group). On the other hand, if there are very few active community groups present, a more ambitious target (e.g. participating in 4 groups) might be difficult to achieve. To make an informed decision, consider asking your Field Officers to assess the current situation in the target communities.
3) This indicator was adapted based on Oxfam (2017) Measuring Women’s Empowerment (see below).
Access Additional Guidance
- Oxfam (2017) A ‘How To’ Guide to Measuring Women’s Empowerment (.pdf)