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GEM Scale

Indicator Phrasing

[specify the target group]’s average score on GEM Scale
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: [specify the target group]’s average score on GEM Scale

French: score moyen sur l’échelle de GEM du [spécifier le groupe cible]

Spanish: La puntuación media de [especifique el grupo objetivo] en la Escala GEM

Portuguese: pontuação média do [especifique o grupo-alvo] na escala GEM

Czech: průměrné skóre [určete cílovou skupinu] na GEM škále

What is its purpose?

The GEM Scale uses a collection of statements developed to measure attitudes towards gender norms in intimate relationships. Although the scale was developed for young men living in low-income countries, it has also been successfully used with adult men, women and girls.

How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data

Calculate the indicator's value by using the following methodology:


1) Open the publication Compendium of Gender Scales below (page 14-15) and review the 24 statements that are included in the original GEM scale methodology. Consider whether some statements should be added for cultural specificity and whether some should be removed as they do not reflect the main gender issues in your intervention’s target area. The number of country-specific statements usually varies from 11 to 15 (avoid having too many statements). See IMAGES survey report (page 19) and country-specific reports for examples of how the GEM Scale was adapted in different countries.


2) Incorporate the country-specific GEM Scale method into your questionnaire by taking the following steps:

  - include the following introduction: Now, I am going to read different statements. Please show me on this scale how you feel about each statement [show the scale provided at the bottom of this page and explain how it works, including the meaning of each face]. There are no right or wrong answers – please answer according to your feelings about each statement. I would again like to assure you that your answers will not be shared with any people living in this area, and that you do not have to answer any questions that you do not want to. 

  - for each statement, include the following question: Which of these three faces [point to the scale] best represents your feelings about the following statement? [read out the given statement]

  - for each statement, include in your questionnaire the following pre-defined answers: 1) agree; 2) somewhat agree; 3) disagree


3) Conduct individual interviews with a representative sample of your target group members, assessing whether they agree, somewhat agree, or disagree with each of the context-specific statements.


4) To analyse the data, provide 3 points for each response representing gender equality, 2 points for each response representing moderate gender equality, and 1 point for each response representing the lowest equality. For example, in the case of statement There are times when a woman deserves to be beaten”, response “agree” represents the lowest equality and should be given 1 point. Response “disagree” would represent the highest gender equality and receive three points.


5) For each respondent, calculate the total number of points.


6) To calculate the average score on the GEM Scale, sum up the points scored by each respondent and divide it by the total number of respondents (exclude those who did not answer one or more questions or where the enumerator did not record one or more answers).


Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by the respondent’s age group, ethnicity, education level, wealth, and other factors depending on the local context.

Important Comments

1) The visual scale is used to make it easier for the respondent to choose the response that best represents her/his feelings. If you do not wish to use the visual scale, you will have to ask the respondent: Would you say that you agree, somewhat agree or disagree with the following statement? [include the given statement]


2) The results can be presented in several different ways:

   - The average score on the GEM Scale (see above).

   - The GEM Scale can be presented on a scale between 0 (representing extremely low support of gender equality) to 1 (representing high support of gender equality). Compared to the use of larger numbers, this simple scale can be easier for many people to understand. To calculate the scale, divide the respondent’s number of points (see step 5 above) by the maximum possible number of points. For example, if you use 12 questions, the maximum score is 36 points (12 x 3 = 36). If a respondent’s score of, for example, 29 points is divided by the maximum of 36 points, the GEM Scale score will be 0.8.

   - The GEM Scale results focus on responses to individual questions. For example, “% of men who agree that there are times when a woman deserves to be beaten”.

   - % of respondents with high support for equitable gender norms – i.e. the % of respondents who scored in the top third. For example, if you have 12 questions, the maximum score can be 36 points (3 x 12). In the “top third” will be respondents whose score was between 25 and 36 points.


3) Before you start amending the set of statements for a given context, check on Equimundo's website whether this has already been done by someone else.

Access Additional Guidance

This guidance was prepared by People in Need ©

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