Women’s Autonomy Index
English: average value of the Women’s Autonomy Index
French: valeur moyenne de l’Index de l’autonomie des femmes
Portuguese: valor médio do Índice de Autonomia Feminina
Czech: průměrná hodnota Indexu autonomie žen
What is its purpose?
This indicator measures the extent of women’s autonomy manifested through several key dimensions, such as their access to income, mobility, freedom of expression, and others.
How to Collect and Analyse the Required Data
Collect the following data by conducting individual interviews with a representative sample of women aged 15 – 49 years that live with their husband or partner:
RECOMMENDED SURVEY QUESTIONS (Q) AND POSSIBLE ANSWERS (A)
Q1: Did you earn any income in the past 6 months?
A1: yes / no
Q2: Are you able to borrow from someone other than your partner a small amount of money, such as 20 dollars? [adjust the currency and amount, so that it represents approximately a fifth of the target population’s monthly income]
A2: yes / no
Q3: Do you need the permission of your partner or other family member to decide on small expenses, such as purchasing less expensive food or household items?
A3: yes / no (if the response is “yes”, ask: Whose permission do you need?)
Q4: Do you need your partner or other family member’s permission for going to more distant places alone, such as to a market or another village?
A4: yes / no (if the response is “yes”, ask: Whose permission do you need?)
Q5: Do you need the permission of your partner or other family member to visit relatives and friends?
A5: yes / no (if the response is “yes”, ask: Whose permission do you need?)
Q6: Are you sometimes afraid of disagreeing with your partner or his relatives because he will be angry with you?
A6: yes / no
Q7: Do you need the permission of your partner or other family member to attend meetings of local community groups?
A7: yes / no (if the response is “yes”, ask: Whose permission do you need?)
Calculate the value of the Index in the following way:
1) Answer to Q1 and Q2: If the answer is “yes”, provide 1 point.
2) Answers to Q3 - Q7: Provide 1 point for each “no” answer.
3) Sum up the total number of the respondent’s points (the minimum could be 0, maximum 7).
4) Calculate the individual respondent’s score by dividing the total number of points by the maximum number of points. For example, 4 divided by 7 = 0.57.
5) To calculate the average value of the Women Autonomy Index, add up the individual scores and divide these by the number of respondents.
The closer the average value of the Index is to 1, the higher is women’s autonomy (and the other way round).
1) If required, adapt the questions to the local context, so that they better capture the most influential aspects of women’s autonomy (including economic, social, freedom of movement, and other dimensions). Consider consulting key informants (such as representatives of community women groups, gender specialists working for the CSOs or the government, etc.) on the main issues that restrict women’s autonomy.
2) The survey should be conducted only among women living with their partner/husband.
3) The methodology was developed based on the following resources:
- Agarwala, R. and Lynch, S. (2016) Refining the Measurement of Women’s Autonomy: An International Application of a Multi-dimensional Construct
- Biswais, et. al (2017) Women’s Autonomy and Control to Exercise Reproductive Rights
- Patrikar, et. al (2014) Women Empowerment and Use of Contraception