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Women’s Participation in Community Groups

Indicator Phrasing

% of women participating in community groups
See indicator in other languages

Indicator Phrasing

English: % of women participating in community groups

French: % de femmes participant à des groupes communautaires

Spanish: % de mujeres que participan en grupos comunitarios

Portuguese: % de mulheres que participam em grupos comunitários

Czech: % žen zapojených do komunitních skupin

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:



Introduction: In the following questions, I will be asking you whether you are aware of any formal or informal groups that are in or near your community. If so, I will also ask you whether you regularly attend their meetings. By 'regularly', I mean you attending most of the meetings.


(Ask the following two questions about each group that might be present in or near the community where the respondent lives, such as religious group, savings group, agricultural group, water users' group, forest users' group, credit or microfinance group, mutual help / insurance group (e.g. a burial society), trade or business group, other groups)


Q1: Is there any [specify the group's name] in or near your community? 

A1: yes / no / doesn't know


(ask the following question only if the previous answer is YES)


Q2: Do you regularly attend meetings of this group?

A2: yes / no



To calculate the indicator’s value:

  1) First, decide how many groups a respondent needs to participate in in order to be considered "participating in community groups". This should be decided based on how many groups are present in the surveyed communities so that the expectation isn't unrealistically high or low. 

  2) Count the number of women participating in the minimum number of community groups.

  3) Divide it by the total number of interviewed women. Multiply the result by 100 to convert it to a percentage. 


Disaggregate by

Disaggregate the data by the groups the respondents participate in, by the respondents' age groups, and other factors depending on the local context.

Important Comments

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 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 minimum 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. 


3) This indicator was adapted based on Oxfam (2017) Measuring Women’s Empowerment and FFI (2020) Guide on the Abbreviated Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index (see below).


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