3. Indicators and Discussion on Women's Empowerment Impact Measurement
Teams across CARE have also begun to take a critical look at indicators for gender equality and women's empowerment.
As discussed earlier, given the diversity of contexts - and of women and men - across the communities where CARE works, trying to pin down indicators that measure strategic changes that represent strategic shift in gender relations raises a number of challenges.
Women's Empowerment Impact Measurement Initiative (WEIMI)
Currently, CARE is hosting a learning initiative on measuring women's empowerment. As a part of this work, a series of discussions have been hosted on how various teams have approached the question of measuring impact on women's empowerment.
These discussions are available on the WEIMI wiki on CARE's Gender Wiki
CARE adopted the Millennium Development Indicators “plus” (MDI+) approach to measure the long-term impact of programs. Indicators are being developed based on the MDGs and their related indicators.
Using the MDI+ approach enables CARE to communicate our impact based on a framework that is externally recognized and internationally agreed upon. The MDIs are accepted and used by peer NGOs, development research institutions, international development agencies and many others. Using this framework allows us to communicate succinctly and powerfully what our contributions to development have been and eliminates the need for us to provide lengthy explanations of CARE specific indicators (‘CARE lingo”).
However, solely measuring our impact based on the MDGs and MDIs would not tell the full story of CARE’s work or priorities. For example MDIs are not adequate to demonstrate our work and contribution to women's empowerment. That is why our approach is MDI plus, “the plus “refers to:
- Enriching the existing MDIs with a few indicators developed out of CAREs experience such as women's empowerment and governance indicators (CARE is working on developing Governance indicators that would also be included in the MDI+ plus list).
- Targeting and applying these indicators to the marginalized and vulnerable groups, more specifically women and girls who are more likely to be excluded from MDIs reporting because most often MDIs are measured at the national level, whereas these groups live in the most remote, geographically isolated and/or socially excluded areas.
For women's empowerment, these indicators include:
Millennium Development Indicators
Associated Outcome Indicators
- Ratios of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education
- Share of women in wage employment in the non-agricultural sector
- Change in women’s self-efficacy
- % men and women reporting meaningful participation of women in decision-making at the household level in a domain previously reserved for men (domain:_)
- % men and women reporting meaningful participation of women in the public sphere (domain: _)
- % men and women with changed attitudes toward gender-based violence
- % couples making informed joint decisions regarding sexual and reproductive health
- % men and women reporting ability of women to effectively control productive assets
- % women reporting an improvement in their psychosocial wellbeing
- Average number of hours per day spent on house work, and in relation to the duration of the working day, by sex
Also, the women's empowerment framework offers a set of dimensions for women's empowerment across agency, structures and relations. From this experience, the team also distilled a critical core set of 13 indicators based on the study.