Women’s empowerment is a multidimensional concept that encompasses different aspects such as access to education, freedom to make vital decisions, labor market access, wages, and political participation, among others. In this research, the authors construct a multidimensional index of women’s empowerment that takes into account individual resources and achievements and analyze its evolution across countries using data from the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations for 17 gender indicators across 96 countries over the period 1995–2015. By means of exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, the authors identify three dimensions of women’s empowerment: reproductive health, economic participation, and basic education. In addition, the authors use cluster techniques to classify countries into four groups with similar behavior patterns in the different domains of women’s empowerment: a group of countries with high levels in the domains of reproductive health and basic education but with low levels in economic participation; a group of countries with high levels in the domains of reproductive health and economic participation that should pay attention to education; a group of countries with medium levels across the three dimensions of women’s empowerment, especially in reproductive health and economic participation; and a group of countries with low levels in all the dimensions of women’s empowerment, especially in reproductive health and basic education. The comparison of these different patterns serves to highlight the aspects in which improvements have been made or, on the contrary, to highlight the obstacles that are hindering the improvement of gender equality. Finally, the results suggest that advancements in women’s empowerment improve the countries’ level of development.
Moral, E.M. and Sánchez, A.H. (2020), "Recent Evidence on the Evolution of Women’s Empowerment Across Dimensions and Countries: A Multidimensional Index of Women’s Empowerment Across Countries", Ochman, M. and Ortega-Díaz, A. (Ed.) Advances in Women’s Empowerment: Critical Insight from Asia, Africa and Latin America (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 29), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 13-37. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-212620200000029001
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