Measurement of Women's Empowerment in Rural Bangladesh

Simeen Mahmud, Nirali M. Shah, Stan Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

125 Scopus citations


Women's empowerment is a dynamic process that has been quantified, measured, and described in a variety of ways. We measure empowerment in a sample of 3,500 rural women in 128 villages of Bangladesh with five indicators. A conceptual framework is presented, together with descriptive data on the indicators. Linear regressions to examine effects of covariates show that a woman's exposure to television is a significant predictor of three of the five indicators. A woman's years of schooling is significantly associated with one of two self-esteem indicators and with freedom of mobility. Household wealth has a significant and positive association with a woman's resource control but a significant negative association with her total decision-making score.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-619
Number of pages10
JournalWorld Development
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Bangladesh
  • Choice
  • Empowerment
  • Measurement
  • Self-esteem
  • South Asia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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