Measuring women’s empowerment beyond theory

ActionAid presents and discusses its new framework for measuring women’s empowerment: challenges and opportunities at the policy and project level.

“Women’s empowerment sparks debate” is the title of the webinar organised on the 4th of March. The webinar saw the participation of three external speakers: Giovanna Badalassi, Independent consultant on gender and welfare policies, Caterina Arciprete, ARCO Senior researcher and gender expert, and Linda Terenzi, ARCO Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist.

During the webinar, ActionAid presented the key part of the Guideline Document: Women’s empowerment namely the conceptualisation of empowerment as a 3-steps multidimensional process involving a change of power dynamics and, at its highest level, a transformation of social structures (both formal and informal).

This led to the discussion on the adoption of the capability approach in the evaluation of public policies. This approach helps to assess and evaluate the multidimensional impact of policies on wellbeing using a strong gender lens.

The differences between genders and gender roles have an impact on all areas of public policies and interventions from public transport to sport.

Giovanna Badalassi, Independent consultant on gender and welfare policies

Finally, ARCO presented evidences from their experience with the evaluation of women’s empowerment projects highlighting challenges and opportunities when it comes to identifying indicators, evaluation tools and frameworks.

We should not always pretend to measure empowerment as an outcome achieved. On the contrary, we should focus on understanding the mechanisms of the process that have been activated by a project.

Caterina Arciprete, ARCO Senior Researcher and Gender Expert