Exploring women’s empowerment using a mixed methods approach

IFPRI Discussion Paper 2035

44 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2021

See all articles by Cheryl R. Doss

Cheryl R. Doss

University of Oxford - Department of International Development

Deborah Rubin

Cultural Practice, LLC

Date Written: July 19, 2021


Interest in the meaning and measurement of women’s empowerment has become a stated goal of many programs in international development. This paper explores a collaborative process of studying women’s empowerment in agricultural research for development using both quantitative and qualitative methods. It draws on three bodies of research around empowerment, growing interest in qualitative methods, and measurement research, especially the conceptualization and adaptations of the Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index. Employing mixed methods over more than a decade of cooperation among researchers from the Global South and the Global North has challenged the methods and findings of each approach. The work has led to new insights about gender differences in what empowerment means to women and to men, the importance of context, interrelationships among dimensions of empowerment, and the need for greater precision in terms and measures, particularly around decision-making, asset ownership, and time use. Such collaborative research benefits from a long timeframe to build trust and shared understandings across disciplines. The paper concludes with suggestions for the next phase of research.

Keywords: empowerment, gender, women, women's empowerment, methods, research, decision making, capacity development

Suggested Citation

Doss, Cheryl R. and Rubin, Deborah, Exploring women’s empowerment using a mixed methods approach (July 19, 2021). IFPRI Discussion Paper 2035, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3889684

Cheryl R. Doss (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Department of International Development ( email )

3 Mansfield Road
Oxford, OX1 3TB
United Kingdom

Deborah Rubin

Cultural Practice, LLC ( email )

4300 Montgomery Avenue, Suite 305
Bethesda, MD 20814-4444
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.culturalpractice.com

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