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Measuring Women’s Economic Empowerment in Private Sector Development: Guidelines for Practitioners

By: Donor Committee for Enterprise Development, Erin Markel

Why do economies do better when women do better? In every part of the world, women are paid less for their work and see fewer benefits of their labour. Discrimination and extra household responsibilities reduce their access to decent work, capital and time needed to improve their businesses relative to men. In short, women are more likely to live in poverty. Yet, across the developing world more women than ever are managing family farms and businesses. As technology enhances their access to information and inputs, they are starting to demand their rights. As millions of men migrate to urban areas, new opportunities for women are opening up. More women entering the labour force can accelerate poverty reduction, support sustainable markets and improve the welfare of families.

Therefore, these guidelines specifically aim to:

  • Provide practical advice to practitioners seeking to measure women’s economic empowerment (WEE) in private sector development programming;
  •  Document how to make each aspect of results measurement more gender-responsive;
  • Highlight important issues in results measurement for practitioners focused on WEE, paying particular attention to measuring household-level changes.