Measuring Women Empowerment

Measuring Women's Empowerment in Sexual Reproductive
and Maternal HealthPrograms

Globally, CARE’s health programs prioritize addressing gender inequity and investing in women’s empowerment in order to achieve sustainable improvements in health, as well as to ensure that women realize their full human rights. To strengthen and standardize the measurement of women’s empowerment in our programs, CARE has developed a new, multidimensional quantitative survey tool. The tool – called WE-MEASR (Women’s Empowerment – Multidimensional Evaluation of Agency, Social Capital & Relations) is designed for use with women and consists of 20 short scales that measure women’s empowerment in domains critical to sexual, reproductive and maternal health.

The scales are aligned with CARE’s theoretical framework for women’s empowerment, which outlines three overarching domains of change essential to ensuring meaningful empowerment of women: Individual Agency, Relations, and Structure. Programs can utilize the entire set of
WE-MEASR scales or select a sub-set of scales that measure the specific
dimensions of empowerment that their program is designed to influence.

WE-MEASR Overview




In late 2011, CARE USA and CARE Rwanda implemented a Gender Gap Analysis (GGA) that explored how gender dynamics influence the process and outcomes of the Village Savings and Loan (VSL) programming. The GGA was facilitated by the CARE Rwanda’s Access Africa/SAFI VSLA team and the Family Planning Results Initiative Team (RI) in partnership with the SRMH/RI team at CARE USA. Through the GGA, CARE Rwanda developed a set of practical recommendations to strengthen the VSL model, which were integrated into ongoing programming at CARE Rwanda. Access Africa is also replicating the GGA process with three other countries to help inform a revision of their global VSL model. Click here to learn more about the GGA tools, process and findings: Mind the Gap, Exploring the Gender Dynamics of CARE Rwanda's VSL Programming


WE-MEASR Overview Brief


CARE’s Working Group on Women’s Empowerment Impact Measurement

CARE Gender Indicators

The WE-MEASR Scales have also been tested for reliability in the following projects:

Results Initiative

Maternal Health Alliance Project