EMERGE: Quantitative Measurement of Gender Equality and Empowerment


There is growing interest and investment from donors, governments, practitioners and researchers to understand gender equality and empowerment (GE/E) and how it works as a key driver of women and girls’ health and development globally. Unfortunately, our understanding of GE/E and its role as a catalyst for change is often obscured and hampered by a lagging science on GE/E measures, which in turn leads to inadequate data on these issues. UN Women reports that there is a lack of measures for 80% of indicators for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5: Gender Equality and Empowering all Women and Girls. India is a country particularly affected by GE/E as demonstrated by its ongoing sex ratio imbalance as a consequence of son preference, high prevalence of intimate partner violence against women, and inadequate change in harmful traditional practices such as girl child marriage. Many other GE/E indicators, such as coercive sexual environments and freedom of movement, are less understood.

EMERGE [Evidence-based Measures of Empowerment for Research on Gender Equality] is a new project focused on measurement of gender equality and empowerment for development and health in India. This project will involve review and recommendations of high quality GE/E measures for use in health and development research and data collection, identification and prioritization of GE/E measurement gaps, and rigorous expert development of new GE/E measures, in partnership with scientists and survey researchers in India. This approach, which will include participatory processes, is designed to shift the paradigm of measures development in high income nations for adaptation to Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs) to the reverse. To facilitate rapid sharing of learnings in process, swift dissemination of this work will be a priority, using website-based release of information with opportunity for interactive input, working papers and policy briefs, and blogs; simultaneously to help build the science of the field, peer-reviewed publications will also be a priority of this work. 

*Funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Selected Publications

EMERGE Learnings Report 1: Learnings from International Scoping Meetings on Quantitative Measurement of Gender Equality and Empowerment

EMERGE Learnings Report 2: Findings from Workshop and Scoping Meetings on Gender Equality and Empowerment Measurement in India

EMERGE Learnings Report 3: Findings from Interviews with Experts in India on Quantitative Measurement of Gender Equality and Empowerment

EMERGE Project Report: Theoretical and Definitional Basis for Identification of Measures of Gender Equality and Empowerment




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Anita Raj 

Primary Investigator

Anita Raj, PhD

Project Director

Namratha Rao

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