Measuring women's empowerment and social transformation in the post-2015 agenda

Research reports and studies
March 2014
Caroline Harper, Keiko Nowacka, Hanna Alder and Gaelle Ferrant
As the development community takes stock of progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the gender gaps that still compromise women’s rights and hinder their empowerment take centre stage. The question now is: how can we catalyse transformative change that can empower women and girls effectively and sustainably?

This report proposes that gender equality must be anchored at the front and centre of the post-2015 development framework and that only by tackling discriminatory social norms will we enable transformative change and empowers women to shape their own lives. Progress on data collection in recent years has made the capture of social norms increasingly accessible, affordable and regular.

The report outlines a set of transformative indicators under six key measurement areas that, taken together, would track the changes in social norms that signal the growing empowerment of women and girls: 

  1. Women and girls exercise choice over their sexual and reproductive integrity

  2. Women and girls enjoy freedom from violence

  3. Women and girls enjoy enhanced decision-making ability over land and assets

  4. Women attain enhanced participation in political and civic life

  5. Equal value is given to girls and boys

  6. Unpaid care is equally distributed between women and men, girls and boys