A new index that would measure the degree of women's empowerment in developing countries has been launched by the Unites States Agency for International development in conjunction with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The index focused on five criteria for measurement that include decisions over agricultural income, power over productive resources, use of time, leadership in community and decisions over income.
Women are considered to be empowered if they have adequate achievements in four of the five areas. The Index also takes into consideration the empowerment of women compared with men in the same household, based on asking women and men the same survey questions.
A statement by IFPRI signed by its communication officer Sarah Immenschuh, noted that the index focused on women because they play a critical role in agricultural growth in developing countries yet face persistent obstacles and economic constraints.
The statement also said that the index was already being piloted in three countries that are considered to have diverse socio-economic and cultural environments. The countries include Uganda, Bangladesh and Guatemala where the development of women would be monitored change in women empowerment due to the intervention of the US government initiative.