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Contextual Assessment of Women Empowerment and Its Determinants: Evidence from Pakistan

Khan, Safdar Ullah and Awan, Rabia (2011): Contextual Assessment of Women Empowerment and Its Determinants: Evidence from Pakistan.

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Abstract

The main objective of this study is to evaluate women empowerment in different contexts of family planning and economic decision making within the household. Further this paper investigates its appropriate determinants sifting through sociology resource control theory and economic bargaining theory by controlling for socio-cultural intervening factors. We examine this empirically by utilizing extensive micro level data information (15,453 households) from ‘Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement Survey’ (PSLM) for the year of 2005-06. Results suggest the presence of highly constrained and largely dichotomous empowerment within the household. Interestingly, we find that the number of children however not the sex of a child relevant in enhancing women’s empowerment. Further, the common determinants of empowerment depict varying degree of effectiveness depending on the specific context of empowerment. Moreover, socio-economic, level of education and employment status of a woman depict as effect modifier factors across the empowerment contexts and regions. Furthermore, geographic divisions within Pakistan, significantly explain the contextual empowerment of women.

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