Refining the measurement of women's autonomy: An international application of a multi-dimensional construct
Women's autonomy has long been a central concern for researchers examining the social position of women in developing countries. However, little emphasis has been placed on the measurement of autonomy, despite its importance for assessing the validity of comparative research. In this research, we use confirmatory factor analyses to determine (1) whether items thought to measure autonomy in fact form a reliable measure of autonomy, (2) whether the relationship between multiple dimensions of autonomy are strong enough to justify a discussion of autonomy as a single underlying construct, and (3) whether comparative research on autonomy is possible between two countries (India and Pakistan). We find that our indicators capture four distinct dimensions of autonomy that are moderately related, and that, while the model structures replicate fairly well across the two countries we study, there are measurement differences that make comparative research challenging. © The University of North Carolina Press.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)