Ide Gesi T4

Kabeer’s Empowerment Equation

It is important for gender mainstreaming specialists to have an understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of institutional assessments and mainstreaming frameworks. Kabeer is a seminal theorist for those seeking to better understand gender-based power dynamics in a global development context. Kabeer’s empowerment equation consists of four key areas of understanding:

  • Resources — Not only material resources in the more conventional economic sense, but also the various human and social resources which serve to enhance the ability to exercise choice.
  • Agency — More than observable action, agency also encompasses the meaning, motivation, and purpose that individuals bring to their activity, their sense of agency, or 'the power within.' Agency tends to be operationalized as 'decisionmaking.’
  • Achievements — The outcomes of development for women such as education or income generation
  • Structures — The shape of individual resources, agency, and achievements. Structures also define the parameters within which different categories of actors are able to pursue their interests, promoting the voice and agency of some and inhibiting that of others.

Learn more about the Kabeer’s equation here: