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Date of publication: 16/05/2019
A New Pilot Index of Arab Women Economic Empowerment: Findings and Methodology
Main Researcher: Dr. Sami Nassar
Research Team:
Dr. Fatma Khafagy             Dr. Rasha El Kholy
Translated by: Seham Saneya Abdel-Salam
Achieving gender equality and empowerment of women has increasingly become a major strategy for those working for women rights. It is nowadays an important goal for professionals, NGOs, governments, multi-lateral and bilateral aid agencies and foundations, as well as a central goal on the Sustainable Development Agenda 2015-2030. Variety of programs and interventions have been implemented, and noticeable resources and investments have been allocated for achieving such goal. The necessity to assess the effect of these interventions cannot be overemphasized, which requires a rigorous measurement of the concept of women empowerment. Without such measurement it is difficult to decide whether or not women are becoming empowered? what kind of programs were successful in effecting empowerment? which of them addressed the structural barriers to empowerment? and to what extent?
This report presents a project that aimed at developing an index that measures the concept of women economic empowerment. The concept is used in the project as it has been recently defined, to include the social not only the economic factors. Notwithstanding the value of the international standardized measurement tools that exist, this index has special importance, since it has been created within the Arab regional culture and context, taking into account the prevailing structural barriers to women empowerment in the region. It is, therefore, mostly relevant to measure the empowerment of Arab women. The project also highlights the importance of the correlation between education and empowerment. The index has been tested in a purposeful sample of six Arab countries. The results coincide to a great extent with relevant data from other sources which contributes to the validity of the index. 
Many people contributed to the project and to this report, to whom The Union is very thankful. The distinguished research team who are well known in their fields assumed the major responsibility for the project. The index went through a number of round table discussions attended by experts and different concerned groups. The attendants remarks were taking into consideration in the several editing of the report. It should be noted that Plan International cooperation in organizing a regional conference to discuss the index gave a chance to introduce the index to a wide concerned audience. It would still be useful, however, to retest the index in more Arab countries to ensure its generalization.
Last but not least The General Arab Women Federation (GAWF) would not have been able to implement this project without the Continuous assistance of Her Excellency, the Minister of Social Solidarity assistance to the federation and without the United Nations Women Organization UNWomen Regional Office.
The Union and the project owe a great deal to the positive stand, attitude and continuous support of Mohammed El Naciry the head of office and his staff particularly Blerta Aliko and Yllka Gerdovci.
Hoda Badran(Ph.D)
Secretary General
General Arab Women Federation.                           Dated November 14, 2018
Sara Ghanem Programs Coordinatorin efu

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