The Impact of Autonomy on Women’s Agency

Jeyle Ortiz-Rodríguez, Vijayan K. Pillai, Manuel Ribeiro-Ferreira


Kabeer’s simple and illustrative definition of empowerment is “the expansion in people’s ability to make strategic life choices in a context where this ability was previously denied to them” (Kabeer, 1999: 437). Women’s empowerment, then, is conceptualized as an increase in agency over time. Little is it known about the importance of the effect of ‘self directed motivations and desires’ and autonomy on women’s agency. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationships among women’s autonomy and labor force participation along with their effects on women’s agency in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. For this, we use the structural equation modeling approach. Our results reveal that women’s autonomy and participation in the labor market positively influence their agency levels. 


Palabras clave

agency; autonomy; women’s labor force participation; gender equality; wellbeing

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Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, año 24, número 73, enero-abril 2017, es una publicación cuatrimestral editada por la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, a través del Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados en Ciencias Políticas y Administración Pública de la Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales. Cerro de Coatepec s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, C.P. 50100, Toluca, Estado de México. Tel. +(52 722) 2159280 y 2150494 ext. 206., Editora responsable: Guillermina Díaz Pérez. Reserva de Derechos al Uso Exclusivo 04-2016-021513014800203, ISSN electrónico: 2448-5799, ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor. Responsable de la última actualización de este número: Verónica Hernández Sánchez, fecha de la última modificación: 20 de diciembre de 2016

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Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-SinObraDerivada 4.0 Internacional.