The Impact of Autonomy on Women’s Agency

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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. 


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Como citar
ORTIZ-RODRÍGUEZ, Jeyle; PILLAI, Vijayan K.; RIBEIRO-FERREIRA, Manuel. The Impact of Autonomy on Women’s Agency. Convergencia Revista de Ciencias Sociales, [S.l.], n. 73, dic. 2016. ISSN 2448-5799. Disponible en: <>. Fecha de acceso: 05 jun. 2020 doi:
Palabras clave
agency; autonomy; women’s labor force participation; gender equality; wellbeing


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