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Table 4 Empowerment indicators

From: The relationship between women’s individual empowerment and the support to female genital cutting continuation: a study on 7 African countries

Variable Theoretical dimension Theoretical motivation Definition Categories
Educational level Resources Education is a necessary but not sufficient condition for the availability of choices Highest educational level (V106) No education (ref.), Primary, Secondary, Higher
Women’s Experience of FGM/C Resources This is an indicator of the norm inside a woman’s family and its strength therein, because the practice is performed before puberty, and cannot be attributed to an individual choice. Thus, we interpret it as the possibility to choose, namely a resource Respondent is circumcised (G102) No (ref.), Yes, Don’t know
Intimate partner violence (IPV) justification Agency This variable indicates a lack of agency that supports disempowerment, as well as the inability to achieve equal power in the couple* This indicates the number of occasions the woman justifies IPV. It is built as the combination of variables V744A to V744E (Beating justified if the wife goes out without telling husband, neglects the children, argues with husband, refuses to have sex with husband, burns the food) Never (the woman never justifies IPV; reference); Sometimes (the women indicates 1 or 2 reasons), Often (3–5 reasons)
Work experience Agency The work experience may lead to autonomy in personal life Combination of variables V714 (Respondent currently working) and V741 (Type of earnings from respondent's work) Not working (ref.), Unpaid work (Not paid, In-kind only), Paid work (Cash only, Cash and in-kind)
Age at first cohabitation Resources An indicator of early marriages and consequently of fewer life possibilities Age at first cohabitation or union (V511) In years
Decision-making Agency It represents the capacity to decide autonomously in different contexts** According to data availability, three separate domains were available: the person who usually decides on visits to family (V743D) or relatives, large household purchases (V743B; Additional file 1: Table S4), and respondent’s health care (V743A; Additional file 1: Table S5) Respondent and husband/partner (ref.), Respondent alone, Someone else (including the partner alone)
Unmet need for contraception Agency Intended to represent the impossibility to choose and follow a personal wish Recoding of V624 Unmet need (ref.), No need, Using a method
The ideal number of children Agency It is an indicator of the personal willingness to adhere to the communitarian norm of the family The ideal number of children (V613) Number
  1. *Such dimension is taken from Ewerling (2017)
  2. **Ibidem