Local Groups and Sections webinars

Local Groups and Sections events

Local Groups and Sections host webinars and face-to-face meetings such as talks, events and social activities to promote particular branches and applications of statistics. Virtual events typically run for 60-90 minutes with speakers and Q&A sessions.

Meeting papers and slides are available on our website at least a week ahead of an event. We encourage you to pre-register for an event, though this will not always be necessary for webinars.

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Dial-in details for UK and international users and the link to the web conferencing system are provided on this page

Future events

Measuring Women Empowerment
Date and time: Wed, 12 June 2019 18:00 – 20:00 BST
Presenter: Geoffrey Darnton,
Chair: Leonardo Ripoli
Dial-in details

This discussion is based on and takes forward in a statistical focus the paper “A Practical Approach for Measuring Women’s Empowerment” presented at ICGR 2019[1] (by coincidence, ICGR 2020 will be held at Reading University). Noor Abu Jbara is principal author of the original paper; this discussion takes forward statistical issues. My approach in this discussion is from a Social Statistics angle, not theoretical statistics, so it should be of interest and understandable to those who do not have a mathematical or statistical background. It is concerned with social relevance and applicability informed by statistical principles and approaches.

The discussion starts with brief points about a contemporary serious issue of confusion and muddle over the use of the terms “sex” and “gender”. The key point is that those terms should not be confused and used interchangeably because of differences in levels and scales of measurement. Simple statistical principles help to resolve this muddle. Many examples of a clear distinction are available in legislation and many administrative processes. It is intriguing that many drafters of legislation are not muddled, but many academics are!

In the existing literature some discussions are focused on identifying and discussing what are the characteristics of an empowered woman? A similar approach could be taken if considering men’s empowerment – a major current debate is around balance between women’s empowerment and men’s empowerment. This discussion is focused on women’s empowerment, so it presents a variety of variables that can be used for measuring women empowerment. Some measures are relevant for describing an individual woman, and some measures have been developed by some internationally used indices attempting to measure women empowerment more generally in groups of women. What can empowerment mean, what are the names for some of the measures, and the statistical challenge is identifying levels and scales of measurement. One deeper discussion is whether the measurement of women empowerment should be focussed on the individual woman, or women collectively? (an interesting analogy arises when looking at some psychological states – are they individual characteristics, or sociological/sociopolitical characteristics?)

If it is reasonable to say that women empowerment is a function of a set of characteristics, what are those characteristics, how can they be measured, and what functions are helpful?

[1]Abu Jbara, Noor and Darnton, Geoffrey (2019) “A Practical Approach for Measuring Women’s Empowerment” in Proceedings of the 2ndInternational Conference on Gender Research, Roma Tre University, Rome 11-12 April 2019 pp344-352.

Attendance is FREE but please register for catering purposes.

About the RSS
This event is organised by the RSS Reading local group.

More on gender research
The next International Conference on Gender Research (ICGR) will be held at Reading in 2020. This is an opportunity for academics, practitioners and consultants from around the world who are involved in the study, management and development of gender-related issues in business, the public sector and in education to come together and exchange ideas.

More info and call for papers can be found here:

Past events

Webcasts, MP3s and slides from past events are available to download.