Sen's Capability Approach and Women Empowerment in Governance


  • Suparna Ganguly Senior Faculty & In-charge of Gender & Women Study Cell, B. R. Ambedkar Institute of Panchayat & Rural Development, West Benga.



Amartya Sen, Capability Approach, Women Empowerment, Women Empowerment Index, Gram Panchayat Performance Index.


This paper tries to measure the level of empowerment of elected women representatives (EWRs) at the Gram Panchayat level in the light of Prof. Amartya Sen’s ‘Capability Approach.’ In this paper, the level of empowerment of EWRs or “agency” has been measured through Women Empowerment Index (WEI) on the basis of five types of ‘instrumental freedoms’ like, Social Opportunities, Economic Facilities, Political Freedoms, Transparency Guarantees and Protective Security. On the other hand, the ‘capability set’ or the “alternative combinations of functioning” of EWRs or “agency” has been assessed through Gram Panchayat Performance Index (GPPI). By comparing WEI and GPPI, the paper has assessed the level of empowerment of EWRs during the last two boards (2003-08) and (2008-2013) in West Bengal.


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How to Cite

Ganguly, S. (2023). Sen’s Capability Approach and Women Empowerment in Governance. Journal of Rural Development, 41(3), 387–407.

Author Biography

Suparna Ganguly, Senior Faculty & In-charge of Gender & Women Study Cell, B. R. Ambedkar Institute of Panchayat & Rural Development, West Benga.

Sr. Faculty Member 

Gender & Women Study Cell



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