This repository was developed by the Data for Health Initiative’s Gender Equity Unit at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and The Population Council, based upon original work done by The Population Council.
The gender scales and surveys included have been used in global social, health, and behavioral science research in the following topic areas: reproductive health, infectious diseases (including STis/HIV), non-communicable diseases, gender-based violence, civil registries and vital statistics and other health systems strengthening research.
What is a scale?
A scale is a numerical score aggregating multiple indicators believed to reflect an underlying concept. As there is no single “gold standard” for measuring gender norms, gender attitudes, empowerment, and other aspects of gender, researchers often use multiple measures. Using a single measure is not possible because gender operates in multiple spheres and has many facets. When a single measure is preferred, a scale combining several items creates a more valid measure than any single scale item used alone.
Why a compendium of gender scales?
In March 2010, C-Change convened a working group of researchers with expert knowledge of gender scales to review those scales in current use. The participants identified scales that measure adherence to gender norms and reviewed how they have been used to measure the success of interventions in changing these norms.
The working group enthusiastically supported the creation of an online compendium of gender scales. They saw the value of making it easily accessible by health and development practitioners, who may want to use these tools to assess gender-related attitudes and beliefs and evaluate their interventions. Scales selected for the compendium have all been tested for their ability to measure gender attitudes and predict behaviors of interest, such as gender-based violence prevention. The scales include those developed by working group participants as well as other scales they identified.
In 2023, the Gender Equity Unit at Bloomberg School of Public Health set out to update and expand the scales beyond the gender binary, and to look at usage beyond women’s health outcomes. In collaboration with the original team at The Population Council, we have launched this expanded, updated repository.
The compendium is still not exhaustive. It does not encompass all scales and surveys appropriate for studying gender and health outcomes, and it does not identify which scale is best for any specific study or evaluation. This is a living repository. If you have comments or suggestions for improvement, please email firstname.lastname@example.org