Reproductive Empowerment Evidence Database

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Click here to view a search on individual agency


Click here to view a search on immediate relational agency


Click here to view a search on distal relational agency


Click here to view a search on SRH decision-making


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All definitions are paraphrased from A Conceptual Framework for Reproductive Empowerment: Empowering Individuals and Couples to Improve Their Health

Components of Agency

  • Choice: ability to individually make and influence decisions that affect one’s life.
  • Voice: capacity to actively articulate and assert one’s interests, opinions and desires in discussions that are relevant to one’s life.
  • Power: a sense of self-worth and rights to challenge their situation, whether acting individually or collectively.

Levels of Agency

  • Individual agency: ability to define reproductive desires, develop plans and execute them.
  • Immediate relational agency: ability to exercise choice and voice in interactions with most immediate environment such as peers, family members and partners.
  • Distant relational agency: ability to exert voice, choice and power with actors outside of immediate relationships such as healthcare providers, religious and political leaders and institutions and international development community.

Expressions of Empowerment

  • Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) decision-making: engaging in the process with real influence on the outcome.
  • SRH leadership: taking lead in challenging power and expanding choice.
  • SRH collective action: collectively taking action to improve status, increase voice and challenge power to a degree that is impossible through individual action alone.
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Citation Year Intervention Description Evaluation Description

This website is made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Breakthrough ACTION is supported by USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health, Bureau for Global Health, under Cooperative Agreement: #AID-OAA-A-17-00017. Breakthrough ACTION is based at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Communication Programs. The contents of this website are the sole responsibility of Breakthrough ACTION. The information provided on this website is not official U.S. Government information and does not necessarily represent the views or positions of USAID, the United States Government, or Johns Hopkins University.

United States Agency for International Development