عنوان مقاله [English]
One way to judge economic development is to use the relevant index and using the index requires understanding how it is calculated and its implications. This article examines women's empowerment index. The studies carried out in Iran have not considered the fundamentals of this index and have not defined empowerment on the basis of the needs and culture of Iranian women. This study mainly aims at examining the relationship between the initial assumptions of the empowerment index and the analysis of this index. It further seeks to answer this question: ‘Is it possible to offer a universal definition of women's empowerment?’ An attempt has been made to answer this question through thematic analysis and thematic layer analysis and by examining the theoretical foundations of empowerment index in the comparative framework of feminist, neoclassical and Islamic economics. The purpose is to show empowerment assumptions lie within the context of which economic perspective and how researchers can be assisted to use and analyze this index. To this end, the assumptions equality, equality in outcomes or opportunities, academic equity, women's housework, men’s being breadwinner and the job equality of men and women have been identified and analyzed in defining this index. The most important result of this research is that women's empowerment index is based on Amartya Sen’s capability and functionality theory and feminist economics. This indicator is not universal and depends on the situation. Its theoretical foundations in the 1995 Human Development Report have some contradictions that can be resolved by Islamic justice.