This seminar held in Dhaka on 21 January 2008, brought together work and discussions around concepts of empowerment, among academics, practitioners and activists, both within and outside the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment RPC. There were researchers and activists from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Palestine, Egypt, and Brazil present. The day’s programme was arranged around three themes: livelihoods and labour, political spaces and institutions, and civil society discourses. The discussions addressed common questions and the presenters applied them to their individual experiences. The programme was trying to bring a contextual perspective, to set cultural, political and historical notions in place. Women’s lives are different in different places and as researchers it is important to look for the differences as well as the commonalities.