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Year: 2012 Type: Article Language: English

Naila Kabeer reflects on the power of association and collective action, and its ability to transform the lives and livelihoods of marginalized groups, especially women. Inclusive gatherings of women, she says, are important reminders that seemingly isolated struggles against apparently insurmountable odds are really part of a worldwide movement for change. She gives examples of different kinds of collective action and the different kinds of change each movement affected. Her research experience suggests that collective action does not linearly lead from powerlessness to empowerment; instead, myriad transformative processes occur over time through collective action which solidify into a coherent movement for change. She notes that collective action can also bring about change in shorter periods of time.