Displaying items 46 - 60 of 75 in total
  • Archive Resource

    The Empowerment Of Women: Rights And Entitlements In Arab Worlds, In Gender Rights And Development: A Global Sourcebook

    This chapter argues that the instrumentalist approach to women’s empowerment has created a broad near consensus around some rights, but has failed to engage with the political processes which determine how rights in general are defined and made operational in society. The timid approach to gender rights as an avenue to well-being has failed to question why these rights have been denied, and how this denial has been ideologically legitimized. Unitary and rigid interpretations of religion, culture, and tradition have been doled out as reasons why the structural meanings of empowerment are unsuited to and unpopular in Arab Muslim countries. The contest between the basic needs approach to empowerment and the more radical rights-based approach defines current approaches to gender and empowerment. …

  • Archive Resource

    The Ethics Of Empowerment

    In this article, Koggel reflects on the various influences on her thinking on gender and development, including a research project in Indonesia to explore the possible gaps between the World Bank’s understanding of empowerment and social science theory and NGO practice prior to mainstreaming the concept; capabilities theory and the difference between empowerment and agency; and the rhetoric of empowerment. She discusses the importance of contextual analyses and of the limitations of generalized policies or principles designed to promote ‘development’ or empower women. An important lesson for development ethicists is the need to pay attention to and analyse relations of power – including the overarching factor of economic globalization in the form of neo-liberal and capitalist assumptions and structures. Another important lesson is the one she learned from Sen's complex analysis of poverty: that ethical issues of development are as relevant to ‘developed’ countries as they are to poor ‘developing’ countries. …

  • Archive Resource

    The Participation Paradox: Quotas Policy In Latin America

    Within the last 20 years, the problem of women’s participation in formal power positions has been mobilizing women, especially feminists, throughout Latin America. After over half a century since gaining the right to vote, Latin-American women have recognized that, in practice, this fought for right did not guarantee the right to be elected as well. Indeed, Latin American women have remained marginalized from power, kept from participating in greater numbers in deliberative power structures. In these circumstances, the implementation of quota systems for women in a context of affirmative action policies has figured as a major goal in the mobilisation of women in their struggle for access to power structures. …

  • Archive Resource

    The Power Of Association: Reflecting On Women's Collective Action As A Force For Social Change

    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. …

  • Archive Resource

    The 'Religious' In Debates About Reforming Egyptian Personal Status Laws

    In this paper, presented to 'Pathways: What are we Learning?' Analysis Conference, Cairo, 20-24 January 2009, I want to argue against a common and perhaps a temptingly easy understanding that posits a direct and problematic link between the challenges of reforming Egyptian personal status laws and their seemingly inescapable religious identity. Such a reading has a homogenizing effect that: 1) collapses those who take issue with the proposed changes in the substantive laws from a religious perspective into one unitary position, 2) fails to appreciate the interconnectedness of secular (e. g. human rights) and religious discourses that frame the debates about the new legal reforms, and 3) conceals a number of underlying issues which go beyond the question of the religious boundaries of the family laws. …

  • Archive Resource

    'Voice' As A Pathway To Women's Empowerment: Reflections On The Indian Experience

    This chapter explores different ways in which ‘voice’ has been a pathway to empowerment in India. Three major streams are discussed, the women’s movement, official efforts to institutionalize women’s voice, and decentralization with reservation which has guaranteed a space in local governance to women. The manner of engagement between the women’s movement and the State is reviewed. A more detailed discussion of the Panchayat institutions with empirical evidence on women’s participation is presented. …

  • Archive Resource

    Vulnerabilities Of Feminist Engagement And The Challenge Of Developmentalism In The South: What Alternatives?

    The paper examines the challenge of feminist engagement in the South today. The analysis proceeds from the position that feminist engagement has registered multiple successes with a major break through in the ways in which it has made considerable dents into dominant development discourses. However, I argue, that this very success has created inherent vulnerabilities, with success appearing as a double edged sword whose disintegrative effects are much fiercer and much more anchored, in terms of power regimes. By trying to have a command into the development arena feminism had to reshape itself – even at the basic level of being understood. …

  • Archive Resource

    What If The Girls Don’t Want To Be Businesswomen?: Discursive Dissonance In A Global Policy Space

    Rosalind Eyben describes her participation in a high-level international meeting on women’s economic empowerment. She examines how the concept of empowerment is being constructed, contested and shaped in international aid policy. …

  • Archive Resource

    Women Engaging Politically: Beyond Magic Bullets and Motorways

    This paper adopts an upside-down approach to women's political empowerment. While the number of women we need to get into legislatures has often assumed centrestage, this paper takes women's pathways as its starting point. In so doing, it challenges the narrow conception of women's political engagement as occupying formal positions and seeks to present a more nuanced perspective on the spaces, relationships and ways of working that influence power hierarchies and dynamics.  …

  • Archive Resource

    Women Treading the Corridors of Corporate Power

    Globalisation is transforming the lives of women workers. Civil society campaigns over workers' rights in global production have begun to open up global spaces for women's organisations. Examples can now be found where women's concerns have been given some voice in mainstream commercial corridors of power. This paper examines this process. …

  • Research Project

    Building Constituencies for Political Reform - Quotas as an instrument of change

    Brazil has the greatest experience in the weakness of quotas. There are no obligations for the parties to use them, and no one is held to account for not doing it. An international workshop was held to intervene in ongoing demands for political reform in Brazil to redress the low representation of women in national government, by drawing together lessons from successful efforts to bring women into office through quota systems. …

  • Research Project

    Conceptualising Empowerment - A Look at Public Policy for Women in Brazil

    This Project aimed to identify and analyse conceptualisations of empowerment in Brazil underlying public policies for women. The project looked, in particular, at the Pro Gender Equality Programme (Programa Pró-Eqüidade de Gênero) that is being implemented by the Secretariat for Public Policies for Women. Besides taking part in meetings and activities related to the Programme, the team also carried out a case study on one of the member organisations. …

  • Research Project

    Conceptualising Empowerment in Global Spaces and the Shaping of International Policies and Practice about Women

    This project explored the meanings and debates around women’s empowerment within and among sets of actors with a global reach, and how they are shaping values, ideas and policy actions (or absence of actions) on women’s empowerment. …

  • Research Project

    Development Gender and Empowerment 53.2

    This special issue of 'Development' picks up some of the contentions and contestations that have accompanied the uptake of 'women's empowerment' by the development industry. Contributors reflect on their own personal and political engagement with the term and what it has come to represent. …

  • Research Project

    Domestic Violence Legislation

    This project investigated women's struggles and pathways for the implementation and monitoring of public policies addressing violence against women in Brazil. The project was launched with the creation of the Maria da Penha Law Observatory Consortium, under the national coordination of NEIM. The Observatory monitors the implementation of the Maria da Penha Law in all 27 Brazilian states. …