Displaying items 91 - 105 of 200 in total
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    Liberal Vs. Liberating Empowerment: A Latin American Feminist Perspective On Conceptualising Women's Empowerment

    In this paper Cecilia Sardenberg argues that, despite the great diversity in the uses of the term ‘empowerment’, it is possible to distinguish two basic approaches in conceptualising women’s empowerment. The first, identified here as ‘liberal empowerment’, regards women’s empowerment as an instrument for development priorities, be they the eradication of poverty or the building of democracy. Consistent with liberal ideals, the focus in this approach is on individual growth, but in an atomistic perspective on the notion of the rational action of social actors based on individual interests. Moreover, it de-politicizes the process of empowerment by taking ‘power’ out of the equation. …

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    Local Feminism: Between Islamism And Liberal Universalism

    In this paper Islah Jad argues that the spread of universal women’s rights discourse, based on the liberal individual notion of rights, potentially ignores the different contexts in which ‘indigenous’ forms of resistance by feminist movements takes place, and risks sidelining some important knowledge and gains that have been achieved by these movements. In the Palestinian context detaching feminist struggle from the wider context of the emancipatory struggle for national liberation has led to the marginalization of women’s movements and the subordination of their claims for rights to a universal donor agenda. …

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    Man Hunt Intimacy: Man Clean Bathroom: Women, Sexual Pleasure, Gender Violence And HIV, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    The spread of HIV is affected by a wide range of factors including household income, domestic divisions of labour, seasonal workloads and expenditure, communication, relationships, gender violence, and sexual pleasure or dissatisfaction. Drawing on material from North and South America and Africa, the author concludes that the links between these issues are both universally experienced and critical to HIV prevention and mitigation. The author also challenges the rejection of ‘anecdote’ in formal research settings, particularly when the stories told by women – and men – are so similar and so widespread. The Stepping Stones training methodology supports participants’ own analyses of these links in their lives, and has enabled them to work out their own mutually agreeable solutions. …

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    Monster, Womb, MSM: The Work Of Sex In International Development, Development, 52.1

    Andil Gosine asks whether sex and sexuality have been left unconsidered in international development or not. Sex and sexuality he argues have always been at the heart of development. Three figures have haunted the project of international development: Monster, Womb, MSM (‘Men who have sex with Men’). Anxieties about the sexual proclivities of these figures have driven and shaped the project of international development, both as a teleological metanarrative and in its material application. …

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    My Fake Wedding: Stirring Up The Tongzhi Movement In China, Development, 52.1

    Xiaopei He describes her activities in China working with the lesbian and gay (tongzhi) movement as activists challenge the conventions and traditions of heteronormativity in innovative and fun ways. …

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    National Discourses On Women’s Empowerment: Enabling Or Constraining Women’s Choices

    Sohela Nazneen, Maheen Sultan and Naomi Hossain explore concepts of empowerment being used by some women’s organisations, development NGOs, mass political parties and aid donors in Bangladesh. Focusing primarily on public discourses, they review publicly available documentation of women’s organisations, development NGOs, mass political parties and aid donors. They discuss the implications of using empowerment by these different actors and conclude with reflections on new forms of public action and coalitions of interest to advance women’s power in Bangladesh. …

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    Negotiating Alliances, Overcoming Opposition: Women's Movements and Other Social Movements Roundtable

    The Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Programme Consortium (RPC) and the Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts (WEMC) RPC held a public discussion on the theme of building alliances on 13 November 2008 in Cape Town prior to the AWID Forum. The day’s programme included an introduction to the two RPCs by their respective directors, followed by inputs from the RPC members about women’s movements’ encounters with other social movements, after which there was a question and answer session. An internal meeting was held by the two RPCs for members to identify key issues of strategic relevance for building alliances as well as overcoming oppositions, and to formulate strategies for engagement across movements. …

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    Negotiating Islam: Conservatism, Splintered Authority And Empowerment In Urban Bangladesh

    Bangladesh has recently been seeing a rise in religiosity which has been treated as problematic, anti-secular and anti-progressive within the public sphere. Various writers describe this trend as having a disempowering effect on women and negating their self-expression. However, underlying these views is the assumption that the assertion of women's agency is not enough if it does not confront existing structures of relations. This article asks whether it is possible that in seeking changes in certain aspects of one's life, existing gender relations are not necessarily transformed, but indirectly challenged and reconfigured? The conclusion suggests that rather than a polarisation of the secular and religious ways of living most people are in fact in between, negotiating between the two camps, and borrowing ideas and ways from both. …

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    No Path To Power: Civil Society, State Services, And The Poverty Of City Women

    In focusing on Ain el-Sira, a low-income neighbourhood of Cairo, this article challenges development theorists' ideas that civil society as a development partner is best able to promote women's empowerment, community development and justice. This article contests that development can avoid the machinations of the state or ignore the power imbalances that litter the relationships between state, civil society, citizens and donors! In Egypt, where the state relegates its development duties to civil society, women in Ain el-Sira experience service initiatives which are duplicated, microcredit loans they often cannot afford to repay, and benefit criteria which are strict and limiting. Programmes remain unchanged for years and long-term plans to relieve the burdens of disempowerment and destitution are non-existent. To achieve real gendered justice which provides women with the assets and capabilities to make choices requires citizenship rights. …

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    Organizing Women Workers In The Informal Economy: Beyond The Weapons Of The Weak

    Organizing Women Workers in the Informal Economy explores the emergence of an alternative repertoire among women working in the growing informal sectors of the global South: the weapons of organization and mobilisation. This crucial book offers vibrant accounts of how women working as farm workers, sex workers, domestic workers, waste pickers, fisheries workers and migrant factory workers have organized for collective action. What gives these precarious workers the impetus and courage to take up these steps? What resources do they draw on in order to transcend their structurally disadvantaged position within the economy? And what continues to hamper their efforts to gain social recognition for themselves as women, as workers and as citizens? …

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    Paid Work as Pathway of Empowerment: Pakistan's Lady Health Worker Programme

    This chapter explores the contributions that paid work can make to creating pathways of empowerment for women in Pakistan. It draws on the case of Pakistan’s government-run Lady Health Workers Programme (LHWP), which employs almost 100,000 women across Pakistan as community health workers who act as a vital link between communities and primary health care. …

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    Participatory Pathways: Researching Women's Empowerment in Salvador, Brazil

    Can research on empowerment be in itself empowering to those that take part in it? If so, how might that research be constructed and conducted, and what kind of empowerment might researchers and research participants experience? This article explores a series of research initiatives in Salvador, Brazil, that sought to integrate transformative feminist principles into the study of women's empowerment as part of an international research programme involving researchers from Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, West Africa, the UK and the USA. We reflect on debates about epistemology and methodology that gave rise to the design of these projects and on the research journeys that these designs brought into being. Contrasting research projects with very different foci, methodologies and participants, the article explores insights from these initiatives for feminist research on empowerment. …

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    Pathways Of Women's Empowerment

    Development’s emphasis on women’s empowerment has been welcomed by some as a return from the fog of “gender equality” and the blind alley of “gender mainstreaming” to a sharper, clearer concern about the injustice, discrimination and lack of opportunities that women the world over experience. But the straight talk about power that was once part of feminist discourses of empowerment has given way as development agencies have taken up the term. Today’s softer, more conciliatory, calls for women’s empowerment have none of the rough edges of older demands for justice and equality. …

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    Pleasure And Empowerment: Connections And Disconnections

    Susie Jolly asks if we can reclaim sexual pleasure from the grip of the market and influence the terms on which the market engages with pleasure. She proposes a political perspective on sexuality which challenges the structures and ideologies that generate guilt and shame and make pleasure more accessible to some groups than others. …

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    Policy Analysis Of Abortion In Indonesia: The Dynamic Of State Power, Human Need And Women's Right, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    The women of Indonesia with unwanted pregnancies face stark choices: giving birth and facing social ostracism, loss of family support network, and even harsh criminal punishment; or an abortion from a clandestine provider, risking serious injury or death. The complexity of Indonesian life is multifaceted. Ruled by multiple formal and traditional legal systems, it remains embroiled in an on-going struggle to establish its identity during the process of democratization and a strengthening of Islamic values in a time when the vast majority of its population, as Muslims, feel under attack by the West’s ‘war on terror’. The campaign to bring in a new health bill including the decriminalization of abortion has been challenged, facing lack of consensus that high maternal mortality rates are primarily caused by clandestine abortions, varying reasons behind reforms to the health law, and lack of political will to see through the change because of difference of opinion. …