Displaying items 1 - 15 of 41 in total
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    Afghan Values or Women's Rights? Gendered Narratives about Continuity and Change in Urban Afghanistan, IDS Working Paper 387

    There is considerable debate about the extent to which gender equality and womens’ rights are universal values. This debate has been particularly heated in Afghanistan where the violation of women’s rights by the Taliban regime was one justification used by the US and its allies for their invasion of the country. There is, however, very little research on how ordinary Afghan women view their lives and their place within a highly patriarchal society and how their views might fit into these debates. This paper explores these issues using in-depth qualitative interviews with 12 Hazara women and their husbands in Kabul. …

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    Between Autonomy And Affiliation: Navigating Pathways Of Women's Empowerment In Rural Bangladesh. Development and Change 42.2

    In as much as women's subordinate status is a product of the patriarchal structures of constraint that prevail in specific contexts, pathways of women's empowerment are likely to be ‘path dependent’. They will be shaped by women's struggles to act on the constraints that prevail in their societies, as much by what they seek to defend as by what they seek to change. The universal value that many feminists claim for individual autonomy may not therefore have the same purchase in all contexts. This article examines processes of empowerment as they play out in the lives of women associated with social mobilisation organisations in the specific context of rural Bangladesh. …

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    Conceptualising Empowerment And The Implications For Pro-Poor Growth, A Paper For The DAC Poverty Network

    This paper proposes a framework for how empowerment can be conceptually understood and operationally explored. It makes recommendations for forthcoming areas of work within the POVNET Work Programme on empowering poor women and men to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from growth. …

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    Contextualising The Economic Pathways Of Women's Empowerment

    Women’s paid work has featured in the development literature for two main reasons. The instrumental reason relates to its potential to contribute to make a variety of development goals, from poverty reduction to human development to economic growth. The intrinsic reason is its potential to transform the lives of women and girls by addressing gender inequalities on a wide variety of fronts. However in both cases, paid work is most likely to achieve this potential if it empowers women; since it is women’s capacity to exercise voice and influence in the key arenas of their lives that provides the impetus for change. …

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    Contextualizando as Trilhas Econômicas do Empoderamento de Mulheres: Resultados de um Programa de Pesquisa em Diferentes Países

    Women’s paid work has featured in the development literature for two main reasons. The instrumental reason relates to its potential to contribute to make a variety of development goals, from poverty reduction to human development to economic growth. The intrinsic reason is its potential to transform the lives of women and girls by addressing gender inequalities on a wide variety of fronts. …

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    Cultural Values or Universal Rights? Women's Narratives of Compliance and Contestation in Urban Afghanistan

    There has been an ideological tug-of-war over women's place in Afghan society from the early years of the twentieth century between the modernising tendencies of its urban-based elite and the forces of conservatism represented by the Islamic ulema (religious leaders). Following the US-led invasion and the international donor community's subsequent efforts to “develop” the country, this struggle has acquired a new lease of life. Current debates reproduce the now familiar divide between cultural values and universal rights that characterises the wider feminist literature. While Afghan voices have been part of this debate, they tend to be drawn from more educated and politicised groups. …

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    Definition Of Work

    Why is the extent of women’s work in Bangladesh under-reported? In Bangladesh women are engaged in a variety of economic activities from homestead-based expenditure saving activities to outside paid work. However, women’s work generally remains under-reported by official statistics, especially women’s non-market homestead-based economic activities, and even tends to be overlooked by women themselves. Non-recognition of women’s economic activity leads to undervaluation of women’s economic contribution and is also seen as a reason for their lower status in society relative to men. The consequences for women are immense, especially poor women, in terms of their own self-esteem, the value accorded them by their family and community and even in terms of their identity as citizens of Bangladesh. …

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    Does Paid Work Provide A Pathway To Women's Empowerment? Empirical Findings From Bangladesh. IDS Working Paper 375

    The debate about the relationship between paid work and women’s position within the family and society is a long standing one. Some argue that women’s integration into the market is the key to their empowerment while others offer more sceptical, often pessimistic, accounts of this relationship. These contradictory viewpoints reflect a variety of factors: variations in how empowerment itself is understood, variations in the cultural meanings and social acceptability of paid work for women across different contexts and the nature of the available work opportunities within particular contexts. This paper uses a combination of survey data and qualitative interviews to explore the impact of paid work on various indicators of women’s empowerment ranging from shifts in intra-household decision-making processes to women’s participation in public life. …

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    Gender Equality And Economic Growth: Is There A Win-Win?, IDS Working Paper 417

    To what extent does gender equality contribute to economic growth? And to what extent does the reverse relationship hold true? There are a growing number of studies exploring these relationships, generally using cross-country regression analysis. They are characterized by varying degrees of methodological rigour to take account of the problems associated with econometric analysis at this highly aggregated level, including the problems of reverse causality. Bearing these problems in mind, a review of this literature suggests that the relationship between gender equality and economic growth is an asymmetrical one. The evidence that gender equality, particularly in education and employment, contributes to economic growth is far more consistent and robust than the relationship that economic growth contributes to gender equality in terms of health, wellbeing and rights. …

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    IDS Gender Evidence For Action Paper: Gender Equality And The MDGs: Pathways To A Transformative Agenda

    The Millennium Declaration commits itself to gender equality as part of its broader vision of human rights and social justice, The commitment is expressed in terms of two rationales: one intrinsic, seeing gender equality as a fundamental human right, the other instrumental, recognizing the powerful contribution that women make to the eradication of poverty in all its dimensions – and indeed to development itself. This paper takes as its starting premise the intrinsic case for gender equality, that it is a matter of human rights and social justice. Its primary aim is to analyse the pace of progress on gender-related goals, targets and indicators in different regions of the developing world, to explore the factors which have contributed to this progress as well as those which have blocked it. The paper homes in on those Millennium Development Goals and objectives that have the most direct gender dimensions to illustrate the nature of the constraints that block progress on gender equality and the kinds of interventions that can help to advance it. …

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    If You Don't See A Light In The Darkness, You Must Light A Fire: Brazilian Domestic Workers' Struggle For Rights

    The story of Brazil’s national federation of domestic workers’ union (FENATRAD) and their strategies of alliance building, mobilisation and tactical engagement is one from which broader lessons can be learnt about mobilizing informal sector workers. This chapter tells this story as recounted in a series of life historical interviews carried out in the period 2006-2009 with one of the key figures in the struggle for domestic workers’ rights in Brazil, Creuza Oliveira, then leader of FENATRAD, as part of a participatory research project on domestic workers’ rights. …

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

    This book attempts to synthesize the experiences of organizing hard-to-teach working women in the informal economy and draw out their lessons. The chapters deal with examples of organisations that are working with this category of women workers in order to draw out both common patterns and unique responses to particular circumstances, and thus deepen our understanding of some of the collective pathways to change that might be relevant for different groups of working women in different sectors of the economy. In this introduction, the authors draw out some key themes from the chapters in order to address some key questions. What gave these precarious workers the impetus and courage to organize? What were the main obstacles faced by their organisations in efforts to address what Nancy Fraser calls the injustices of redistribution, recognition and representation? These relate to the unfairness of the economic system and the exploitative relations of work that it generates; the denial of respect and dignity to certain groups of workers on the basis of their identity and the work they do; and the absence of an organized voice that can articulate their needs and rights as women, as workers and as citizens. …

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

    This book attempts to synthesize the experiences of organizing hard-to-teach working women in the informal economy and draw out their lessons. The chapters deal with examples of organisations that are working with this category of women workers in order to draw out both common patterns and unique responses to particular circumstances, and thus deepen our understanding of some of the collective pathways to change that might be relevant for different groups of working women in different sectors of the economy. In this introduction, the authors draw out some key themes from the chapters in order to address some key questions. What gave these precarious workers the impetus and courage to organize? What were the main obstacles faced by their organisations in efforts to address what Nancy Fraser calls the injustices of redistribution, recognition and representation? These relate to the unfairness of the economic system and the exploitative relations of work that it generates; the denial of respect and dignity to certain groups of workers on the basis of their identity and the work they do; and the absence of an organized voice that can articulate their needs and rights as women, as workers and as citizens. …

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    Looking Back On Four Decades Of Organizing: The Experience Of SEWA

    India’s economic growth will accelerate more rapidly, democratically and effectively if India invests in people and their economic potential. Investing in people, especially women and their living and working environments, is imperative for nation-building. In this chapter, Bhatt looks at SEWA and its involvement in the process of organizing poor working women since 1972, its successes and its struggles. …

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    Marriage, Motherhood And Masculinity In The Global Economy, Open Democracy

    In this article, Naila Kabeer looks at the rising global phenomenon of the female breadwinner. This phenomenon has had an impact on relations of social reproduction, family structure and size, and on global trade, which has, as a result, seen a rise in global mail-order bride services and the globalization of the sex trade. …