Displaying all 14 items
  • Archive Resource

    Community Health Workers As Agents Of Change Conference Report

    One of the pathways of women’s empowerment is participation in workforce. In Bangladesh one of the first areas which saw mass employment of women outside paid work is the family planning and health sector. It is thus important to explore how these women workers have been able to negotiate and challenge gender norms within their families and their communities and have become role models for the younger generation. The purpose of the research was to explore to what extent women health workers have become agents of change in an environment which restricted their movement and opposed their exposure into the public sphere. …

  • Archive Resource

    Community Health Workers As Agents Of Change: Negotiating Pathways Of Empowerment Within The Family, Community And Workplace

    Health has been a sector that is traditionally considered appropriate for women’s employment as it is consistent with their caring role. However in the South Asian context, women community health workers are in fact challenging various social constraints and stereotypes by being engaged in regular employment, in coming out of their homes, being mobile in their communities and fulfilling a socially valued role. A qualitative research study was carried out from March 2008 to explore how women health workers have been instrumental in bringing social change into their communities, whether their role as paid workers has empowered them as women, and if there are discernible changes in gender relations as a consequence of their work. The Bangladesh study compared Government women health workers with non-government women health workers of pioneering programmes in three locations: ICDDR,B; Ganoshathya Kendro and BRAC. …

  • Archive Resource

    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. …

  • Archive Resource

    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. …

  • Archive Resource

    Measuring 'Empowerment' using Quantitative Household Survey Data

    For poor women paid work is not simply a pathway out of poverty, but has more deeper transformative potential, including both internal transformation (changes in women's personal and political consciousness and agency as citizens) and external transformation (changes in women's social position). Hence, measurement of women's empowerment requires identifying appropriate qualitative indicators to capture these dynamic processes of change that are not all observable. We were faced with two crucial measurement challenges: first, to estimate the magnitude and nature of women's paid work that is often unrecognised, and second, to assess a transformative process like women's empowerment. The paper describes the methods used for enumerating women's economic activity and measuring women's empowerment in the context of Bangladesh, using quantitative indicators estimated from a large household survey. …

  • Archive Resource

    Nari Shastho Kormi: Shomojhota O Nobouddog

    This report in Bangla focuses on research which considers whether and how the work done by Women Health Workers leads to changes at the individual, family and societal levels. The researchers explored how Women Health Workers are introducing new role models for women, challenging purdah, encouraging mobility, and creating pathways of empowerment. …

  • Archive Resource

    Our Bodies, Our Selves: The Bangladesh Perspective

    In Bangladesh there is a well-documented reign of patriarchal institutions and practices, causing women to have little control over their bodies and restricting their experience of the completeness of a vital body and a vital mind. However, this control over women’s bodies appears to be shifting, and nearly all the key elements tat constitute ‘bodily integrity’ are in a state of flux. Whether this is the beginning of a new era with weakened structures, norms and customs remains to be seen, but it certainly is a change. The male-dominated society and economy is now experiencing an increasing infiltration by women of all ages and social classes, with significant implications for siciety’s and men’s hold over women and their bodies. …

  • Archive Resource

    Paid Work And Pathways To Women's Empowerment: Preliminary Findings From Bangladesh

    There have been a number of debates in Bangladesh, as well as elsewhere, as to whether women's experience of paid work is empowering or simply exploitative. The Bangladesh survey was designed to explore these hypotheses with a view to clarifying a) whether it was primarily the kind of work (pay, location, hours, independence of activity) which might differentiate women's experiences of paid work or whether it was the possibility for new relationships and networks that made the main difference. If the former, we would expect home based work for little pay, carried out on an irregular basis to offer least possibility of empowerment. If the latter, we would expect that it would be women's membership in different kinds of groups and associations, which might encompass home-based microfinance activities, to make the significant difference. …

  • Archive Resource

    Paid Work, Women's Empowerment and Inclusive Growth: Transforming the Structures of Constraint

    Drawing on household survey data collected in Egypt, Ghana and Bangladesh as part of the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Partners’ Consortium, this report provides insights into the ‘resource’ pathways that enhance women’s agency and thereby contribute to the inclusiveness of the economic growth process. Moreover, it looks at the the extent to which the structure of economic opportunities, generated by a country’s growth strategies, translated into positive impacts on women’s lives in these three country contexts.  …

  • Archive Resource

    The Under Reporting Of Women’s Economic Activity In Bangladesh: An Examination Of Official Statistics. BDI 1

    In Bangladesh women are engaged in a variety of economic activities ranging from homestead based expenditure saving activities to outside paid work. However, women's work always remains under reported, especially women’s non‐market homestead based economic activities. Under reporting is particularly critical in the case of official statistics. The types of work women are involved in are often overlooked by women themselves. …

  • Research Project

    Mapping Women's Empowerment: Experiences from Bangladesh India and Pakistan

    The collection of essays in the book aims to capture the variety of policies, discourses, debates and interventions that have influenced the lives of women in South Asia and to identify those that have led to greater empowerment of women. …

  • Research Project

    Women Health Workers in Bangladesh

    This research considered whether and how the work done by Women Health Workers leads to changes at the individual, family and societal levels. Researchers explored how Women Health Workers are introducing new role models for women, challenging purdah, encouraging mobility, and creating pathways of empowerment. The study compared public (government) women health workers with non-government women health workers. …

  • Research Project

    Working Women Creating Particular Pathways of Change in Bangladesh

    This research project explored how paid work can change women’s lives in terms of dealing with the public sphere and institutions, accessing services, commodities, resources, information, reducing isolation, increasing negotiation/bargaining skills, ability to protect themselves, etc. The context under which work can be empowering and the kinds of work that change lives was compared through comparisons of similar research undertaken by the West Africa and Middle East Pathways regional hubs in Ghana and Egypt. …

  • News Item

    Community Health Workers as Change Makers

    ‘Women community health workers were pioneers in bringing rural women to outside formal paid work and breaking conservative norms and female seclusion’, said Simeen Mahmud, lead researcher, at a research findings seminar held for this quantitative study in Dhaka in May 2010. …