Displaying items 61 - 75 of 277 in total
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    Interviews With Pathways South Asia Team On Their Research And Ideas About Empowerment

    Members of the Pathways South Asia Team talk about what empowerment means to them and describe their Pathways research projects in more detail in relation to this. …

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    Introduction

    The South Asia Hub of the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment research consortium held an inception workshop based on scoping papers on the themes of ‘voice’, ‘work’, and ‘body’. The purpose of the research is to seek to identify discourses and interventions that have led to the greater empowerment of women, based on these three themes. The papers in this book are culled from that inception workshop and give an idea of the mosaic that forms the lives of women in the heartland of South Asia. Three main arenas of activism and interventions emerge from the papers. …

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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: Negotiating Empowerment

    This introductory article draws out some of the dimensions and dilemmas around women's empowerment that are highlighted in the articles in this IDS Bulletin: the choices, the negotiations, the narratives and above all, the context of women's lived experience. In doing so, we show that empowerment is a complex process that requires more than the quick and easy solutions often offered by development agencies. Much of the significant change happening in women's lives takes place outside of the range of these conventional interventions. In conclusion, we suggest that for development agencies to really support women's empowerment requires greater engagement with changing structures rather than accommodating women within the inequitable existing order, and a much deeper understanding of what makes change happen in their lives. …

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    Introduction: Quotas - Add Women And Stir?

    Quotas have become increasingly popular as a fast track option for securing enhanced political representation largely because of their proven impact on increasing the number of women in parliament. As more countries have adopted one form or another of the quota, it is now timely to reflect on what the implications have been for transforming gender relations and the nature of politics at large. This introduction examines from the country case studies presented in this IDS Bulletin, the insight offered into the dynamics of motorways and pathways of increasing women's decision-making power (with or without a quota) and the underlying assumptions about gender, power and politics as well as the policy issues for consideration. …

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    Introduction: Reclaiming Feminism, Gender And Neoliberalism

    Neoliberalism – that ‘grab-bag of ideas based on the fundamentalist notion that markets are self-correcting, allocate resources efficiently and serve the public interest well’, as Stiglitz (2008) puts it – has been a focal point for contestation in development. Feminists have highlighted its deleterious effects on women’s lives and on gender relations. They have drawn attention to the extent to which the institutions promoting neoliberal economic and social policies have undermined a more progressive agenda, as they have come to appropriate words such as ‘empowerment’ and ‘agency’ and eviscerate them of any association with a project of progressive social change. This collection of articles brings together reflections from a diversity of locations on prospects for reclaiming these ideas and using them to reframe and revitalise feminist concepts like ‘agency’ and ‘empowerment’, we argue, we need to return to and reaffirm their ‘liberating’ dimensions, reaffirming their association with forms of collective action that involve resisting and transgressing repressive social norms. …

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    Introduction: Sexuality Matters, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    This IDS Bulletin addresses a theme that mainstream development has persistently neglected: sexuality. Why is sexuality a development concern? Because sexuality matters to people, and is an important part of most people’s lives. Because development policies and practices are already having a significant – and often negative – impact on sexuality, and because sexuality and the societal norms that seek to contain and control it have, in turn, a significant impact on poverty and well-being. Development needs to move beyond the current limited and negative approaches, to embrace the significance of sexuality for development in more affirmative ways. …

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    Introduction: Voicing Demands: Feminist Activism in Transitional Contexts

    This introductory chapter provides a brief discussion on conceptual debates on voice and the assumptions that the authors interrogate using empirical evidence. The broader contexts within which feminist activism and voice are organised are discussed. It focuses on the various influences on feminist activism: NGOisation/ professionalisation ; increase in transnational networks and links; rise of conservative forces; creation of participatory/democratic spaces; increase in donor’s epistemic power to shape feminist agenda; and how these have influenced feminist voice in the selected countries. …

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    Introduction: Women, Sexuality And The Political Power of Pleasure

    This introduction introduces the debates on sexuality in the global north, and focuses on the debates around sexuality and pleasure occurring in the south that are starting to break the silence on the positive and empowering dimensions of women’s sexuality. Although there is much debate on the theoretical aspects of women’s sexuality, there is little debate on the policy implications of these debates, or documentation of practical initiatives on empowerment through positive approaches to sexuality. The authors note that, in discussions of sexuality, there is no focus on enjoyment, only on the dangerous aspects of sexuality. Development discourse associates sex with hazard and harm, and ndoes not talk about what might be positive, pleasurable or empowering about sexuality. …

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    Islam In Urban Bangladesh: Between Negotiation And Appropriation

    In the past two decades, women en route to places of work and education have become a very visible part of the urban landscape. In the past five to seven years, women’s active engagement with religion via taleem groups has also left its mark on the public space through, among other things, the proliferation of the hijab - the covering of the head. In light of the new spaces that have opened up for women, this paper, presented to 'Pathways: What are we Learning?', Analysis Conference, Cairo, 20-24 January 2009 explores what it means for these women - the factory worker, the student and the taleem participant to be Muslim. It investigates what it means for these women to have faith, and how they negotiate the performance of rituals. …

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    Islam in Urban Bangladesh: Changing Worldviews and Reconfigured Sexuality

    Samia Huq discusses the reconfiguration of sexuality at the heart of changing worldviews in urban Bangladesh. Until recently, the modernity of the state had been predicated on the notion of a ‘modern woman’, which Islamists have sought to unravel. …

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    Just Between Us: Identity And Representation Among Muslim Women, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 12.2

    Postcolonial feminist representations of Muslim women as subjects and agents have successfully cleared a space for unsettling oppressive colonial representations of Muslim women as unchanging victims of patriarchal religion and Muslim men. This space has also brought into view new problems and issues that divide Muslim women into feminist and fundamentalists, secular and religious, diasporic and native. This paper focuses on one of the most contentious issues of Muslim women's representation: secular feminists' attempts to represent women in Islamic religious movements. In this process I examine some of the normative and ethical dimensions of feminist research as they emerged in my research with women in the Jamaat‐e‐Islami, a movement for religious reform and renewal in Pakistan. …

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    Kormokhetre Nari: Akangkha o Shimaboddhota

    This report in Bangla focuses on the project which involved two components - a survey and qualitative interviews. A survey of 5,200 women, aged 15 and above, of different socio-economic backgrounds in Bangladesh was done to compare the impact of various kinds of work on women's lives. …

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    Lady Health Workers

    This case study describes Pathways South Asia's (led by Ayesha Khan) qualitative research into Lady Health Workers' experiences in Pakistan. The study provides key findings and action points as well as narrating the story of one lady health worker and the confidence her work has brought to her. …

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    Lady Healthworkers And Social Change In Pakistan, Economic and Political Weekly, XLVI.30

    Pakistan's Lady Health Workers' programme has trained over 1,000,000 women to provide community health services in rural areas. Not only has the programme revitalised the primary health care system, it has also helped overcome the gendered division of public and private space that is a major obstacle to women's access to basic services, including education, and employment opportunities. However, there are a number of shortcomings that need government intervention to ensure that it fulfils its aims. …