This book is about taking an upside down approach to women’s political empowerment. Its starting point is that the academic and policy focus on getting the electoral system right in order to narrow the gender gap in representation needs to be complemented with a bottom up approach that examines women’s pathways of political engagement.
Conceptually, it assumes a broader understanding of what politics is, and examines the relationship between the formal and informal actors and relationships in enabling or constraining political leadership. It challenges the implicit measurement of political empowerment in terms of reaching political office and examines other milestones and key junctures as key for successful political leadership.
Methodologically, the approach’s starting point is women’s political trajectories which we believe are best examined through research methods that allow subjects to define their own concepts and narrate their experiences in their own terms.
This introduction is available on the Pathways of Women's Empowerment website by permission of Zed Books www.zedbooks.co.uk