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  • 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. …

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    Researching Women's Empowerment: Reflections on Methodology by Southern Feminists

    The articles in this collection are based on papers presented by authors and the collective reflections of participants and external resource persons from a workshop on methods organised by Pathways in December 2012. These articles represent the experience of conducting specific research projects on women's empowerment in Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, Brazil, and Palestine. During the workshop, the participants collectively reflected on the practical experience of investigating empowerment in a particular country context and through this lens re-examined theorising on feminist methodology. They began with an appreciation of the contradictions and complexities underscored by earlier feminist analysis of women's empowerment and the use of feminist methodology to examine women's experience in the global South. …

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    The Empowerment Of Women: Rights And Entitlements In Arab Worlds, In Gender Rights And Development: A Global Sourcebook

    This chapter argues that the instrumentalist approach to women’s empowerment has created a broad near consensus around some rights, but has failed to engage with the political processes which determine how rights in general are defined and made operational in society. The timid approach to gender rights as an avenue to well-being has failed to question why these rights have been denied, and how this denial has been ideologically legitimized. Unitary and rigid interpretations of religion, culture, and tradition have been doled out as reasons why the structural meanings of empowerment are unsuited to and unpopular in Arab Muslim countries. The contest between the basic needs approach to empowerment and the more radical rights-based approach defines current approaches to gender and empowerment. …

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    Women's Empowerment: An Annotated Bibliography

    What is 'women's empowerment' and how can we measure it? How is the concept being used in policy and practice and what are the problems with existing approaches? This bibliography gathers together a range of resources which discuss women's empowerment from different perspectives in order to provide an accessible introduction to key concepts, approaches and debates. A summary is provided of each resource, along with a link to the full document where available. The bibliography is divided into four sections exploring definitions of 'women's empowerment'; current programmes to advance women's empowerment; approaches to measuring and evaluating women's empowerment; and critiques of existing theory and practice. …