Displaying items 16 - 30 of 135 in total
  • Archive Resource

    Discourses On Women's Empowerment In Ghana

    Successive post-independence governments have embraced women’s empowerment in one form or another, either because of their own ideological positioning, or because of demands by their ‘donor friends/partners’ and/or organized domestic groups and NGOs. What has emerged is a varied landscape on women’s rights and empowerment work comprising the state bureaucracy, multilateral and bilateral agencies, NGOs, and women’s rights organisations, with their accompanying discourses. In the Ghanaian context, Nana Akua Anyidoho and Takyiwaa Manuh look at what the discourses of empowerment highlight, ignore or occlude, the convergences and divergences among them, and how they speak to or accord with the lived realities of the majority of Ghanaian women. Given that the policy landscape in Ghana is highly influenced by donors, they ask which discourses dominate, and how are they used for improving women’s lives in ways that are meaningful to them. …

  • 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

    Economics, Assets And Empowerment

    Grown discusses her work on the Gender Analysis Programme on Economics at American University and its connection between teaching and research. She elaborates on her project with colleagues to conduct a household survey to gather sex- disaggregated information on physical and financial asset ownership and control, and to develop for designers and implementers of household surveys a parsimonious set of questions that can be added to every single household survey. The survey will show that this information can be collected at low cost and that it is important for public policy. She hopes that the survey will show that women own more assets than is commonly perceived to be the case, although ownership on its own is not enough for true empowerment. …

  • Archive Resource

    Egyptian Family Courts: A Pathway To Women's Empowerment? Hawwa 7

    A significant new law was passed by Egyptian legislators in 2004 introducing family courts to arbitrate family conflict in an effort to promote non-adversarial legal mechanisms. The aim of this paper is to examine how this new legal system is working for female plaintiffs. Through an analysis of court practices in a number of divorce and maintenance cases, this essay will make two central arguments: First, I will argue that the benefits family courts are currently providing to female plaintiffs are limited due to a number of gaps and shortcomings in the legislation, mechanisms of implementation, resources, and the capacity and the training of court personnel. In addition, the legal process in the new courts as well as the substantive family laws that are being implemented continue to reflect gender inequality and biases against women. …

  • Archive Resource

    Egyptian Personal Status Law Case Study

    In 2000 a new divorce law, called khul, was passed in Egypt. Khul gave Egyptian women the right to unilaterally petition for an end to their marriages. The court automatically grants them divorce, but as long as they relinquish any post divorce financial rights from their spouses. This case study – which shares Marwa’s story – of the reforms in Egyptian personal status laws, shares the findings of Pathways’ research, that while khul has provided a real and beneficial legal option to Egyptian women, gender justice has not yet been served in the unfolding story of Egyptian family law reform, and presents action points based on the research. …

  • Archive Resource

    Egypt's Family Courts: Route To Empowerment?, Open Democracy

    The Egyptian family law system regulates matters such as family property, marriage and divorce, alimony, child custody, and paternity disputes. Until the introduction of a new legal framework which came into effect in 2000 and 2004 women attending the country’s law courts were offered no guarantee of their civil rights or human dignity. This new legislation was a real advance, but as with any attempt to bring about social change through legal reforms the new system has had complex and multidimensional effects. In this light, Mulki Al-Sharmani examines here one aspect of the reform package - mediation-based family courts - in order to assess how far Egypt’s women have travelled in achieving “empowerment through law”. …

  • Archive Resource

    Emancipation And Its Failures

    In this reflection on ‘empowerment’, Taylor looks at how development proponents have instrumentalised women’s role in development and poverty reduction, arguing that development should be about access to rights and freedoms. She points out that empowerment as a concept needs to be rethought – that real change needs to start with a democracy and human rights culture, a foundation of equal access to all the amenities of public life. Women’s visibility in work and politics is good, but is not the structural change that is needed because it doesn’t address power. She looks at human development as a valuable approach for women’s empowerment, and argues that the realization of women’s human rights into reality is necessary for empowerment. …

  • Archive Resource

    Empowerment Beyond Resistance: Cultural Ways of Negotiating Power Relations

    This paper explores Muslim women's experiences of empowerment in northern Pakistan by drawing upon the life history of a woman informant named Dana. It also outlines some of the methodological concerns related with researching empowerment in a situation where the researchers and the researched share common context. The paper re-conceptualises the utility of empowerment by unveiling it as an intricate process, which involves the negotiation of roles, responsibilities and values by individuals. The findings evidence that empowerment is not always exhibiting absolute power over others or open defiance against standard norms; neither is it resistance against coercion at all times. …

  • Archive Resource

    Empowerment, Women's Bodies And Freedom: In Conversation With Khawar Mumtaz And Jacqueline Pitanguy

    Wendy Harcourt, editor of Development, talks with Khawar Mumtaz and Jacqueline Pitanguy about how they understand empowerment in relation to their national and international work for women’s human rights. …

  • Archive Resource

    Eroticism, Sensuality And 'Women's Secrets' Among The Baganda, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    Talk of ‘ensonga za Ssenga’ (Ssenga matters) among the Baganda of Uganda signifies an institution that has endured through centuries as a tradition of sexual initiation. At the helm is the paternal aunt (or surrogate versions thereof) whose role is to tutor young women in a range of sexual matters, including pre-menarche practices, pre-marriage preparation, erotics and reproduction. In contemporary Uganda, commercial Ssenga services abound, with Ssenga columns and call-in radio programmes and Ssenga booklets on sale in Kampala’s streets. The institution is being transformed by “modernization” and urbanization, re-drawing the boundaries of Ssenga to suit the times. …

  • Archive Resource

    Exploring Linkages Between Sexuality And Rights To Tackle Poverty, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    Sexuality and sexual rights have generally been treated as secondary to the ‘really important matters’. This article explores the linkages between sexual rights and other rights which are considered to be priorities in development, such as health, education and labour rights. This article does not argue that sexual rights are of equal importance to these other rights. Instead, it asserts that sexual rights are all these rights, in that sexuality and social norms surrounding it have huge impacts on health, education and work. …

  • Archive Resource

    Family Courts In Egypt

    In the last decade a series of reforms have been introduced in Egyptian family laws. On January 26, 2000 the Egyptian Parliament passed procedural Law No. 1 of 2000. The goal of this law was to address the problems of backlog of cases and inefficient legal procedures, challenges which were mostly confronted by women since they tended to be the majority of claimants in family law cases. …

  • Archive Resource

    Family Law Reforms and Women's Empowerment: Family Courts in Egypt

    In the last decade, there have been several significant family law reforms in Egypt that have impacted the struggle to enhance the legal rights of women in the domain of marriage and family. How have these reforms been brought about? Who were the actors involved in the process? Who are the various interlocutors in the public debate about these reforms? What does this debate tell us about their views and agendas in regard to women’s rights and position in the society? This paper will answer these questions with the aim of providing the context for a study on family courts in Egypt. The purpose of this study is to examine how these reforms are being implemented, to identify the diversions and subversions in the process, and to determine whether these reforms are strengthening the legal rights of women in family disputes. The first section of the paper outlines how Shari'a model of marriage is framed in family law, and the significance of the varied ways in which this religious legal model has been interpreted and implemented. …

  • Archive Resource

    Feminisms, Empowerment and Development

    The economic and political empowerment of women continues to be a central focus for development agencies worldwide; access to medical care, education and employment, as well as women's reproductive rights, remain key factors affecting women's autonomy. …

  • Archive Resource

    Feminists Might Learn A Trick Or Two From Sex Workers, Contestations 5

    Meena Seshu as guest editor of this issue of Contestations suggests that by viewing 'sex work' through the framework of patriarchy and the objectification of women's bodies, feminists foreclose any discussion over whether women can actively choose sex work as a livelihood option. It is this narrow approach linking sex work with violence against women, she argues, that leads many feminists to the assumption that all sex workers are victims who need 'rescuing', which is not always the case. Seshu contends that a far better lens is the rights-based approach which recognises sex workers' rights as human beings and allows them to break out of the victim mode. …