Displaying items 16 - 30 of 62 in total
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    Intergenerational Perspectives

    What has changed for Ghanaian women since Ghana gained independence in 1957? What has driven these changes, and how have they been experienced by women of different generations? And to what extent do Ghanaian women feel empowered by changing contexts of work, education, institutions and associational life? Pathways researchers in Ghana set about finding out from women in three regions of the country – Northern, Ashanti and Greater Accra – what constellation of factors enable a woman to empower herself. …

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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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    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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    Looking Back On Four Decades Of Organizing: The Experience Of SEWA

    India’s economic growth will accelerate more rapidly, democratically and effectively if India invests in people and their economic potential. Investing in people, especially women and their living and working environments, is imperative for nation-building. In this chapter, Bhatt looks at SEWA and its involvement in the process of organizing poor working women since 1972, its successes and its struggles. …

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    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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    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. …

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    Negotiating Patriarchies: Women Fisheries Workers Build SNEHA In Tamil Nadu

    Women play an important part in several fisheries–related activities in Asia but are less well represented in national or regional fishworker organisations than in community and local level organisations. Women’s participation has been seen to broaden the agenda of fishworker organisations by bringing in issues that concern the quality of life such as access to health, sanitation, education and in particular, bringing in a community perspective to the fisheries debate. The experiences of women’s participation in local and community based organisations; the constraints faced; the different perspective they bring in; and ways in which meaningful participation can be strengthened, are explored in this chapter through the experiences of SNEHA (Social Need Education and Human Awareness), an organization that works with women in marine fishing in Tamil Nadu in India. Christy, the founder of SNEHA, is a member of the fishing community. …

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    Organising In The Informal Economy Workshop

    This workshop held in Delhi from 19-21 October 2008 brought together academics, activists and practitioners to discuss the experience of organisations of women workers beyond the formal economy. The workshop aimed both to document experience and to tease out strategies that have ‘worked’ for particular gains in particular circumstances. Some of the questions addressed were: what makes it possible for marginalized women workers in the informal sector to take collective action around their needs and interests; what strategies, visions and discourses do they draw on? …

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    Organising Women Workers in the Informal Economy

    This article focuses on the challenges facing organisation among the hardest-to-reach working women in the informal economy. What gives some of them the impetus and courage to organise? What is distinctive about the strategies they draw on to transcend their structurally disadvantaged position within the economy? What barriers do they continue to face in their efforts to address the injustices of the economic system? Through analysing the organisational strategies used in different contexts and for different sets of workers, we can start to see a different battery of weapons among these working women, which serve them better and more transformatively than the weapons of the weak on which they previously relied: the weapons of the organised. This article discusses these issues specifically in relation to the experience of two organisations: MAP Foundation, Thailand, and KKPKP, Pune India. …

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    Organizing For Life And Livelihoods In The Mountains Of Uttarakhand: The Experience Of Uttarakhand Mahila Parishad

    This chapter shares insights from a place-based, women-centred programme of Uttarakhand Mahila Parishad (Uttarakhand Women’s Federation), a network of around 16,000 rural women in the hill villages of the state of Uttarakhand, in India. There are 465 whole village women’s groups (WVGs) spread over seven districts of the state, which constitute the federation. In particular, Pande highlights the point that the dynamics of local livelihoods is governed by a gender dynamic embedded in the community way of life. However, with increasing awareness about gender issues and with the improving reach of global market forces in villages, this dynamic of community life is changing. …

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    Organizing Women Workers In The Informal Economy: Beyond The Weapons Of The Weak

    Organizing Women Workers in the Informal Economy explores the emergence of an alternative repertoire among women working in the growing informal sectors of the global South: the weapons of organization and mobilisation. This crucial book offers vibrant accounts of how women working as farm workers, sex workers, domestic workers, waste pickers, fisheries workers and migrant factory workers have organized for collective action. What gives these precarious workers the impetus and courage to take up these steps? What resources do they draw on in order to transcend their structurally disadvantaged position within the economy? And what continues to hamper their efforts to gain social recognition for themselves as women, as workers and as citizens? …

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    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. …

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    Paid Work as Pathway of Empowerment: Pakistan's Lady Health Worker Programme

    This chapter explores the contributions that paid work can make to creating pathways of empowerment for women in Pakistan. It draws on the case of Pakistan’s government-run Lady Health Workers Programme (LHWP), which employs almost 100,000 women across Pakistan as community health workers who act as a vital link between communities and primary health care. …

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    Paid Work, Women's Empowerment And Gender Justice, Pathways Brief 3

    This paper is intended as a contribution to the agenda-setting activities of the Pathways of Women's Empowerment RPC. The paper is concerned with Pathways' theme of empowering work, more specifically with women’s access to paid work and the pathways through which such work might translate into empowerment. This focus on the transformative potential of paid work can be seen as one strand in a broader research agenda on the material dimensions of women's empowerment, an agenda which would also include women's property rights, access to credit, social transfers, skills training and other kinds of economic resources. However, different resources have their own forms of materiality in that the changes associated with them are likely to take concrete shape through somewhat different pathways in women's lives. …

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    Paid Work, Women's Empowerment And Gender Justice, Pathways Working Paper 3

    This paper explores the contradictions and contestations that characterize debates about the relationship between paid work and women’s empowerment. It suggests that this absence of consensus appears to reflect differences of context. It reflects other factors as well. It reflects changes in the social meaning of work over time. …