One of the key findings from the Pathways of Women's Empowerment programme is that context matters and that empowerment is a process - not a destination or something that can be bestowed on others. It is a constant negotiation involving achievements and setbacks.
In this blog for the Guardian, Jenny Edwards talks about how Pathways has approached women's empowerment and how we need to learn from women's experiences to really promote change. The concern is that too narrow a focus on investing in girls to lift the world from poverty, risks creating a new set of unhelpful stereotypes - women as superheroes able to solve financial crisis with just one cow!
She draws on work included in the Feminisms, Empowerment and Development book from the Pathways/Zed Feminisms and Development Series.
What we cannot do is give a woman a cow and expect her to change the world
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. …