A collection of articles reflecting on Pathways' experience of conducting specific research on women's empowerment in Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, Brazil, and Palestine has been published in the Women's Studies International Forum.
Pathways researchers used a diversity of methods and methodological approaches to conduct their work, including: comparative sectoral studies, in-depth ethnographic case studies, large scale surveys, participatory workshops, life history narratives, and digital photography.
This volume emerged out of a desire to reflect from experience on how feminist activists and scholars based in the global South researching women's empowerment are engaging with: a) the politics of choosing a methodology to research empowerment; b) practical difficulties in employing feminist methodology in the field and the tensions between academic and activist analysis in this regard; c) the ethical dilemmas that arise from how power operates across multiple divides (including class, caste, race, gender, ethnicity, and location) in the research process; d) the need for methodological innovation; and e) the difficulties in capturing the nature of transformation that takes place in conducting research on empowerment.
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. …