*Women’s empowerment*

Feminist economics

Esther Duflo on women’s empowerment and economic development: a must-read for feminist economists?

    Esther Duflo is a “risen star” in the field of behavioral economics and specializes in the use of quantitative experimental methods to study human behavior. While many of her papers touch on gender-related issues, a recent paper (Journal of Economic Literature 2012) addresses a question of central concern to feminists: what is the [...]


‘Reconsidering voice: agency, gender and the role of law in development ‘ Yale Law School

    Panel discussion with Naila Kabeer, Marty Chen and Munir Ahmed at Yale Law School:  “Reconsidering Voice: Agency, Gender, and the Role of Law in Development,”October 22, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  https://new.livestream.com/yalelaw/ReconsideringVoice


Paid work, women’s empowerment and inclusive growth: transforming the structures of constraint

          A recent review of econometric studies into the relationships between gender equality and economic growth distinguished between those that explored the impact of gender equality on economic growth and those that explored the impact of economic growth on gender equality. It concluded that there was persuasive evidence to suggest that [...]


The power of association: reflecting on women’s collective action as a force for social change (2012)

    Thinkpiece #2. This thinkpiece considers the power of association and collective action to transform the lives and livelihoods of marginalised groups, particularly poor women in poor countries, and explores examples of grassroots action.   http://ukfeminista.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Naila-Kabeer_The-power-of-association.pdf

Ethics and social welfare

Empowerment, citizenship and gender justice: a contribution to locally grounded theories of change in women’s lives (article 2012)

  Abstract Struggles for gender justice by women’s movements have sought to give legal recognition to gender equality at both national and international levels. However, such society-wide goals may have little resonance in the lives of individual men and women in contexts where a culture of individual rights is weak or missing and the stress is [...]

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Afghan values or women’s rights? Gendered narratives of continuity and change in urban Afghanistan IDS Working Paper No. 387

There is considerable debate about the extent to which gender equality and womens’ rights are universal values. This debate has been particularly heated in Afghanistan where the violation of women’s rights by the Taliban regime was one justification used by the US and its allies for their invasion of the country. There is, however, very [...]

Contextualising pathways

Contexualizing economic pathways to women’s empowerment: findings from a multi-country study

Pathways Policy Paper October 2011                   A number of key findings emerged from our research. While our surveys confirmed the      overall importance of women’s access to paid work for improvements in different aspects of their lives in the very differing contexts under study, they also stressed the [...]

Negotiating empowerment

The power of relationships: love and solidarity in a landless women’s organisation in rural Bangladesh

This article examines the significance of social relationships in women’s lives and their relevance to processes of women’s empowerment. In Bangladesh, traditional structures limit women’s social interaction to their immediate family and maintain male responsibility over them. However, here we look at the example of Saptagram – a social mobilisation organisation particularly focused against gender [...]

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Can paid work provide a pathway to women’s empowerment: findings from a survey in Bangladesh (IDS Pathways Working Paper No. 2011/No. 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 [...]

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‘Between affiliation and autonomy. Navigating pathways of women’s empowerment and gender justice in Bangladesh’ Development and Change Vol. 42 (2): 499-528

Inasmuch as women’s subordinate status is a product of the patriarchal structures of constraint that prevail in specific contexts, pathways of women’s empowerment are likely to be “path dependent.” They will be shaped by women’s struggles to act on the constraints that prevail in their societies, as much by what they seek to defend as [...]

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‘Women’s empowerment, development interventions and the management of information flows’ IDS Bulletin Vol. 41 (6): 105-113

This article takes gender inequalities in the distribution of power as its point of departure. Given the widespread evidence of the extent to which women, particularly poor women, have been marginalised in processes by which development policies are designed and implemented, it suggests that explicit attention needs to be given to strengthening women’s capacity for [...]

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‘Paid work, women’s empowerment and gender justice: critical pathways of social change’ RPC Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Working paper No. 3. IDS, Sussex

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 [...]

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‘Family bargaining’ in International Encyclopaedia of the Social and Behavioural Sciences’ (co-edited by Neil Smelser and Paul Bates) Elsevier Press

This article reviews different social science approaches to the analysis of bargaining in the specific context of family-based households. Economic approaches have tended to focus on ‘the household’ and to treat its members as a set of individuals, differentiated by their economic characteristics and genetic endowments. While economic models of bargaining have yielded a number [...]

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‘Reflections on the measurement of women’s empowerment’ in Discussing women’s empowerment: theory and practice SIDA Studies No. 3 SIDA, Stockholm

Series of papers on women’s empowerment that have both policy and methodological implications, presented at a SIDA workshop on ‘Power, Resources and Culture in a Gender Perspective: Towards a Dialogue Between Gender Research and Development Practice’. The study includes: a discussion of experiences in trying to implement gender policies in development and research cooperation a conceptualisation [...]

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‘The conditions and consequences of choice: reflections on the measurement of women’s empowerment’ UNRISD Discussion Paper no. 107 UNRISD, Geneva

This paper is intended as a critical reflection on some recent attempts to construct indicators of women’s empowerment, focusing in particular on the meanings given to these measures and values embedded within them. It starts out by offering a three-dimensional conceptual framework for thinking about women’s empowerment: “resources” as part of the preconditions of empowerment; [...]

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‘Resources, agency , achievement: Reflections on the measurement of women’s empowerment’ Development and Change July, 1999. 2000.Reprinted in Razavi S. (ed). Gendered Poverty and Well-Being Oxford: Blackwell.

This paper begins from the understanding that women’s empowerment is about the process by which those who have been denied the ability to make strategic life choices acquire such an ability. A wide gap separates this processual understanding of empowerment from the more instrumentalist forms of advocacy which have required the measurement and quantification of [...]

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Organising landless women in Bangladesh: the case of Saptagram’, Community Development Journal, April

Organising Landless Women in … live in the rural areas and a substantial proportion of them belong to households that are either landless or do not … Increasing landlessness, falling real wages, falling per capita calorie intake and high infant mortality rates inevitably lead one to the … Read Now