'In a neoliberal development paradigm obsessed with silver bullets for complex social challenges, this book is a transformative text that reveals the multifaceted, unpredictable and even contradictory results of empowerment processes. Its rich array of insights and lessons - most powerfully articulated in the voices of women engaged in the struggle - has immense value for researchers, activists, policy makers, and the aid and philanthropic community. I consider this a vitally important text for all those who believe there can be no development or social justice without gender justice.'
Srilatha Batliwala, Scholar Associate, AWID (Association for Women's Rights in Development)
'This book, with rich empirically grounded chapters from around the world, is a truly feminist multidisciplinary collection that brings the discourse on women's empowerment to a new level.'
Radhika Balakrishnan, Executive Director of the Center for Women's Global Leadership, and Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at Rutgers University
'A helpful book at the right time. After decades of trying to get women's rights to the top of policy-making agendas, it is refreshing to read sound analysis about the pitfalls, 'rallying points' and 'hidden pathways' that feminist activists, organizations and movements are today facing.'
Nicky McIntyre, Executive Director of Mama Cash
'Based on context specific, wide ranging and incisive analysis, this innovative and insightful book ... raises hard and serious questions that help us lay to rest conventional assumptions and easy generalizations related to women's empowerment. It provides a stimulating and solid contribution to on-going debates on social change.' --Zenbework Tadesse, women's rights activist and member of the Board of DAWN
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 effecting women's autonomy. Feminisms, Empowerment and Development explores what women are doing to change their own personal circumstances whilst providing an in-depth analysis of collective action and institutionalized mechanisms aimed at changing structural relations. Drawing on unique, original research and approaching empowerment as a complex process of negotiation, rather than a linear sequence of inputs and outcomes, this crucial collection highlights the difficulty of creating common agendas for the advancement of women's power and rights, and argues for a more nuanced, context-based approach to development theory and practice. An indispensible text for anyone interested in gender and development, this book shows that policies and approaches to development that view women as instrumental to other objectives will never promote women's empowerment as they fail to address the structures by which gender inequality is perpetuated over time.