Women Empowerment: An Epistemic Quest
AbstractThe concept of women empowerment was the outcome of several important critiques and debates generated by the women’s movement throughout the world, and particularly in the developing countries. In essence, the 1980s saw the rise of stringent feminist critiques of development strategies and grassroots interventions: mainly for these strategies having generally failed to make any significant dent in the status of women. The failure was ascribed to the adaptation and the application of such approaches as welfare, anti¬poverty, and to some extent the efficiency approach. Presently, the users of the term ‘empowerment’ tend to assume an understanding of the meaning within some particular context. Often no clear explanation of empowerment is given. We believe that some of the confusion arises because the root concept – power –itself is disputed, and so is understood and experienced in different ways by different people. In fact, the underlying assumption of many interest groups or institutions (such as the World Bank and the UN) unfortunately is that economic empowerment automatically converts to women’s empowerment. As the following epistemic quest of empowerment unfolds in six sections, the major issue reflected upon is the concept of empowerment in its importance to women’s development. We begin in the next section by exploring the definitions of empowerment and then dissects the concept of power in section 3: the concept is discussed in the subsequent sections from different perspectives of power, feminism and personal autonomy and agency in the family framework. We consider three approaches here: theory of human needs, self-determination theory and capability approach. The last section concludes the paper.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 43859.
Date of creation: 11 Sep 2012
Date of revision:
Women empowerment; power; autonomy; agency; capability;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
- B54 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Feminist Economics
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-01-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-HME-2013-01-26 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-HPE-2013-01-26 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Bruno S. Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, .
"Introducing Procedural Utility: Not only What, but also How Matters,"
IEW - Working Papers
129, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
- Bruno Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2004. "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not Only What, but Also How Matters," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(3), pages 377-, September.
- Bruno S. Frey & Matthias Benz & Alois Stutzer, 2003. "Introducing Procedural Utility: Not only What, but also How Matters," CREMA Working Paper Series 2003-02, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
- Ed Diener & Ed Sandvik & Larry Seidlitz & Marissa Diener, 1993. "The relationship between income and subjective well-being: Relative or absolute?," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 195-223, March.
- Luttmer, Erzo F. P., 2004.
"Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being,"
Working Paper Series
rwp04-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
- Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2005. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 963-1002, August.
- Erzo F.P. Luttmer, 2004. "Neighbors as Negatives: Relative Earnings and Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 10667, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
- Ulrich Schimmack & Jürgen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2008. "The Influence of Environment and Personality on the Affective and Cognitive Component of Subjective Well-being," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 89(1), pages 41-60, October.
- repec:pri:cheawb:deaton_income_health_and_wellbeing_around_the_world_evidence_%20from_gallup_world_poll_jep_spring2008 is not listed on IDEAS
- Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada, 2005. "Income and well-being: an empirical analysis of the comparison income effect," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 997-1019, June.
- Richard Layard, 2006. "Happiness and Public Policy: a Challenge to the Profession," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C24-C33, 03.
- Layard, Richard, 1980. "Human Satisfactions and Public Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(363), pages 737-50, December.
- Angus Deaton, 2008.
"Income, Health, and Well-Being around the World: Evidence from the Gallup World Poll,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 53-72, Spring.
- Richard Layard, 2006. "Happiness and public policy: a challenge to the profession," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 47483, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- repec:reg:wpaper:320 is not listed on IDEAS
- Daniel Kahneman & Alan B. Krueger, 2006. "Developments in the Measurement of Subjective Well-Being," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 3-24, Winter.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.