Speaking Out - Women's Economic Empowerment in South Asia

Speaking Out - Women's Economic Empowerment in South Asia

Product ID: 7742

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Author: Martha Alter Chen
Marilyn Carr/Renana Jhabvala
Editor(s): Marilyn Carr / Martha Alter Chen / Renana Jhabvala
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 1999
Language: English
Pages: 238
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170366356


This book documents the experiences of seven NGOs in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka who have been successfully working with rural and urban poor women to evolve strategies for brining about women's empowerment.

Throughout South Asia, women have been organizing to gain access to credit, training, technologies and other inputs required for creating successful enterprises. In the process, they have increased not only their earning capacities but have overcome many barriers to women’s participation in economic development.

Going beyond the normal descriptive accounts, the case studies provide a wealth of new insights on how changes are occurring at the grassroots level. The contributors draw lessons from the these vivid first-hand experiences to show how women are gaining increased access to and control over economic resources and how this, in turn, has led to far-reaching socio-cultural and political changes at the level of the individual, family, community and the market place. They also show how women are building organizations which are becoming ever more autonomous and self-reliant.

Overall, this book provides ample evidence that women’s empowerment is actually taking place on a significant scale in South Asia and that this is having a noticeable impact on levels of poverty and well-being. It constitutes an invaluable resource for students of development and women’s studies and for development planners, grassroots workers and women’s organizations.





Marilyn Carr, Martha Chen, Renana Jhabvala

Women and Poverty in South Asia
Approaches to Women’s Empowerment
Experiences of NGOs and POs in Working with Women
The Purpose of the Research
The Research Project
Summary of the Case Studies


Village and Community Organizations
Women’s Banks


Marilyn Carr, Martha Chen, Renana Jhabvala

Sources of Disempowerment
Organizing Women for Economic Empowerment
Empowerment Strategies
The Economic Empowerment of Women
Increased Bargaining Power
Structural Change
Towards a Broader Perspective on Women’s Empowerment


About the Contributors

Glossary of non-English Terms

List of Acronyms

Annotated bibliography: Selected Studies on Women’s Empowerment

Sophia Lam