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Empowerment, Participation and Influence in Practice – A Minor Field Study of the Empowerment Process from the Perspective of Rural Indian Women

Hansson, Viktoria LU (2011) SOPA63 20111
School of Social Work
Abstract
Author: Viktoria Hansson Title: Empowerment, Participation and Influence in Practice: a Minor Field Study of the Empowerment Process from the Perspective of Women Supervisors: Jan Magnusson (Sweden) and Dr. K. Hemalatha (India)

This bachelor essay is a result of a minor field study for two months the spring 2011. The aim with my study was to explore a deeper understanding of empowerment as a tool in solving the Indian rural woman’s problem. To what extent is empowerment a symbolic, top-down action and to what extent does it, in practice, empower the women participating in the projects? The purpose of this study was to highlight how the experience had been from the women’s point-of-view. Empowerment seems widely regarded as the ideal... (More)
Author: Viktoria Hansson Title: Empowerment, Participation and Influence in Practice: a Minor Field Study of the Empowerment Process from the Perspective of Women Supervisors: Jan Magnusson (Sweden) and Dr. K. Hemalatha (India)

This bachelor essay is a result of a minor field study for two months the spring 2011. The aim with my study was to explore a deeper understanding of empowerment as a tool in solving the Indian rural woman’s problem. To what extent is empowerment a symbolic, top-down action and to what extent does it, in practice, empower the women participating in the projects? The purpose of this study was to highlight how the experience had been from the women’s point-of-view. Empowerment seems widely regarded as the ideal solution for development projects in India, but still there is a lot of criticism, as to what empowerment really is and if it actually works, in practice, for the target group. My research questions were:

- How do the women describe their participation and influence in a decision-making body in relation to the non-governmental organization (NGO)?
- How do the women experience and describe the meaning of their own empowerment process?
- Has empowerment had any impact on women in everyday life after the withdraw phase of the project?

The methods I used were observations in two different self-help groups and qualitative interviews with five women. I aimed to reach a deep understanding of the women’s point-of- view. In the introduction section I connected postcolonial feminism and intersectionality to show the structural influence of Indian rural women. The theory I used in relation to my results and analysis was the empowerment project, which the NGO used in their projects, from the perspective of Malin Arvidson’s (2003) dissertation. Arvidson (2003) argues that the empowerment tool is a symbolic, top-down tool, which does certainly not help the target group in the long-term.

The results were overall decent and the women thought they had been able to participate and influence the development- and community work. Their relations with their families and the community people were improved and they enjoy their lives much more now. They have a higher self-confidence and courage to fight for their rights. They also believe that they have established a good unit among the women in the community. Overall the women think that they have developed a lot in their mind but also in society (social, political, psychological), but still they cannot imagine their own NGO as disconnected to the NGO that started the community work. In this aspect I could easily connect my theory to the result. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Hansson, Viktoria LU
supervisor
organization
course
SOPA63 20111
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
influence, participation, Key Words: empowerment, postcolonial feminism, intersectionality, women in India.
language
English
id
2150000
date added to LUP
2011-09-05 09:51:05
date last changed
2011-09-05 09:51:05
@misc{2150000,
  abstract     = {Author: Viktoria Hansson Title: Empowerment, Participation and Influence in Practice: a Minor Field Study of the Empowerment Process from the Perspective of Women Supervisors: Jan Magnusson (Sweden) and Dr. K. Hemalatha (India)

This bachelor essay is a result of a minor field study for two months the spring 2011. The aim with my study was to explore a deeper understanding of empowerment as a tool in solving the Indian rural woman’s problem. To what extent is empowerment a symbolic, top-down action and to what extent does it, in practice, empower the women participating in the projects? The purpose of this study was to highlight how the experience had been from the women’s point-of-view. Empowerment seems widely regarded as the ideal solution for development projects in India, but still there is a lot of criticism, as to what empowerment really is and if it actually works, in practice, for the target group. My research questions were:

- How do the women describe their participation and influence in a decision-making body in relation to the non-governmental organization (NGO)?
- How do the women experience and describe the meaning of their own empowerment process?
- Has empowerment had any impact on women in everyday life after the withdraw phase of the project?

The methods I used were observations in two different self-help groups and qualitative interviews with five women. I aimed to reach a deep understanding of the women’s point-of- view. In the introduction section I connected postcolonial feminism and intersectionality to show the structural influence of Indian rural women. The theory I used in relation to my results and analysis was the empowerment project, which the NGO used in their projects, from the perspective of Malin Arvidson’s (2003) dissertation. Arvidson (2003) argues that the empowerment tool is a symbolic, top-down tool, which does certainly not help the target group in the long-term.

The results were overall decent and the women thought they had been able to participate and influence the development- and community work. Their relations with their families and the community people were improved and they enjoy their lives much more now. They have a higher self-confidence and courage to fight for their rights. They also believe that they have established a good unit among the women in the community. Overall the women think that they have developed a lot in their mind but also in society (social, political, psychological), but still they cannot imagine their own NGO as disconnected to the NGO that started the community work. In this aspect I could easily connect my theory to the result.},
  author       = {Hansson, Viktoria},
  keyword      = {influence,participation,Key Words: empowerment,postcolonial feminism,intersectionality,women in India.},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Empowerment, Participation and Influence in Practice – A Minor Field Study of the Empowerment Process from the Perspective of Rural Indian Women},
  year         = {2011},
}