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Women's empowerment as a development goal: taking a feminist standpoint

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>11/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of International Development
Issue number8
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)1115-1125
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date18/10/14
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Abstract: In this paper, through a case study of a large international non-governmental organisation, I identify a number of contradictions and tensions that arise when development agencies attempt to foster ‘women’s empowerment’. Despite their presentation as apolitical, agencies are inescapably
involved in relations of power, and their lack of attention to this is not accidental. In such cases, ‘empowerment’ risks becoming a signifier of righteousness—part of the process of mystification of dominant group interests. The paper discusses how developing a feminist standpoint could help
avoid such mystification. However, such a process is one which cannot be prescribed but must be freely chosen.