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Three faces of agency in feminist economics: capabilities, empowerment and citizenship

Kabeer, Naila ORCID: 0000-0001-7769-9540 (2021) Three faces of agency in feminist economics: capabilities, empowerment and citizenship. In: Berik, Günseli and Kongar, Ebru, (eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Feminist Economics. Routledge International Handbooks. Routledge, New York, NY, 99 - 107. ISBN 9780367074142

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Identification Number: 10.4324/9780429020612-12


This chapter reviews three interrelated ways in which agency has been conceptualized in feminist economics. First, it draws on the concept of capabilities and considers its contribution to the analysis of livelihoods. Second, the chapter draws on conceptualizations of empowerment which link capabilities directly to questions of power. Finally, it turns to ideas about citizenship to consider agency as collective action and how it might be mobilized to promote women's rights and gender justice. Patriarchal constraints have made the possibility of collective action to challenge economic injustice more challenging for women relative to men. Furthermore, the nature of this challenge varies between different groups of women, depending on where they are positioned in the economy and the possibilities for collective action associated with their position. In some circumstances, progress on basic capabilities may enhance individual empowerment; in other circumstances, the willingness to take collective action might lead to improvements in basic capabilities.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2020 07:54
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:37

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