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Paid work, women's empowerment and gender justice: critical pathways of social change

Kabeer, Naila ORCID: 0000-0001-7769-9540 (2008) Paid work, women's empowerment and gender justice: critical pathways of social change. Pathways of Empowerment working papers (3). Institute of Development Studies (Brighton, England), Brighton.

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This paper explores the contradictions and contestations that characterise debates about the relationship between paid work and women’s empowerment. It suggests that this absence of consensus appears to reflect differences of context. It reflects other factors as well. It reflects changes in the social meaning of work over time. It reflects differences in the way that empowerment is conceptualised: the emphasis given to the personal and the political, to individual and collective action, and to agency versus structure in processes of change. Finally, contestations reflect the nature of the work in question, since varying terms and conditions of work hold out varying potentials for transformative change in women’s lives. Evidence suggests that shifts in the balance of power within individual women’s lives do not necessarily translate into shifts in underlying structures of constraint. The paper suggests that it is the capacity of women to organise around their needs, interests and rights that is most likely to result in public recognition of their rights as workers, as women and as citizens.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 The Author
Divisions: Gender Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2013 10:48
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 11:47

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