Empowerment

From: http://www.gamechangenetwork.info/GAMEchangeVision/WomensEmpowerment.html

Some definitions

‘The process through which those who are currently disadvantaged achieve equal rights, resources and power’

“Empowerment is like obscenity; you have trouble defining it but you know it when you see it” (Rappaport 1986)

“I like the term empowerment because no one has defined it clearly as yet; so it gives as a breathing space to work it out in action terms before we have to pin ourselves down to what it means. I will continue using it until I am sure it does not describe what we’re doing.” (NGO worker quoted in Batliwala 1993)

KEY PRINCIPLES

Empowerment:

•  is concerned with increasing realisable and informed choices within a framework ofhuman rights and equality

•  inevitably involves challenging existing inequalities in power and resources

•  involves a combination of individual initiative and collective action

•  is a complex process which consists of interlinked and mutually reinforcingdimensions (economic, cultural, legal, political, psychological) and levels (e.g. individual, family, community, macro-level)

•  requires not only ‘self-help’ by those who are currently disadvantaged butchanges in those who are currently advantaged and addressing macro-level inequalities

Elements of a framework:

  • process of transformation in power relations
  • dimensions of inequalities where change is needed eg economic, social,political, legal
  • levels at which change is needed eg individual, household, communities, markets, national, international.