Rethinking Empowerment: Gender and Development in a Global/Local World

By Jane L. Parpart; Shirin M. Rai et al. | Go to book overview

communications sphere. The discussion in this chapter has illustrated different ways in which women's movements have launched diverse strategies to tackle this problem, however overwhelming it might seem.

Globally, women's organizations and campaigns have been actively addressing the challenges of getting online, embracing the empowerment opportunities of the Internet revolution. My arguments have stressed that these opportunities are far from restricted to issues of technology. They incorporate new possibilities for building global networks of, and strategies for, women. Their collective modes, in bringing growing numbers of women together across national boundaries to exchange views and work for shared ends, represent the quiet dawning of what might be considered a new era in international politics. While these developments do not sweep away the historical weight of male dominance in the international sphere, they do potentially disrupt some of its seamless qualities.

Therein lie some of the central messages of the achievements on the Internet by women to date and the orientations of projects like WoN. A starting point is the recognition of the Internet as a tool to be used. Thus, a priority must be gaining access to that tool and to working to overcome historically entrenched gendered technological barriers. Equally important is the creative work to establish precisely what role the Internet can play in building new transnational communities that incorporate 'place-based knowledge and action' (Arizpe 1999: xvi). These can only be processes of empowerment because they take time and collective effort. They include the ongoing building and strengthening of horizontal links – some based on established networks and others generating entirely new ones. From these can come strategies to continue both engaging critically with the vertical structures of political and economic power, and pressing for policies and conditions that will expand ICT access and counter the trends toward a global society divided along the lines of the information rich and poor.


References

Arizpe, L. (1999) 'Freedom to create: Women's agenda for cyberspace', in W. Harcourt, (ed.) Women, London: Zed Books, pp. xii–xvi.

Association for Progressive Communication (APC) (May 1997) APC Women's Networking Survey: Summary of Findings, London: APC Women's Networking Support Program, GreenNet Ltd/GreenNet Educational Trust.

Bray-Crawford, K.P. (1999) 'The Ho'okele netwarriors in the liquid continent', in W. Harcourt (ed.) Women Zed Books, pp. 162–72.

Development (1998) 'Globalism and the politics of place', 41(2) (June).

Enloe, C. (1990) Bananas, Beaches and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics, London: Pandora.

Escobar, A. (1999) 'Gender, place and networks: A political ecology of cyberculture', in W. Harcourt (ed.) Women, London: Zed Books, pp. 31–54.

Farwell, Edie, Peregrine Wood, Maureen James and Karen Banks (1999) 'Global networking for change: Experiences from the APC women's programme', in W. Harcourt (ed.) Women, London: Zed Books, pp. 102–13.

Gittler, A.M. (1999) 'Mapping women's global communications and networking', in W. Harcourt (ed.) Women, London: Zed Books, pp. 91–101.

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Rethinking Empowerment: Gender and Development in a Global/Local World
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Routledge/Warwick Studies in Globalisation ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Contributors xi
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • Abbreviations xvii
  • Part I - Theory and Praxis 1
  • 1 - An Introduction 3
  • References 18
  • 2 - Education as a Means for Empowering Women 22
  • References 36
  • Part II - Women's Empowerment in a Global World 39
  • 3 - The Janus Effect 41
  • Notes 57
  • References 58
  • 4 - Toward Empowerment 61
  • Notes 75
  • References 76
  • 5 - Rethinking Technoagency 79
  • References 92
  • Part III - The Nation State, Politics and Women's Empowerment 95
  • 6 - Beyond Official Empowerment Discourse 97
  • References 110
  • 7 - Women's Mobilization in Chile and Turkey 112
  • Notes 127
  • References 129
  • 8 - The Quota Debate in India 133
  • References 145
  • 9 - The Case for Female Peasants in India 147
  • Notes 158
  • References 159
  • Part IV - The Local/Global, Development and Women's Empowerment 163
  • 10 - The Pra Approach 165
  • References 178
  • 11 - Examples from Kenya and Cameroon 182
  • References 197
  • 12 - Depoliticizing Empowerment in a Tanzanian Family Planning Project 199
  • Notes 213
  • References 215
  • 13 - Informal Politics, Grassroots Ngos and Women's Empowerment in the Slums of Bombay 218
  • Notes 232
  • References 234
  • Part V - Conclusion 237
  • 14 - Concluding Thoughts on (em)powerment, Gender and Development 239
  • Index 245
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