Empowerment through Technology: Gender Dimensions of Social Capital Build-Up in Maharashtra, India uri icon

abstract

  • This paper explores how and to what extent women and men have benefited fromthe build-up of social capital in technology uptake, and the role of women in this process.Using a case study on Groundnut Production Technology (GPT) in Maharashtra, India, asystematic documentation of the process by which farmers ? both men and women - aswell as the whole community became empowered through the build-up of social capital ispresented. The focus of the paper is on collective action as a mechanism to stimulategender-equitable change processes.Our evidence suggests that the technology uptake process was enhanced with thebuild up of social capital, whereby men and women from all class and caste groups cametogether for improving their livelihoods. Collective action was enhanced with theincreased involvement and participation of women. Strong kinship ties were developedamong diverse classes all over the village including landless tribal women, who formedthe major labor force for this technology.The paper concludes that social networks played a crucial mediating role in theprocess of technology uptake. The build-up of social capital played an important role ininfluencing impacts from the technology because of the ways in which social networksand social relationships facilitated technology dissemination. Gender relations played asignificant role in mediating the translation of economic benefits into well being of theindividual, the family and community. Finally, it is suggested that further insights into therole of social networks and power relations in the village may be examined in greaterdetail by establishing the village network architecture, especially marginalized groups

publication date

  • 2007