Empowerment of Women and Pathways to Development in the SAT of India : Insights from Gender-based Social Analysis
This paper highlights the dynamics and pathways of development of rural womenand men in the semi-arid tropics (SAT) of India. It chronicles a series of studiesundertaken at ICRISAT which aimed at understanding the gender perspectivesin agricultural research, inclusive of gender concerns for empowering men andwomen in the marginalized and vulnerable regions of SAT. The ?ndings from thecase studies show that empowering rural women (in particular) point towardsrecognizing the power of individuals (agency), enhancing their skills to change thecontext in which they live and thereby bringing about equitable and sustainablechange and development. The distinctive view of empowerment in this studyencompasses networks of relationships which help bring about change andimprovement in the physical, economic, socio-cultural and political well-being ofwomen (particularly formal and informal social networks). A sequential analysisis implemented using a series of related case studies conducted over a period ofalmost two decades (1992 to 2011) and complemented by analysis harnessingthe VLS longitudinal household panel data. For example, how does technologyuptake lead to empowerment particularly for marginalized groups includingwomen and tribals? What stimulates gender-equitable change?
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