Women’s Participation in Development

Founder(s): International Development Research Centre
Status: Completed

“While there is no single understanding of what empowerment means there is also no clear consensus on how to go about implementing a process of empowerment.”
“Women’s Participation in Development Initiatives and its Impact on Gender Dynamics in Afghanistan” explores women’s participation in the National Solidarity Programme’s (NSP) Community Development Councils (CDCs) as well as nongovernment organisation (NGO)-initiated groups for microfinance under the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA). Fieldwork for the project has encompassed multiple communities in Parwan, Kabul and Balkh Provinces.
The research examines the various assumptions that justify the “gender-inclusive” development initiatives of NSP and the micro-finance institutions (MFIs), particularly the assumption that women’s participation in community organising or development projects at the community level serves to “empower” them as individuals and as a group. It also explores what motivates and enables women to participate in these different programmes and what limits their participation. Finally, it provides an analysis of the different models and methods being used by different NSP facilitating partners and MFIs, and how these impact women’s ability to participate and the effects of such participation.

Publications from this research project:

Women’s Rights, Gender Equality, and Transition: Securing gains, moving forward

The ouster of the Taliban in 2001 ushered in a new era of opportunity for women in Afghanistan. This paper examines the gains made over the past decade for Afghan women and girls and explores the obstacles that continue to

The Impact of Microfinance Programmes on Women’s Lives: A Case Study in Balkh Province

This case study is part of a larger project that explores women’s participation in different development programmes and projects in Afghanistan. The research specifically explores women’s participation in the National Solidarity Programme (NSP)’s Community Development Councils (CDCs) as well as

Does Women’s Participation in the National Solidarity Programme Make a Difference in their Lives? A Case Study in Kabul Province

This case study is part of a larger project that explores women’s participation in different development programmes and projects in Afghanistan. The research specifically explores women’s participation in the National Solidarity Programme (NSP)’s Community Development Councils (CDCs) as well as

Gender and Economic Choice: What’s Old and What’s New for Women in Afghanistan?

In summer 2011, AREU conducted a rapid qualitative assessment of four communities in Kabul and Parwan provinces as one of the country case studies for the World Bank’s 2012 Human Development Report. This paper presents its results. Focusing on the

Does Women’s Participation in the National Solidarity Programme Make a Difference in their Lives? A Case Study in Balkh Province

This case study examines women’s participation in the National Solidarity Programme (NSP) in a Pashtun-majority community in Balkh Province. It finds that despite women’s weak involvement in actual project implementation, the NSP offered them an unprecedented chance to take part

The Impact of Microfinance Programmes on Women’s Lives: A Case Study in Kabul Province

This case study looks at women’s participation in a microfinance programme in a community in Kabul Province. It finds that while the process of taking loans has allowed some women to gain a degree of empowerment, the microfinance initiative has

Does Women’s Participation in the National Solidarity Programme Make a Difference in their Lives? A Case Study in Parwan Province

This case study specifically explores women’s participation in the National Solidarity Programme’s Community Development Councils (CDCs), examining the effects these forms of women’s participation are having on gender roles and relations within the family and the local community.

The Impact of Microfinance Programmes on Women’s Lives: A Case Study in Parwan Province

This case study looks at women’s participation in a microfinance programme in a village in Parwan Province and explores its impact on the gender relations both within the family and the community.

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