Women’s Participation in Development
“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.