Gender and Development in a Global/Local World
Edited by Jane L. Parpart, Shirin M. Rai, Kathleen A. Staudt
Routledge – 2002 – 272 pages
Rethinking Empowerment looks at the changing role of women in developing countries and calls for a new approach to empowerment. An approach that adopts a more nuanced, feminist interpretation of power and em(power)ment, recognises that local empowerment is always embedded in regional, national and global contexts, pays attention to institutional structures and politics and acknowledges that empowerment is both a process and an outcome. Moreover, the book warns that an obsession with measurement rather than process can undermine efforts to foster transformative and empowering outcomes. It concludes that power must be restored as the centrepiece of empowerment. Only then will the term and its advocates provide meaningful ammunition for dealing with the challenges of an increasingly unequal, and often sexist, global/local world.