Our four research themes are as follows:
- conceptions of empowerment and change, encompassing substantive empirical as well as conceptual work on measuring empowerment and change in women’s lives and contextualising meanings and practices of empowerment in our different regions
- building constituencies for justice and equality, taking the ‘voice’ entry point into exploring the politics of changing policies, and development and political institutions, to lend greater support to women’s empowerment that can promote greater justice, equality and wellbeing for all
- empowering work, taking the ‘work’ entry point into investigating the relationships between paid work and empowerment and exploring the implications of changing markets in the wake of globalization for women’s rights, security and wellbeing as workers as a pathway of empowerment
- changing narratives of sexuality, taking the ‘body’ entry point into understanding the factors that can enhance women’s ability to exercise control over their own bodies in relation to sexuality, focusing in particular on religion, media and the intersection of global forces with the institutions that mediate women’s options and choices.
Within each theme, projects will address three areas for enquiry:
- locate empowerment in women's everyday lives, applying a range of methodological and analytical strategies to gain a better understanding of how positive change happens in women's lives.
- policy processes, trace the processes that seek to promote women's empowerment in order to understand the enabling conditions, strategies and tactics for achieving policy change.
- strategies for change, seeking to reveal the factors for success and asking what works and what is specific to particular contexts, and what more generic lessons can be drawn.