Adelante: New directions for women's empowerment in Colombian farmers associations Open Access

Myers, Emily Camille (2017)

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Global gender inequality remains a pervasive issue with a range of social, economic, and health implications. Research on interventions seeking to end gender disparities in health, economics, and politics have shown conflicting results. Research about community organizations' effects on women's empowerment, or women's ability to enhance their own wellbeing, in rural areas is no exception. This qualitative study examines how farmers associations empower and disempower women in Colombia. The results suggest that association membership empowers women through skill enhancement, decision-making, and leadership. This empowerment may be unintentional on the part of women and their communities, and it may stem from women's perceptions of traditional gender roles. Future group-based empowerment interventions should consider localized, contextual constraints women face and their traditional roles to empower women intentionally.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Literature review 1

Introduction 1

History of women's empowerment research 2

Consequences of women's disempowerment 2

Economic factors of women's empowerment 3

Backlash 7

Conclusion 9

Chapter 2: Manuscript 11

Abstract 11

Introduction 11

Methods 13

Study design, study segmentation, and recruitment 13

Piloting of qualitative guides 15

Data collection 16

Data analysis 17

Results 18

Sample Characteristics 18

Motivations to become a member 19

Adelante: Onward 21

Eyes and Ears: Recognition 22

Capacitar: Building a strong sense of collective efficacy 24

Stronger Together: Leadership 25

Que Manda la Fuerza: Decision-making in association meetings 27

Not Here, Not Now?: Community gender norms and sexism 29

Discussion 32

Summary 32

Limitations 32

Findings 35

Recommendations for future interventions 42

Conclusion 43

Appendix 45

Figures 45

Table 1: Summary of Segmentation Analyzed 45

Table 2: Description of Transcripts Analyzed 45

Table 3: Gender composition per association 45

Codebook 46

Documents 48

Semi-Structured Focus Group Guide: English 48

Semi-Structured Focus Group Guide: Spanish 52

References 56

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