Empowerment of Women for Health Promotion in Underclass Communities: A Meta-Analysis

Printer-friendly version

Principal Investigator: Snehendu Kar

Powerlessness and poverty are serious health threats. Women are usually the caregivers but are also more powerless than men. Also investment on women produces better health outcomes than on men. The standard economic development interventions mostly benefit the rich; poor women gain little or no benefits. We need alternative models for empowering poor women for better community well-being. This research asks six questions: Can/do ordinary women, when left on their own, self-organize successful empowerment movements ? If so, what are their characteristics? What problems motivate them? Who supports or opposes them? What effective methods and supports were used? What are the outcomes? To answer these questions this meta-analysis used 80 successful women’s movements globally. The project generated several peer-reviewed publications, background papers for two WHO conferences on women and health, a national award for excellence in reducing ethnic disparities in childhood immunizations by empowering poor Latina women in Los Angeles, and a course on empowerment and leadership. A book is in process. We are currently collaborating with Indian investigators for supporting a photography micro-enterprise and documenting movements that were unsuccessful or from marginalized communities not studied before.