Blog Comments: Development support needs to focus more on improving the quality of women’s lives
“ What’s missing from mainstream development’s women’s empowerment agenda is a focus on women’s own desires and needs.”
The UK-based Pathways of Women’s Empowerment research programme at the Institute of Development Studies recently completed an extensive 5-year study to find out what works to enhance women’s empowerment. In an opinion piece published on International Women’s Day 2012, Pathways director, Andrea Cornwall, called for a less instrumentalist approach to women-in-development programmes. “We hear about the benefits to development of women’s work, and of having more women in public office. Social policies target women because they are assumed to care more for their children, and have more to offer their communities than men. But few development agencies seem to be concerned about improving women’s quality of life,” she argued.