This Pathways synthesis report presents the findings and key messages from research from 59 projects in 15 countries carried out over 5 years. The key findings were:
1. What is empowering to one woman is not necessarily empowering to another. 2. Women’s ability to exercise voice and strategic forms of control over their lives is linked to being able to generate regular and independent sources of income. 3. Relationships lie at the heart of women’s empowerment. 4. Sexuality is a vital but neglected dimension of women’s empowerment. 5. Understanding women’s empowerment calls for rigorous and imaginative combinations of research methodologies and methods. 6. Efforts to promote women’s empowerment need to do more than give individual women economic or political opportunities. 7. Policies and laws that affirm women’s rights and open up pathways for women’s empowerment are critically important. 8. Women’s organising is vital for sustainable change. 9. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to women’s empowerment. 10. Fostering public engagement and debate is essential to making policies that work for women’s empowerment and gender equality. 11. Recognising and supporting those within the state who are responsible for the implementation of women’s empowerment interventions is crucial. 12. Changing attitudes and values is as important to bringing about women’s empowerment.
Anon. Pathways Synthesis Report. Empowerment: a journey not a destination. Pathways of Women’s Empowerment, Brighton, UK (2011) 56 pp.