Open Access Subscription Access
Open Access Subscription Access
Psychological Empowerment:The Key to Mobilizing Rural Women as Agents of Poverty Eradication
Over the past few decades, governments across the world have increasingly recognized the importance of empowering women and have committed themselves to this end. Empowerment of women, especially rural women, has also been seen as a crucial means to eradicate poverty. However, the majority of women empowerment and poverty eradication programs are grounded solely on economic approaches and psychological perspectives remain largely ignored. This paper argues that economic empowerment of women is incomplete without their psychological empowerment. Mental well-being is an important precursor to economic well-being. Rural women face unique psychosocial stressors, including scarcity that predisposes them to mental illnesses. This is likely to hinder their productivity which, in turn, perpetuates poverty. In the absence of a strong psychological buffer, any attempt to empower women to address poverty is likely to be unsuccessful. There is a massive dearth of programs addressing mental health issues to ensure psychological empowerment. This paper offers certain psychosocial models and perspectives to women’s empowerment and its role in alleviating poverty. It is imminent that these perspectives be used to guide poverty eradication programs along with the current economic approaches.
Women’s Empowerment, Psychological Empowerment, Poverty Eradication.
- Bronfenbrenner, U. (1994). Ecological models of human development. In T. Husen & N. Postlethwaite (Eds.), International encyclopedia of education (Vol. 3, 2nd ed., pp. 1643-1647). Oxford, UK: Elsevier.
- Fiedler, K. (2007). Construal level theory as an integrative framework for behavioral decision-making research and consumer psychology. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 17(2), 101-106.
- Hafner-Burton, E., & Pollack, M. A. (2002). Mainstreaming gender in global governance. European Journal of International Relations, 8(3), 339-373.
- Hays, P. A., & Zouari, J. (1995). Stress, coping and mental health among rural village and urban women in Tunisia. International Journal of Psychology, 30(1), 69-90.
- Huis, M. A., Hansen, N., Otten, S., & Lensink, R. (2017). A three-dimensional model of women’s empowerment: Implications in the field of microfinance and future directions. Frontiers in Psychology, 8(1678).
- Hur, M. H. (2006). Empowerment in terms of theoretical perspectives: Exploring a Typology of the process and components across disciplines. Journal of Community Psychology, 34(5), 523-540.
- Kabeer, N. (1999). Resources, agency, achievements: Reflections on the measurement of women’s empowerment. Development and Change, 30, 435-464.
- Kahneman, D. (2003). Maps of bounded rationality: Psychology for behavioral economics. The American Economic Review, 93(5), 1449-1475.
- Kardam, N. (1991). Bringing women in: Women’s issues in international development programs. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
- Krook, M., & True, J. (2012). Rethinking the life cycles of international norms: The United Nations and the global promotion of gender equality. European Journal of International Relations, 18(1), 103-127.
- Kurtis, T., Adams, G., & Estrada-Villalta, S. (2016). Decolonizing empowerment: Implications for sustainable well-being. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 16, 387-391.
- Lamblin, M., Murawski, C., Wittle, S., & Fornito, A. (2017). Social connectedness, mental health and the adolescent brain. Neuroscience & Behavioral Reviews, 80, 57-68.
- Lewin, K. (1951). Field theory in social science. New York: Harper.
- Liberman, N., Trope, Y., & Stephan, E. (2007). Psychological distance. In A. W. Kruglanski & E. T. Higgins (Eds.), Social psychology: Handbook of basic principles (pp. 353-381). New York: Guilford Press.
- Mental Health Atlas. (2011). Department of mental health and substance abuse, World Health Organization. Retrieved September 22, 2018 from http://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/atlas/profiles/ind_mh_profile.pdf?ua=1
- Murthy, R. K., Raju, K., & Kamath, A. (2002). Towards women’s empowerment and poverty reduction: Lessons from the participatory impact assessment of South Asian poverty alleviation programme in Andhra Pradesh, India. Washington, DC: World Bank.
- Nayak, P. (2015). Towards enhancing employability of young Indians. Journal of Rural and Industrial Development, 3(2), 1-11.
- Saeri, A. K., Cruwys, T., Barlow, F. K., Stronge, S., & Sibley, C. G. (2018). Social connectedness improves public mental health: Investigating bidirectional relationships in the New Zealand attitudes and values survey. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 54(4), 365-374.
- Selvakumar, M., & K. Jegatheesan K. (2017). Working condition of women agricultural workers: A study with reference to Virudhunagar District, Tamilnadu. Journal of Rural and Industrial Development, 5(2), 19-35.
- Simmons, L. A., Braun, B., Charnigo, R., Havens, J. R., & Wright, D. W. (2008). Repression and poverty among rural women: A relationship of social causation or social selection? Journal of Rural Health, 24(3), 292-298.
- Smalley, K. B., Yancey, C. T., Warren, J. C., Naufel, K., Ryan, R., & Pugh, J. L. (2010). Rural mental health and psychological treatment: A review for prac titioners. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 66(5), 479-489.
- Spreitzer, G. M., & Doneson, D. (2005). Musings on the past and future of employment empowerment. In T. Cummings (Ed.), Handbook of organizational development (pp. 311-324). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Thaler, R. (2015). Misbehaving: The making of behavioral economics. New York: Norton.
- The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017. (Act No. 10 of 2017). Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India.
- Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2003). Temporal construal. Psychological Review, 110(3), 403-421.
- Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1974). Judgment under uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Science, New Series, 185(4157), 1124-1131. Retrieved September 22, 2018 from http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=E/2012/27
- UN Economic and Social Council. (2012). Commission on the status of women, report on the fifty-sixth session. New York, NY: United Nations. Retrieved September 22, 2018 from http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=E/2012/27
- UN General Assembly. (1979). Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
- United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1249, p. 13. Retrieved September 21, 2018 from http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw/text/econvention.htm
- UN General Assembly. (1985). Implementation of the nairobi forward-looking strategies for the advancement of women: Resolution/adopted by the general assembly. Retrieved September 21, 2018 from http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/40/a40r108.htm
- UN General Assembly. (1989). Convention on the rights of the child. United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, p. 3. Retrieved September 21, 2018 from http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b38f0.html.
- UN General Assembly. (2007). Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities: resolution/adopted by the general assembly. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities/conventionon-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities-2.html
- UN Interagency. (2011). Gender dimensions of agricultural and rural employment: Differentiated pathways out of poverty. Retrieved September 22, 2018 from https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/ D2C6DC1DC05C4155C125781F00333805-Full_Report.pdf
- UN Women. (2011). The women’s empowerment principles: Equality means business. Retrieved September 22, 2018 from http://www.unwomen.org/-/media/headquarters/attachments/sections/library/publications/ 2011/10/women-s-empowerment-principles_en%20pdf.pdf?la=en&vs=1504
- UN Women. (2016). UN women annual report 2015-2016. Retrieved September 22, 2018 from http://www2.unwomen.org/-/media/annual%20report/attachments/sections/library/un-women-annual-report2015-2016-en.pdf?vs=3016
- United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). (2015). Human development report 2015: Work for human development. New York, NY: UNDP. Retrieved September 22, 2018 from http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/2015_human_development_report.pdf
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). (2014). EFA global monitoring report: Teaching and learning: Achieving quality for all. Retrieved September 22, 2018 from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0022/002266/226662e.pdf
- United Nations. (1995). Beijing declaration and platform of action, adopted at the fourth world conference on women. Retrieved September 21, 2018 from http://www.refworld.org/docid/3dde04324.html
- World Bank. (2001). Engendering development through gender equality in rights, resources, and voice. A policy research report. Washington, DC: World Bank. Retrieved September 22, 2018 from http://siteresources.worldbank.org/PGLP/Resources/Engendering_Development.pdf
- World Health Organization. (2010). Mental health and development: Targeting people with mental health conditions as a vulnerable group. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO. Retrieved September 22, 2018 from http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44257/9789241563949_eng.pdf;jsessionid=65BC18E34A0646BFBF289535B2AB263F?sequence=1
- Zimmerman, M. A. (2000). Empowerment theory: Psychological, organizational, and community levels of analysis. In J. Rappaport & E. Seidman (Eds.), Handbook of community psychology (pp. 43-63). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Abstract Views: 54
PDF Views: 0