Women s Empowerment. in Finn Church Aid s Project Documents. Enni Räisänen - PDF

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Women s Empowerment in Finn Church Aid s Project Documents Degree Programme in Social Services, Bachelor of Social Services Final Project Enni Räisänen Degree Programme in Social Services Degree

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Women s Empowerment in Finn Church Aid s Project Documents Degree Programme in Social Services, Bachelor of Social Services Final Project Enni Räisänen Degree Programme in Social Services Degree Bachelor of Social Services Author/Authors Enni Räisänen Title Women's Empowerment in Finn Church Aid's Project Documents Type of Work Final Project ABSTRACT Date Autumn Pages appendix The purpose of this final project was to analyze Finn Church Aid s project documents. The objective was to study if there are signs of women s empowerment in the project documents used in development cooperation projects. And if so, how the signs of women s empowerment have been described. Finn Church Aid is one of the biggest development cooperation organizations in Finland. The aim of the development cooperation work is empowerment of communities. This final project was a qualitative study. The research method used was theory-guided content analysis. The data consisted of project documents related to development cooperation projects. The analysis was based on themes raised from an empowerment literature review. The results showed that in the project documents there are signs of women's empowerment and the signs have been described from different perspectives. Based on the results, the opportunity to gain power, the improvement of the quality of life and the signs of empowered women were described. The scope and obscurity of the concept of empowerment complicate its documentation. The project documents analyzed in this study, described women s empowerment, but without systematic analysis, the signs and description of it would have been limited. Both, project documentation and understanding of the concept of empowerment in the development cooperation projects, require improvement. The documentation should enable descriptive reporting, in which case the descriptions of empowerment can be indicated to those to whom the reporting is addressed Keywords empowerment, women's empowerment, development cooperation Metropolia Ammattikorkeakoulu Hyvinvointi ja toimintakyky Koulutusohjelma Sosiaalialan koulutusohjelma Suuntautumisvaihtoehto Bachelor of Social Services Tekijä/Tekijät Enni Räisänen Työn nimi Naisten voimaantuminen Kirkon Ulkomaanavun projektidokumenteissa Työn laji Opinnäytetyö TIIVISTELMÄ Aika Syksy 2010 Sivumäärä liite Tämän opinnäytetyön tarkoituksena oli analysoida Kirkon Ulkomaanavun projektidokumentteja. Tavoitteena oli selvittää, löytyykö kehitysyhteistyöprojekteissa käytettävistä projektidokumentista merkkejä naisten voimaantumisesta, sekä miten nämä voimaantumisen merkit on kuvattu. Kirkon Ulkomaanapu on yksi Suomen suurimmista kehitysyhteistyöjärjestöistä ja sen tukeman kehitysyhteistyön tavoitteena on yhteisöjen voimaantuminen. Opinnäytetyö toteutettiin käyttämällä laadullista tutkimusmenetelmää. Aineisto analysoitiin käyttäen teoriaohjaavaa sisällönanalyysiä. Aineisto koostui kehitysyhteistyöprojekteihin liittyvistä projektidokumenteista ja sen analyysi pohjautui voimaantumiseen liittyvistä tutkimuksista esille tulleisiin teemoihin. Opinnäytetyön tulokset osoittivat, että projektidokumenteissa on merkkejä naisten voimaantumisesta ja sitä on kuvattu monesta eri näkökulmasta. Tulosten perusteella projektidokumenteissa mainittiin naisten mahdollisuus voimaantumiselle sekä elämänlaadun paranemiseen ja voimaantumiseen liittyviä tekijöitä. Voimaantumiskäsitteen laajuus ja epämääräisyys vaikeuttavat sen dokumentointia. Tässä opinnäytetyössä käytetyt projektidokumentit kuvasivat naisten voimaantumista, mutta ilman systemaattista analysointia voimaantumisen merkit sekä kuvaukset olisivat jääneet suppeiksi. Niin projektidokumentointi kuin voimaantumisen käsitteiden ymmärtäminen projekteissa vaativat kehittämistä. Dokumentoinnissa tulee olla mahdollisuus kuvailevampaan raportointiin, jolloin todelliset voimaantumisen kuvaukset voidaan osoittaa myös niille tahoille, joille raportointi on osoitettu. Avainsanat voimaantuminen, naisten voimaantuminen, kehitysyhteistyö CONTENT 1 INTRODUCTION 1 2 FINN CHURCH AID Gender mainstreaming Development Cooperation 6 3 EMPOWERMENT Women As Oppressed The Power of Power The Process of Empowerment Women s Empowerment Women s Empowerment in the Study 14 4 REALIZATION OF THE STUDY The Focus of the Study Qualitative Data Collection Method Content analysis Theory-guided Content Analysis The Analysis 19 5 STUDY RESULTS Gaining Opportunity for Power Improving the Quality of Life Empowered Women Human Rights 27 6 CONCLUSIONS Ethical Considerations and Reliability Further questions 33 7 DISCUSSION 34 LIST OF REFERENCES 38 APPENDICES LIST OF DOCUMENTS (APPENDIX 1) 1 1 INTRODUCTION Development cooperation work and project funding in developing countries have been criticized. According to the criticism, the results of the development cooperation work projects over the years cannot be seen clearly and the development cooperation work is not efficient. (Moyo 2009: 29.) However, for example, the United Nations (2009: 3) defends the importance of the development cooperation work and can show results of achieving goals, yet slowly. Finn Church Aid is one of the biggest development cooperation organizations in Finland. The goal of the development cooperation is to empower communities (FCA 2009a.) Finn Church Aid does the majority of its development cooperation work through projects. The context, aims, objectives, actions and results of these projects are documented, and the importance of reporting and the information found in the documentation concerning the projects is therefore significant. Benini (2008: 18, 30) describes empowerment as a modern concept which has several aspects. Empowerment has been criticized by its obscurity, but it has become the core concept of international development. Empowerment is the key concept in the Lutheran World Federation s strategic plan and programme reality. Benini (2008: 5) states that empowerment has become as important a concept as economic growth. Empowerment is a controversial but complex concept (Datta & Kornberg 2002: 1). There are several reasons to highlight women s empowerment. Seager (2009: 18-19) points out that there are countries where women face restrictions because of their gender. Restrictions are set, for example, by the state, laws, cultural factors, religious factors, and families, and they might concern for example mobility, dress codes and women s movements. The World Bank (2009: 38) notes that women s economic and social status has improved, but inequalities still affect whole societies, limiting growth and increasing poverty. These factors represent significant reasons to study women s empowerment and the meaning of it. Finn Church Aid has shown the need to study the project documentation concerning women s empowerment. This study aims to analyze project documentation in order to give Finn Church Aid background information to dialogue with their cooperation 2 partners. The outcome of the final project helps Finn Church Aid to improve project planning, monitoring and documentation as regards women s empowerment and to dialogue with their partners on the concepts, programming and monitoring related to gender equity and women s empowerment. At present, it can be argued that the project documents do not provide enough information concerning women s empowerment. This final project answers the question: Are there signs of women s empowerment in the project documents, and how have these signs been described in them? Firstly, the study requires comprehensive view of empowerment; what are the signs of empowerment according to the earlier studies. Secondly, analysis which guides the study process is required. The expected results would show if there are signs of women s empowerment in the project documents, and if there are, how are those signs described. Women's rights work and, in particular, the planning and organisation of development cooperation are interesting subjects. Especially in this study, women s empowerment widens the perspective to women's right work and its effects. The study gives wider perspective to development cooperation in general and to the women s rights work, particularly with regard to empowerment. The final project encourages me to deepen my knowledge concerning empowerment, which is also a crucial part of the Degree Programme of Social Services studies and the competence of Bachelors of Social Services (Metropolia 2009). According to Arola and Kursula (2010: 15) Bachelors of Social Services should be able to anticipate the impact of international development and opportunities. Social concerns are global and human right issues affect all countries. Arvola and Kursula (2010: 15) state that Bachelors of Social Services should have global perspective in their work in order to open the variety of perspectives of social reality. 2 FINN CHURCH AID The final project is realized for Finn Church Aid and in collaboration with them. The abbreviation for Finn Church Aid which will be used henceforth in this study is FCA. FCA is one of the biggest development cooperation organizations in Finland; FCA has cooperation in more than 30 countries all over the world (FCA 2009a). FCA s aim with 3 regard to the final project is to improve and develop gender-related programming, project formulation and documentation, and the way information in the documents is used in order to develop their projects. With the results of the final project, FCA can have background information to dialogue with their cooperation partners. FCA works with people who need help the most (FCA 2009a). The key concept of the development cooperation work is empowerment (LWF DWS 2007: 4). The idea behind development cooperation work is to have long-lasting cooperation with communities and people in order to achieve sustainable change. The objective of FCA s work is the empowerment of communities in order to reduce poverty and obtain human rights and peace. (FCA 2009b.) Finland s official development policy and the United Nations Millennium Goals are the framework for FCA s work. The cooperation projects are supported by the state s funding and fundraising. (FCA 2009a, FCA 2009b.) FCA works with people who are in the weakest position in the society regardless of their religious beliefs, ethnicity, political convictions or gender. FCA s work is based on three themes: sustainable livelihoods, stable societies, rights and participation. Promotion of gender equality is a cross-cutting theme in all the work FCA does. (FCA 2009c.) The idea of gender equality and empowerment should be visible in the project documentation, but as presented earlier, FCA has felt the need for improvement on the documentation concerning empowerment. FCA is a Lutheran World Service Department for World Service (LWF DWS) partner. The Department for World Service is the practical implementer of the work of LWF DWS and is funded by support organizations such as FCA. The projects FCA is funding are reported directly to FCA as well as other funding organizations. (FCA 2006a.) There are three approaches in the LWF - DWS Global Strategy for : the right-based approach, the integrated approach and the empowerment approach. Approaches are to emphasize the combination and to complement and support each other. (Benini 2008: 4; LWF - DWS 2007: 9.) According to Benini (2008: 18) LWF DWS is aware that the understanding concerning empowerment approach differs between field programmes and head office of LWF - DWS, but they see designing and delivering the empowerment programmes as an achievement itself. 4 According to the LWF - DWS Global Strategy (2007: 9) empowerment approach includes people s capacity and competence building, so that they could achieve results for themselves on the individual, group and community levels. People should be empowered to take control of their lives by equipping them to develop their attitudes, skills and knowledge which broadens their options and improves their confidence. People should participate actively in all parts of the development, from planning and assessment phases to implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The empowerment approach includes motivating people in many ways, such as ideas and leadership, time and labour, or materials and money. The people involved are first consulted; the impact on them and their ability to participate are considered. The initiatives to develop should come from the people themselves. (LWF - DWS 2007: 9.) The LWF DWS Global Strategy (2007: 10) points out six thematic areas on which the projects are focused. The work is set in context of the global struggle to achieve a reduction in poverty and to increase respect for human rights. All the six themes can be linked with human rights, but also with the Millennium Development Goals. One of the themes focuses on women s rights and gender equity. It states that women have a central role, not only in family and community, but also in the process of development, and it demands implementation of human rights for girls and women. The causes of gender inequality for women include restricted participation in society, devaluation of experience and work, lack of power sharing, and violence against women. It has been recognized that for the improvement of women s status, the participation of both, men and women, is needed. Gender issues should concern all people, not only women. (LWF DWS 2007: 10.) Charlier and Caubergs (2007: 12) point out that development is the outcome of a process of change caused by different factors. In international cooperation, this process must be possible to monitor, measure with indicators, and if needed, be re-directed. (Charlier & Caubergs 2007: 12.) According to Benini (2008: 63) all the development cooperation projects produce a variety of written documents. Documents include mainly practical aspects of empowerment, not definitions or concepts of empowerment. (Benini 2008:63.) The monitoring information from the project documentation is used for assessing progress, for making informed management decisions regarding project objectives, 5 working methods, partnerships, staffing, and capacity building, and for providing the necessary information to funders and other stakeholders. Project documentation is a technical function through which relevant monitoring information is made available to those who require it. The evaluation will look at whether the project objectives have been reached but also at the processes triggered by and within the project and their influence on the project stakeholders. (LWF DWS 2007: 14.) 2.1 Gender mainstreaming Gender mainstreaming is the (re)organisation, improvement, development and evaluation of policy processes, so that a gender equality perspective is incorporated in all policies at all levels and at all stages, by the actors normally involved in policy-making. Council of Europe 2003 Gender refers to social constructions and differences between women and men (United Nations 2008: 3). The principle of gender mainstreaming is equality between women and men. It is a prevalent trend in society to support women and men to benefit equally and to stop inequalities that might discriminate against either gender. The idea of mainstreaming is to reduce poverty, strengthen economical growth and citizenship. The mainstreaming approach achieved acceptance in (European Commission 2004: 7, 9, 12.) Sen (2001) lists seven types of gender inequality: mortality, natality, basic facility, special opportunity, professional, ownership, and household inequality. Sen (2001) also points out the importance of women s empowerment in the gender mainstreaming context. Vijayamohanan, Asalatha, and Ponnuswamy (2009: 6) argue that gender issues are fundamental for achieving development. Disparities in development results stem from gender differences. Gender equality itself is a value and a basis of human rights. The importance of gender development is seen in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, now a generally accepted framework for measuring development. From the total of eight goals, four are directly related to gender: achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and empowerment of women, reducing infant and child mortality; and improving maternal health. (Vijayamohanan, Asalatha, & Ponnuswamy, 2009: 6-7.) 6 Gender mainstreaming has specific perspective in this final project. Even though the idea is to analyse women s empowerment in the project documents, women s empowerment cannot exclude men from the empowerment process. Finding signs of women s empowerment is not an issue concerning only women, but also the relationship between all community members and how the community and households together develop and improve women s position within the society. 2.2 Development Cooperation Development cooperation as such is an extremely broad concept, and it can be achieved in numerous ways. To explain shortly the aspects of development cooperation, the United Nations Millennium Development Goals are listed here. These goals also give guidelines to Finnish Development Policy. The goals are: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality and empower women, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability, and develop a global partnership for development. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland 2004: 6.) FCA works to contribute to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Reducing poverty by half, gender equality and environmental sustainability are central issues. FCA s goals have a clear connection to the Finnish state s official development priorities, with emphasis on poverty reduction, environmental threats and equality, democracy, and the promotion of human rights. (FCA 2006b.) Women s development as a concept has become an essential part of development discourse and policy initiatives. This development has been brought forth gradually and it has changed the perception of women, from their previous position as passive objects and victims to independent operators. A notable impetus for the surfacing of the matter came with the adaption of development issues within the UN system. In the orientation of the policy approaches towards women, the change has been gradual; from welfare to equity, then to anti-poverty and efficiency and finally to empowerment. (Vijayamohanan, Asalatha, & Ponnuswamy 2009: 2.) In development cooperation, women s role came visible in the 1970s with WID, Women in Development. The approach called attention to women in development policy and in practice, but also to integrating women into the whole development 7 process. After that, as contrast to WID, came the GAD, Gender and Development; the approach focuses on the socially constructed differences between men and women. The idea of GAD is to challenge existing gender roles and relations. (Reeves & Baden 2000: 33.) The Beijing Declaration 1995 (section 13) (United Nations 1995), presents women s empowerment as a key strategy for development: Women s empowerment and their full participation on the basis of equality in all spheres of society, including participation in the decision-making process and access to power, are fundamental for the achievement of equality, development and peace. (United Nations 1995.) In this study, it has been taken into consideration that empowerment can differ depending on the context. Development cooperation gives a specific perspective to this final project as the project documents concern information from the development cooperation projects. This final project concentrates only on women s empowerment in the development cooperation context. 3 EMPOWERMENT The meaning, usage and theories concerning empowerment have changed during the approximately f
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