WOMEN EMPOWERMENT THROUGH ACCESSES TO RESOURCES AND CONTROL OVER THEM
Resources are critical to people’s identities and livelihoods and to advance autonomy, agency, and rights. Historically, due to gendered division of labour (GDL), patriarchal cultural norms and laws and economic inequalities, women in all their diversity have been denied access to resources such as education, health services, credit, land and technologies. Assessment of access to and control of resources has been a fundamental tool of women empowerment. According to Kishor (2006)” â€•Gender involves differences in power, both power to and power over”. The concept of power to encompass legal and informal rights, access to resources, and pursuit of knowledge and personal goals, and cuts across most domains of human functioning, including familial, cultural, and institutional domains. Power over refers to control over societal and household resources and decisions, cultural and religious ideology, and one's own and others' bodies. Importantly, men tend to have greater power than women, and, in some domains, even have power over women. The present paper illustrates with the help of secondary data that gender inequalities in access to the key resources of education and employment that capture women’s access to other resources, including financial, health, and media resources, and also women’s access to spaces outside their homes and decision making power in homes. These indicators all highlight significant constraints on women’s access to all types of resources. This study also highlights the significant focus and resources given to initiatives on women’s access to credit and other economic alternatives for women status building, from the grassroots to the international level, to transform unequal access to and control over resources.
KEY WORDS: Gender division of labour (GDL), accesses to resources, economic inequalities, control over resources, decision making power.