Liberal vs. Liberating Empowerment: A Latin American Feminist Perspective on Conceptualising Women's Empowerment

Author:

Sardenberg, C.M.,

Editor:

Date:

2008

Region:

Latin America

Theme:

Gender and Political Empowerment

Language:

English

Publisher:

Full Harvard Reference:

Sardenberg, C.M., (2008). Liberal vs. Liberating Empowerment: A Latin American Feminist Perspective on Conceptualising Women's Empowerment 1. IDS bulletin, 39(6), pp.18-27.

This article argues that little thinking has gone into depicting how the flow of power/empowerment travels between individuals, groups and institutions, and thus towards linking gains at the macroinstitutional level with real changes in the everyday lives of women in different social contexts. Reflecting on the different ways of defining and conceiving women’s empowerment from a Latin American feminist perspective, the author concludes that liberal empowerment approaches have only benefitted a handful of women, and only in an individualistic manner. Latin American feminists continue to be critical of ‘decaff’ empowerment approaches and instead invest their efforts in programmes’ that promote ‘consciousness-raising’.