This is a book about understanding women’s empowerment and pathways as well as roadblocks to women’s economic empowerment in rural India, as understood through an evaluation-based research of a state-funded social sector programme located in the education department – Mahila Samakhya (MS) – in Bihar, one of the socially and educationally most underdeveloped Indian states. The book presents findings of the three-year research that adopted a mixed-methods approach and evaluated the impact of MS on various facets of empowerment of women coming from the most marginalized communities. The study, therefore, tries to go beyond evaluating the MS programme and uses the research findings and insights to raise certain critical issues pertaining to social policy planning and implementation, especially in the context of women’s education and empowerment.
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Table of Contents
1. Empowerment, Education and Social Change: Understanding the conceptual context of Mahila Samakhya 2. Women in Bihar: the multivalent contexts of deprivation and struggle 3. Women’s economic empowerment: Indivisible part of a synergetic process 4. Breaking the cycle: Understanding the inter-generational impact of MS 5. Economics of Empowerment: A Web of Negotiations and Adjustments 6. Conclusion: Lessons for understanding pathways to women’s empowerment
JYOTSNA JHA has been director of CBPS since January 2011. She has a PhD in Economics from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Her research primarily focuses on education and gender. Before her association with CBPS, she worked as an advisor of Education at the Commonwealth Secretariat, London, for five years.
NEHA GHATAK has a Masters in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics. She joined CBPS in July 2011. Her work primarily focuses on education and gender related projects.
NIVEDITHA MENON has been working with CBPS since April 2015. She has a PhD in Sociology and Demography, with a minor in Women’s Studies from Pennsylvania State University.
PRIYANKA DUTTA has joined CBPS in September 2016. She has completed her doctoral dissertation in Sociology from the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC), Bangalore.
SHREEKANTH MAHENDIRAN has a Masters in Economics from Madras School of Economics, Anna University. He joined CBPS in November 2011 and works primarily on education related projects.