The recent history of women's movement in India is dominated by discourses on roles of Non-governmental Organizations fostering women's empowerment. This dissertation responds to the gaps in such discussions through a study of three women's rights NGOs Sanlaap, Jabala and New Light in Kolkata, India working primarily with sex workers and trafficking survivors. The study challenges simplistic conclusions about the role of NGOs to promote women's empowerment by addressing the following questions: which conceptualizations of empowerment prevail in an organization? Are they contested and under what circumstances and with what results? How do women targeted as beneficiaries perceive projects, the organization, its staff, and their own potential empowerment? And, in a more general sense, how does the shifting socioeconomic framework of neoliberalism in India in general and in West Bengal specifically constrain or contribute to women's rights advocacy on the part of women's rights NGOs? Further, the study has situated the three NGOs within their history, culture, and political and economic context, all widely recognized as critical to the understanding of the opportunities and constraints under which NGOs make strategic decisions, establish goals, and develop and implement programs. The dissertation identifies circumstances that play key roles in the conceptualization of empowerment and that influence not only the goals and strategies of the organizations but also the relationships among the multiple actors that contribute to the financing, management, and outcomes of NGOs.
|Commitee:||Hesford, Wendy, Smooth, Wendy, Sreenivas, Mytheli|
|School:||The Ohio State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Bengal, Gender, India, Ngos, South asia, Women's studies|
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