Women's Economic Empowerment in the Developing Countries: Reengineering Patriarchy?

Women's Economic Empowerment in the Developing Countries: Reengineering Patriarchy?

Ummu Atiyah Ahmad Zakuan (Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia) and Kalthum Hassan (Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6912-1.ch058
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It is an established fact that women's empowerment is primary to the socio-economic and political development of a nation. It will be meaningless, if women that constitute half of the population of the globe do not have access to education, healthcare, employment and political decision making bodies. A nation benefits fully when both men and women contribute rigorously in social cohesion, economic growth, peace and prosperity. Findings from countries and reputable institutions such as World Bank and the United Nations revealed that greater gender equality correlates positively with national economic growth. The World Economic Forum recently reported that across the 135 countries examined, greater gender equality correlates positively with per capita gross national product. Countries with greater equality between women and men have economies that are more competitive and fast growing. Hence, removing barriers on empowering women stimulates economic development. This chapter commences with the meaning of women empowerment followed by the identification of various barriers on women empowerment, and investigation on women economic empowerment in the developing countries. The patriarchal system is also introduced to explain how it influences women empowerment. Finally, this chapter argues that women empowerment in general can only be achieved if the patriarchal system is transformed or reengineered to foster more equality between both groups.
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Women’S Economic Empowerment

Women’s economic empowerment is an achievement of women to be able to choose and control their economic activities and incomes. It is also an enhancement of women’s rights to enable them to have control over their lives and also contribute to the society at large. The main objective of women’s economic empowerment is to create just and equitable societies (OECD, 2011). In order to provide sufficient knowledge and understanding about women’s economic empowerment, this section starts with broad definitions of relevant terms and concepts related to women’s economic empowerment before exploring the context of economic empowerment for women in the developing countries

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