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Women’s perception of participation in NREGA, empowerment as a process of change.: A comparative Minor Field Study between two villages in Andhra Pradesh, India
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis is a comparative analysis between two villages in India, examining personal accounts from participants in the world’s largest anti-poverty programme, the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA). The analysis is based on an eight-week field-study in Andhra Pradesh, which was financed through a Minor Field Study Scholarship by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). This thesis aim to provide the discourse with empirical research of the process that leads to empowerment using qualitative methods. The relationship of interest is how women in NREGA perceive employment has led to a perception of empowerment. The hypothesis is that employment in NREGA can lead to perceived empowerment, but that it is dependent on the development level including the intensity of patriarchal norms and caste tensions in the village of implementation. Empowerment is understood as a process of change – when a person experiences an expansion in their ability to make valued choices and desired outcomes. The theoretical foundation is that empowerment can occur in three different levels of analysis: immediate (sense of self-hood and identity), intermediate (rules and relationships in different spheres of life) and deeper (structural relations of power) levels. The results show that employment in NREGA leads to perceived empowerment in immediate levels of analysis, through an expansion of abilities in choice and achievements, irrespective of development level, but that the development level and intensity of patriarchal norms and caste tensions is determinant for whether employment in NREGA leads to perceived empowerment in intermediate and deeper levels of empowerment. This thesis argues that to achieve sustainable empowerment structural relations of power must be transformed. The main recommendation for policies and programmes is therefore to acknowledge the importance of development level including patriarchal norms and caste tensions when implementing programmes like NREGA with objectives of sustainable empowerment for low-caste women, to ensure what objectives are feasible. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 51
Keywords [en]
Empowerment, India, NREGA, women, Dalit
National Category
Globalisation Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-324958OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-324958DiVA, id: diva2:1112438
Subject / course
Development Studies
Educational program
Bachelor Programme in Peace and Development Studies
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-06-20 Created: 2017-06-20 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Maxine Olausson. Women’s perception of participation in NREGA, empowerment as a process of change: A comparative Minor Field Study between two villages in Andhra Pradesh, India(383 kB)185 downloads
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