A Literature Review of Women Empowerment and Development in Zimbabwe: A look at New Insights and Perspectives

Faitira Manuere, Neria Phiri


The concept of “Women empowerment” has received much attention from researchers, government and captains of industry. There are several meanings attached to the concept of women empowerment. This literature review explores the origin of the term women empowerment as it is related to gender and equality. This literature review looks at four power perspectives that are used to explain the increasing need for women empowerment today. The related concepts of power, agency, resources and achievements are used to explain and describe the problems associated with women empowerment globally. The theoretical underpinnings of this literature review are important for policy-makers and government the world over. Finally, the models that can be adopted to empower women, socially, economically and politically are identified and explained.

Full Text:



Agha, S. (2000). The Determinants of infant mortality in Pakistan. Social Science and Medicine, 51(4), 199-208. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0277-9536(99)00460-8

Aspy, C. B., & Sandhu, D. S. (1999). Empowering women for equity: A counseling approach. American Counseling Association, Alexandria, VA. 22304

Backhams, M. C. (2007). Does increased gender equality lead to convergence of health outcomes for men and women?A study of Swedish Municipalities. Swedish National Institute of Public Health. Social Science and Medicine, May; 64(9), 1892-903.

Bell, D. (1999). The Coming of the Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting. New York: Basic Books.

Chattopadhyay, A. (2005). Women and entrepreneurship. Yojana, a Monthly Journal of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 5(1), 123-156.

Cornwall, A., & Brock, K. (2005). Beyond Buzzwords: Poverty Reduction Participation and Empowerment in Development Policy. UNRISD 10.

Data, P., & Sen, P. (2003). Women in Panchayats. Kolkata India. Dasgupta and Company Private Ltd.

Deutsch, K. (1964). Social Mobilization and Political Development. American Political Science Review, 55, 493-514. https://doi.org/10.2307/1952679

Elliott, C. M. (2008). Global empowerment of women: Responses to globalization and politicized religions. Routledge, New York.

Freire, P. (1974). Pedagogy of the Oppressed .New York. Herder and Herder.

Hashemi, S., Schuler, M.., & Riley, A. (1996). Rural Credit Programs and Women’ Empowerment in Bangladesh. World Development, 24(4), 635-653. https://doi.org/10.1016/0305-750X(95)00159-A

Inglehart, R., & Norris, P. (2003). Rising Tide: Gender Equality and Cultural Change Around the World. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511550362

Inglehart, R., & Welzel, C. (2005). Modernisation, Cultural Change and Democracy: The human Development sequence. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511790881

Kabeer, N. (2005). Gender equality and Women’s empowerment: A critical analysis of the third Millennium Development Goal. Gender and Development, 13(1), 13-36. https://doi.org/10.1080/13552070512331332273

Kenworthy, L., & Malami, M. (1999). Gender Inequality in Political Representation: A Worldwide Comparative Analysis: Social Forces, 78(3), 235-268. https://doi.org/10.1093/sf/78.1.235

Khan, A., & Bibi, Z. (2011). Women’s Socio-Economic Empowerment through Participatory approach. Pakistan Economic and Social Review, 49(1), 133-148.

Kishor, S. (1997). Empowerment of women in Egypt and Link to the Survival and Health of their infants. Paper presented at the Seminar on Female Empowerment and Demographic Process- 20-24 April, Lund.

Lipset, M. (1959). Some Social Requisites of Democracy: Economic Development and Political Legitimacy. American Political Science Review, 53, 69-105. https://doi.org/10.2307/1951731

Maslak, M. A., & Singhal, G. (2008). The Identity of Educated Women in India: Confluence or Divergence. Gender and Education, 20(5), 481-493. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540250701829961

Mayoux, L. (2003). From Marginalisation to Empowerment: Towards a New Approach in Small Enterprises Development. Paper presented at the SDC Empowerment and Income Division Workshop on Small Enterprises Development and Empowerment, Centre Gerzeusee, Switzerland, 9-10 January.

McDonagh, E. (2002). Political Citizenship and Democratisation: The Gender Paradox. American Political Science Review, 96(10), 535-52. https://doi.org/10.1017/S000305540200031X

Morrison, A., & Biehl, L. eds. (2007). Too Close to Home: Domestic Violence in Latin America. Washington, D.C.: Inter-American Development Bank.

Murphy-Graham, E. (2008). Opening the Black Box: Women’s Empowerment and Innovative Secondary Education in Honduras. Gender and Education, 20(1), 31-50. https://doi.org/10.1080/09540250701650623

Najm, M. (2013). The Role of Development Institutions in the empowerment of Palestinian women. The Islamic University Journal of Education and Psychology Studies, 21(3), 329-276.

Pathak, K. N., & Tomar, J. S. (2012). Skill-Upgradation in five year plans. Yojana, August 2012, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, New Delhi

Patricia, S. E. Darlington & Mulvaney, B. M. (2003). Women, power., & ethnicity – Working toward reciprocal empowerment. The Haworth Press, New York, London, Oxford

Rahman S. (2013). Women's Employment in Bangladesh Agriculture: Composition, Determinants and Scope. J,. Rural Stud, 16, 497-507. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0743-0167(00)00006-1

Rahman, S., & Sultana, N. (2012). Empowerment of Women for social Development. Journal of Arts, science and Commerce, 3(1), 50-59.

Rajput, P. (2001). Women’s political participation in India: An agenda for empowerment. In Promilla Kapur (ed.), Empowering the Indian Women,New Delhi, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India.

Rappaport, J. (1987). Terms of empowerment/examples of prevention: Toward a theory for community Psychology. Journal of Psychology, 15(2), 121-148.

Reynolds, A. (1999). Women in the Legislatures and Executives of the World: Knocking at the Highest Glass Ceiling. World Politics, 51, 547-72. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0043887100009254

Rowlands J. (1997). Questioning Empowerment: Working with Women in Honduras. Oxford, UK: Oxfam. https://doi.org/10.3362/9780855988364

Rowstow, W. (1960). The Stages of Economic Growth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Rule, W. (1981). Women’s Underrepresentation and Electoral System. Political Science and Politics, 27(16), 689-692.

Shiva, M. (2001). Health care in last 50 years and women’s empowerment. In Promilla Kapur (ed.), Empowering the Indian Women. Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of In New Delhi.

Simon, B. L. (1994). The Empowerment Tradition in America Social Work: History. New York: Columbia University Press.

Sohail, M. (2014). Women empowerment and economic development: An exploratory study in Pakistan. Journal of Business Studies Quarterly, 5(4), 210-219.

Srivastava, R. S. (2001). Women empowerment: Some critical issue. In Abha Avasti and A.K. Srivastava (eds.),Modernity,Feminism and Women Empowerment, Rawat Publications, New Delhi.

Sushama, S. (1998). Women and Empowerment- Approach and Strategies, Discovery Publishing House, Delhi.

The Millennium Development Goals Report, 2007.

Tiwari, R. S. (2001). Feminism and globalization versus Indian women empowerment. In Abha Avasti and A.K. Srivastava (eds.), Modernity, Feminism and Women’s Empowerment, Rawat Publication, New Delhi.

UNICEF (2008, May 12). UNICEF “Gender equality”.

Wallerstein, N. (1992). Powerlessness, empowerment and health: Implication for Health promotion programs. American Journal of Health Promotion, 6(3), 197-205. https://doi.org/10.4278/0890-1171-6.3.197

Wezel, C. (2003). Effective democracy, Mass Culture., & the Quality of Elites. The Human Development Perspective. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 4(3), 269-98.

Whitemore, E. (1988). Participation, Empowerment and Welfare. Canadian Review of Social Policy, 22(6), 51-60.

Zimmerman, M. A. (1995). Psychological empowerment: Issues and illustrations. American Journal of Community Psychology, 25(5), 581-599. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02506983

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/jpag.v8i4.13818

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Journal of Public Administration and Governance  ISSN 2161-7104

Copyright © Macrothink Institute

'Macrothink Institute' is a trademark of Macrothink Institute, Inc.

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'macrothink.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.