Integrating Gender Norms in Economic Empowerment Projects



This article employs a critical gender empowerment framework to unpack the bearing of discriminatory gender norms on economic empowerment developmental projects that target young women. Informed by feminist theory, it shows how, being embedded in institutions, which carry particular social relations, cultural values, and power differentials, gendered norms around marriage, femininity/masculinity, and division of labour prevent young women from fully engaging in the projects. By drawing from ethnographic observation of two such projects in Mwanza and Dar es Salaam regions in Tanzania, the article also shows how gender norms can be enablers in achieving gender equality. As such, it argues that, for these projects to achieve their objectives of empowering young women to foster equitable development, they must integrate the critical gender empowerment framework in their overall design, implementation, and evaluation.


Gender, Economic Empowerment, Development, Interventions, Young Women, Norms and Division of Labour

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