Center for International Education

Many Meanings of "Empowerment": A Case Study of Projects to Transform Indonesian Women's Consciousness (2010-2011)

Lead faculty: Drs. Supriya Baily, Jessica Heineman-Pieper, and Leslie Dwyer

Funded: $39,832

In 2010, Drs. Supriya Baily, Jessica Heineman-Pieper (School of Public Policy), and Leslie Dwyer (School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution) received a grant from Mason' Center for Consciousness and Transformation for a project entitled "Many Meanings of 'Empowerment'": A Case Study of Projects to Transform Indonesian Women’s Consciousness." The project was a collaborative, trans-disciplinary initiative to understand the meanings, nature and processes of empowered consciousness and transformation from the perspectives of women whom international organizations have been seeking to target. The researchers explored how women made sense of their experiences and roles within a multi-pronged empowerment program that combines transformative education with provisions of economic and social capital. By highlighting women’s experiences as they engage the opportunities and demands of development, the project contributed to theoretical understandings of consciousness and transformation as subjectively mediated and dynamic processes of negotiation, accommodation and dialogue.

>Indonesia pig

A microcredit program in rural Indonesia that raises pigs.

Indonesian School girls

School girls in rural Indonesia.

Village site where ethnographic research was conducted.