Local NGOs and their empowerment of women

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: This thesis intends to contribute cumulatively to the understanding of the circumstances that women’s rights-focused NGOs work in when operating in a post-conflict country with an authoritarian regime. It also aims to argue on the importance of the NGOs’ role to empower women by political participation under those circumstances and discuss why it’s often very challenging for the mentioned NGOs to reach their goals. The country in focus for this study is Burma, where a two month field study has been carried out within the framework of Minor Field Study. The empirical findings derive from qualitative semi-structured interviews in the field, with local Burmese NGOs which focuses on women’s rights. The theoretical framework intertwine with the results from the inquiry, arguing that obstructiveness from the government and entrenched norms towards women will force the NGOs to continuously find new strategies to enforce an increase of women’s political participation. Education at the grass root level, a mutual understanding between the NGOs and its donors, an extensive networking between NGOs, and a religious approach to the community when needed, will extensively strengthen the NGOs’ possibility to succeed to increase women’s political participation.

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