Potentials Of The Civil Society And Caveats

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Potentials of the civil society and caveats Utilization of the social spaces created by the CSOs does not all imply that it can result to women empowerment. Civil society visibly creates spaces that offers opportunity for women to be part of the local politics and development but achieving empowerment still depends on how they perform and negotiate in the spaces. In most cases, women’s participation in the CSOs does not challenge patriarchal controls. As shown by Mudege and Kwangwari (2013), resources distribution in the NGOs in rural Zimbabwe could empower individual women because they gain control on inputs for crop production and marketing of their agricultural produce, hence addressing their practical needs for the family. However, the NGOs still fail to advance a truly feminist agenda because patriarchal attitude still exist. This case shows that participation of women in civil society spaces predefined as men’s spaces may not lead to significant empowerment of women. This is because women remains to be dependent on patriarchal systems and has tendency to accommodate existing structures that perpetuates gender inequality. In most cases within the civil society realm, economic status also hinders women’s individual empowerment. Mudege and Kwangwari (2013) also asserts that women who holds economic power tends to have bigger say that those with less. It is clear that sometimes women join civil society organizations to pursue their own social class interests that may not

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