The paper presents a potentially effective empowerment strategy for women, using Nigeria as a case-study. The strategy evolves from an evaluation of recent empowerment strategies in Nigeria, empowerment concepts, and Karl’s (1995) scheme of empowerment. The author argues that the empowerment of women (understood as enhancing their capacity to influence and participate in making decisions which directly or indirectly influence their lives) is the key issue in protecting women’s interests. She argues that (a) the concept of empowerment implicit in an empowerment strategy predetermines its effectiveness; (b) endogenous empowerment is likely to be more effective than exogenous empowerment because it locks into real needs, as revealed by a prior assessment; and (c) a dynamic conception of empowerment is more appropriate than a static one because it leads to endogenous empowerment strategies. The author recommends a three-pronged strategy consisting of awareness-building, skills and capacity development, and political action within a framework of endogenous empowerment.
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