Employment Opportunity and Women's Empowerment. A Study with Special Reference to Immigrant Women in Bergen
MetadataShow full item record
Gender injustice towards women in societies is the basic reason for deprivation of women from expanding their abilities to make strategic life choices. Even today, we can find female oppression in many societies ranging from tacit male dominance in religion and philosophies to the brutal male oppression. This, gender injustice to woman, again restricts the achievement of development, peace and freedom resulting as a major contributor to global poverty - in both the economic and human definitions of the term. As a consequence gender equality and women's empowerment have been recognised as key not only to the health of nations, but also to social and economic development (Kishor and Gupta 2009). Being inspired by the thoughts of gender equality and women's empowerment I selected to study the impact of employment on women's empowerment among some immigrant women in Bergen. The main objective of this thesis is to analyze when employment empowers women, when it does not, and in what ways. In the process of getting answer to my research question I have taken in-depth interviews of thirteen women from seven different countries who migrated to Norway for different reasons. All of them are first-generation immigrants and employed in different sectors here in Bergen. They have educational background which makes them confident enough about getting at least a job of the same category or a better one in their country of origin. The study compares the interview data in the light of household bargaining power by using qualitative analysis method. Their experiences give us a clue to understand the effect of employment on empowerment and the gender relations in intra-household bargaining power. Though the findings are from a very small sample compare to the total immigrant population in Bergen the study shows us a direction to understand the issue. From the experience of the fieldwork this thesis ascertains that empowerment is a very complex phenomenon having multiple dimensions. The thesis illustrates a very few of those dimensions and tries to find the linkages between being employed and empowerment. Empowerment can be seen as a source of light. To illuminate the room (an individual woman) with this light she needs windows and doors to be opened so that the light can come inside the room through these. Employment can be seen as one of these windows. Obviously it can illuminate a part of the room subject to one has the opportunity to fully open that window. The opportunity to open this window again depends on many other factors as empowerment intersects personal, family, social, cultural, economic and political space at the same time. The outcome totally depends on the attitude of the environment the person is living in and the bargaining power of the individuals to attain the result.