chapter  7
Movements, states and empowerment: women’s mobilization in Chile and Turkey
Pages 21

The emergence and growth of women’s movements is one of the primary means for achieving women’s empowerment. By organizing and/or joining women’s groups, women can become aware of their oppression and seek structural changes in power relations between men and women. The strategies through which women’s movements seek empowerment, however, vary from one context to another, since women’s agency is shaped by different political, historical and cultural contexts. Thus, certain theoretical insights can be gained from comparing the emergence and evolution of different women’s movements. A comparison permits us to ask questions about the conditions that inspire struggles for empowerment, the strategies employed, the meaning and content of ‘empowerment’, and whether empowerment always implies a ‘bottom-up’ process, or can states also promote women’s empowerment? And, perhaps most importantly, does the discourse of ‘women’s empowerment’ include all women, regardless of class, ethnic and religious distinctions?