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The Empowerment of Self-employed Home Based Women Producers: Evidence from Jordan

Carter, Sara and Al-Dajani, H. (2008) The Empowerment of Self-employed Home Based Women Producers: Evidence from Jordan. Discussion paper. Diana International Research Symposium, Belfast.

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Abstract

To a large extent, it has been accepted by policy makers that women's empowerment lies within the domains of women-led NPOs. This paper challenges that assumption by providing evidence illustrating that women-owned SMEs were considered more empowering than women-led NPOs by home-based women producers operating in Amman, Jordan. Women's experiences of self-employment and home-based production in the Middle East region continue to lack representation, rendering their contribution to the local and national economies as invisible. To this extent, this study sheds a new light on current conventional wisdom regarding women's experiences of self-employment in this region. The study explores the extent to which the established relationships between home-based women producers and women-owned SMEs have empowered the home-based producers. This was achieved by identifying and analysing the processes through which the women-owned SMEs empowered the home-based women producers, and then identifying the best practices for women's empowerment.