How has the focus of research on gender in the developing world moved from the study of oppression to the study of empowerment? What does this change reflect?
The subject of gender has been a widely researched subject over the years. Gender has been examined regarding rights, pay scales, health factors, and even purchasing habits. It is of no surprise that gender studies are prevalent.
As a progressive and constantly developing world, some researchers tend to believe that oppression is no longer a problem. Others highly disagree. That said, the research has taken a more positive tone. Oppression is negative. Empowerment is positive. Many believe that research must look at the empowering of gender because empowerment ensures (or tries to ensure) less oppression will take place.
Researchers are looking to bring about a post-positivist era which creates new knowledge meant to contribute to social justice. This movement insures that women are learning everything they need to know about empowerment (how to empower one's self) because they already know what it means to be oppressed.