The men used to make comments such as these women are doing tamasha showing off

The men used to make comments such as these women are

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The men used to make comments such as, these women are doing “tamasha” (showing off) and they are going to close down our sangha after a few days. But we did not worry about those comments.” Ramachandar, 2009, South India
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9 3 The Campbell Collaboration | Psychological empowerment In contrast to the quantitative literature, much of the qualitative literature on individual-level empowerment focuses on self-confidence and self-esteem, and suggests women participating in SHGs feel psychologically empowered. The 11 contributing qualitative studies included in this review suggest specific aspects of individual-level change which were experienced by women self-help group members. Agentic voice: One of the dominant themes from six studies is that women self-help group members reported feeling more capable of speaking in front of others. First, women experienced this by speaking in front of their peers at their group meetings. As groups matured and began to get involved in community development projects, women also talked about feeling capable of speaking in front of others, such as extended families, authorities, and community leaders (Dahal, 2014; Kabeer, 2011; Kilby, 2011; Kumari, 2011; Mathrani & Pariodi, 2006; Ramachandar & Pelto, 2009). Participation in household negotiations: Another emergent theme involved intra- household dynamics, which was mentioned in six studies (Dahal, 2014; Kabeer, 2011; Kumari, 2011; Mercer, 2002; Ramachandar & Pelto, 2009). At first, women reported the process of gaining acceptance from husbands and in-laws to participate in SHGs. Furthermore, women described gaining respect over time from husbands and extended family and becoming decision-makers within their households following their membership in SHGs. Domestic disputes: Women in eight studies reported how their participation in SHGs had contributed to domestic disputes and violence including both verbal and physical abuse (Dahal, 2014; Kabeer, 2011; Kilby, 2011; Kumari, 2011; Mathrani & Pariodi, 2006; Ramachandar & Pelto, 2009; Sahu & Singh, 2012). Women from three studies reported an initial increase in disputes or violence but said that they eventually gained respect from husbands and in-laws by bringing in income to the household. These women also reported fighting less with their husbands (Kumari, 2011; Mathrani & Pariodi, 2006; Ramachandar & Pelto, 2009). In two other studies women reported that they experienced a decrease in disputes and conflict between husbands and wives (Knowles, 2014; Sahu & Singh, 2012). In all eight studies, women described how SHG members put social pressure on men to stop beating wives and would show up in groups to support women who had been beaten. The interviewed women felt these activities decreased domestic violence in their communities.
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9 4 The Campbell Collaboration | Social empowerment The literature around empowerment talks about social capital accumulation as a result of participation in SHGs. We found three main themes that emerged within the context of social capital that explain this phenomenon in more detail.
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Networking:
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  • Qualitative Research, SHGs

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