Agency of rural Nepali women as moderated by community learning centres : a postcolonial feminist perspective
This study includes the voices and experiences of fifteen Nepali women who participated in the activities provided at two Community Leaning Centres (CLCs). CLCs provide various learning activities for the women in rural Nepal, where education opportunities for adult women are extremely lacking. Situated within a postcolonial feminist perspective, this thesis aims to investigate not only the benefits of the CLCs for women per se but the construction of women’s agency through the learning using a combination of semi-structured interviews and a thematic data analysis. This study identifies the perceived benefits of women participants and analyses the processes by which women negotiate social constraints in their learning experiences, and the spaces of agency that have emerged therein. Each form of agency is classified into one of three groups - intrapersonal, relational and collective agency. This study particularly employs a post-colonial feminist lens to examine women’s experiences and their agency. Viewing the subjects through this lens suggests that there is no homogeneous "average Nepali woman" archetype; however, there are women who are active in their responses to gender-ascribed unfavourable structures within which they situate with different individual and collective strategies, motivations and expectations. This phenomenon challenges the moral and ethical imperatives of development inherent in development processes. ...
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