Empowerment of Women for Promoting Health and Quality of Life

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9780199384662: Empowerment of Women for Promoting Health and Quality of Life

Empowerment of Women for Promoting Health and Quality of Life critically reviews the key theoretical and empirical foundations and policy options for Global Public Health (GPH). The author presents the lessons learned from a meta-analysis of 80 self-organized, successful women's empowerment case studies across the world that have enhanced the health and well-being of their families and communities. The information gleaned offers rare opportunities for understanding what works, how women empower themselves, and how others--professionals included--can help. Additionally, Dr. Kar designs an "EMPOWER" model for empowerment of women for GPH and human development. Using an ecological perspective, the model defines the domains, dimensions, and processes of empowerment, and is applied to a community-based women's empowerment-for-health-promotion initiative. The implications for empowerment and GPH policy, practice, and research are also discussed.

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About the Author:


Snehendu B. Kar, M.Sc., MPH, Dr.P.H., , is a Fulbright-Nehru Distinguished Chair, Professor Emeritus and the Founding Director of MPH for Health Professionals Program in Community Health Sciences, Fielding School of Public Health, UCLA, and Professor Emeritus of Asian American Studies at UCLA. For over four decades, his research and teaching at top universities in the U.S. and abroad focused on social determinants of health, health promotion and education, population planning, health communication, global health, and women's empowerment. Before coming to the US, Kar served as an Assistant Director General of Health Services (Research), at the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi. He has served as a consultant in many countries and has directed several multi-national collaborative research projects sponsored by organizations including the: WHO, UNDP, UNICEF, UNESCO, CDC, Fulbright Commission, Smithsonian Institute, UC Pacific-Rim Research Program, and Kellogg and Ford Foundations. His honors include elected fellowships of the Delta Omega Honor Society, American Psychological Association, US-India Education Foundation (Fulbright), Kellogg International Fellowship in Health, Public Health Leadership Institute (UC Berkeley & CDC), and invited keynote addresses at several international conferences. He has published five edited books and over 125 peer-reviewed research papers, book chapters and reports. Kar's latest book on spiritual quest titled Coming and Going: Poems and Songs of Rabindranath Tagore (2015) presents his translations of the Nobel Laureate poet's spiritual poems/songs illustrated by over 50 award-winning and photographs by him ( The Bee Books/ Patra Bharati, Kolkata, India).

Review:


"There is a growing consensus about the importance of women's empowerment both as a means for development and as an end in itself. The book on this topic by Snehendu B. Kar, focused on health promotion and quality of life, is a major achievement. It not only reviews the models dealing with empowerment and the most relevant literature on this topic, but also analyses a large number of case studies that clearly illustrate the way in which ordinary women empower themselves and, by doing so, improve the health and quality of life of their families and communities."
--Julio Frenk, MD, MPH, PhD, President of the University of Miami; former Dean of the Faculty, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health


"I am aware of no other publications for this topic that begin to equal Kar's broad scope and depth of analysis, greatly benefited by the use of meta-analysis to draw general conclusions from diverse data. I am confident it will receive much attention and likely generate additional important research and publications. Those favoring women's empowerment for promoting health and quality of life will find it an excellent resource."
--Bertram Raven, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Founding Director of Health Psychology, UCLA


"It is rare to find a book that integrates theory, research, and practice and provides the compelling, credible support for the results of this integration. The author of this book does it brilliantly while highlighting the lived experience narrative of global ordinary (who are extraordinary) women who organized movements to deal with threats to themselves and their families. There are many books written about women and their health, yet this book stands out as it highlights the empowerment (not the vulnerability) of women. It is a must for reading and studying as a resource in the classroom, in practice, in legislative sessions, and by those who want to advocate for women. It provides a rich and in-depth analysis of women globally and the context within which they can develop and practice their empowerment."
--Afaf I. Meleis, PhD, DrPS (hon), FAAN, Professor of Nursing and Sociology and Margaret Bond Simon Dean Emerita, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing


"At the heart of this impressive book is a meta-analysis of eighty cases of women's self-organized empowerment movements-both in low and high income countries. Dr. Kar found that each movement sprang from real threats to women's basic survival or safety, not from desires for personal growth or status. Small initial gains from the grassroots brought vital external support, which propelled movements forward and led to demonstrable impact. He also discovered a unifying theme: women often mobilized to prevent harm to the next generation. His meta-analysis yielded valuable insights into the strategies used by successful women-led movements and the specific barriers they face. This book will definitely be a welcome addition to anyone seeking greater understanding of the mechanics of women's empowerment globally."
--Paula Tavrow, PhD, Co-Director, Center of Expertise on Women's Health and Empowerment, University of California Global Health Institute


"This is an incredibly invaluable resource for those interested in the potential of socially and economically disadvantaged women to improve the well-being of their communities, thus closing the health gap from the grassroots. Professor Kar builds on his extensive community-based experiences in Southern California by conducting a highly insightful meta-analysis of case studies from throughout the world, from rich to poor nations. The combination of theoretical concepts and extensive evidence from grounded collective action yields critical lessons for activists, scholars, and policy makers."
--Paul Ong, PhD, Professor and Director, Center for the Study of Inequality, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs


"This fascinating account of what empowerment means to women in most arduous situations and how empowerment translates into improving health and well-being is a must-read for both scholars and development practitioners alike. All those struggling to understand "how to" empower women must learn from women how they empower themselves in most difficult situations. This volume comprehensively reviews empowerment theories followed by eighty in-depth case studies from across the globe of how ordinary women empower themselves when faced with great barriers and threats. The meticulous analysis presented in this book provides critical insights bridging theory and facts."
--Ravi Verma, PhD, Regional Director, International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), Asia


"Empowerment of Women for Promoting Health and Quality of Life is a must-read for public health students and professionals interested in making a difference in the health of communities through empowerment. Using the EMPOWER model, Dr. Kar reports on a meta-analysis of 86 real world cases in which women are empowered to change their communities. These cases of real women and real solutions is inspiring and uplifting--making it possible to believe that indeed, empowered women can change the world."
--Theresa Byrd, DrPH, Associate Dean and Chair, Department of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health (UTSPH)


"This book is an invaluable addition in our understanding of issues related to empowerment of women for promoting health and quality of life. Professor Kar's work is current, contextual, and addresses a felt-need for scholarly work on this topic. This work will be useful for both students and researchers across the developed and developing world."
--Prof. Sanjay Zodpey, MD, PhD, Director, Indian Institute of Public Health, Delhi; Director, Public Health Education, Public Health Foundation of India, New Delhi


"This book could not be more timely as women's empowerment takes center stage in health and development efforts, prioritizing women's empowerment in their efforts. Dr. Kar grounds women's empowerment in a rich history of public health and development efforts, while highlighting their deep roots at the intersection of East and West, North and South, ancient and modern. Kar then elaborates empowerment theory at multiple domains, stages, strategies and dimensions, but most importantly, grounds this work in an extensive evidence-base of over 80 case studies of women-led, grassroots, empowerment projects from around the world working for human rights, equal rights, and health promotion and disease prevention. Students, scholars, researchers, and program designers alike will find this book to be an invaluable resource."
-Dallas Swendeman, PhD, MPH, University of California, Global Health Institute, Center of Expertise on Women's Health & Empowerment


"This book is timely and makes several original and innovative contributions in global health and empowerment research. It contains many theoretical and empirical discussions, with special emphasis on women's empowerment as it relates to Global Public Health and the UN's Human Development Approach. I recommend it highly."
--Abdelmonem A. Afifi, PhD, Dean Emeritus, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health


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