Dissertations and Theses

Date of Award


Document Type



International Relations

First Advisor

Jean Krasno

Second Advisor

Jeffrey Kucik


Women, empowerment, rights


There is a prevailing attitude that increasing women’s economic participation leads to their empowerment, or increases their agency in influencing decision making. This is despite large data evidence to the contrary and acknowledgement by financial institutions that a link cannot be established. This thesis examines what impact labor participation has on women’s influence in their community and their political participation, how non-income related skills like advocacy increases women’s self-confidence and agency, and the role non-formal training and networks play in increasing women’s participation in decision making and political participation. I find that when conducting a data comparison there does not appear to be a relationship between labor and political participation, but that Cambodian women believe income is key to increasing their influence. Also I find that non-income related skills, non-formal training and networks are important tools to deepen women’s confidence and capacity, leading to sustainable improvement in participation in decision making. Also there is a new area of study, men and masculinity, which is now being used to provide gender relevant gender training to men. In other words, gender is not just about women changing.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.