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Seminar: Women's Economic Empowerment and Reproductive Health: What Do We Know? What Can We Know?

Alaka Basu, Professor, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University
When Dec 02, 2013
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 0124B Cole Student Activities Building
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Talk

This paper addresses some of the key issues that the UN post-2015 development agenda is looking at, as well as takes an independent long-term perspective on the reproductive health implications of the trend in rising levels of women's participation in the labor force globally. As more and more women become economically active we need to think about the ways in which this economic activity can be called economic 'empowerment' and the possibilities that such empowerment hold for changes in other aspects of their lives, their reproductive health status in particular. The matter is not as simple as we would like largely because both 'empowerment' and 'reproductive health' are catchall terms for a variety of things, not all of which might move in the same direction. This report thus tries to unpack terms like empowerment, economic empowerment, and reproductive health philosophically (only briefly), semantically and into their component parts and develops a conceptual and empirical framework to think about the potential interrelationships between these different aspects of economic empowerment and of reproductive health.

About the Speaker

Alaka Basu

Alaka Basu is a Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation in Washington DC, on leave from Cornell University, where she is a Professor of Development Sociology. She is a social demographer and has published widely in the areas of reproductive health and family planning, gender and development, child health and mortality, and the context and politics of population policy. She has served on the governing boards of the Population Association of America (PAA), the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) and the Population Council in New York.

She was also the chair of the IUSSP Scientific Committee on Anthropological Demography and a member of the Committees on Reproductive Health and on Population Projections of the National Research Council at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. She also served for six years as the Director of the South Asia Program at Cornell University. She has also taught at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi and at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Visit Professor Basu's webpage


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