Quiet Revolution? Women’s Collective Empowerment and BRAC
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BRAC’s focus on women and community organisations in the 1970s was lauded as bringing forth “a quiet revolution.” We explore the evolution of BRAC’s selected programs that built community forums and argue that while BRAC successfully retained its focus on women’s inclusion, its approach to collective empowerment is marked by contradictions. The shifts in funding structures that emphasised individual empowerment, the organisation’s emphasis on scaling up programs at the expense of investing in building community organisations, and the accommodation of patriarchal norms to prevent backlash from local actors – all resulted in trade-offs, limiting programming on collective empowerment.