UPS - Public, private and personal (intimate) power
Taking a women’s rights perspective in all our work means that we need to draw on gender theory in our analysis of power. This analysis connects in some important respects with the discussion of visible, hidden and invisible power, but brings in a recognition of the personal dimensions of power.
In many cases we may be powerful in one realm and powerless in another. A woman may be a powerful political figure who remains subservient at home; or she may be assertive in the domestic sphere but powerless in public spaces. Our strategies to transform power need to address all three realms if we are to achieve sustainable change for women.
- Personal and intimate power is self-confidence, awareness of rights, relationship to body and own sense of power etc. (it is linked to power within).
- Private power is the relationships and roles in family, among friends, in sexual partnerships, in marriage etc.
- Public power is what we see as visible power in the community, national, market, public life, jobs, legal rights and global spaces etc.
Questions to deepen the discussion:
- What are our existing strategies doing to address these three realms of power?
- What new strategies or interventions may be needed to ensure that we are taking all three realms seriously?
- Finding the Spaces for Change: A Power Analysis, J Gaventa, IDS Bulletin 37:6, November 2006.
- Ven Klassen and Miller 2002 “A new weave of power, people & politics: the action guide for advocacy and citizen participation”
- People’s Action in Practice, ActionAid, 2012
- www.reflect-action.org - Reflect website.
- www.policy-powertools.org - International Institute of Environment and Development website.
- www.powercube.net – Powerpack: Understanding Power for social change, Institute of Development Studies.
- Introduction to Spaces for Change by Andrea Cornwall and Vera Schattan P. Coelho.
- ActionAid’s Framework for Gender Equality (p. 72-73 AAI Gender & RBA Resource Kit)
- Power- Elite Capture and Hidden Influence, ActionAid, 2012
- Communication & Power, ActionAid, 2003.
- Critical Webs of Power and Change by Jennifer Chapman and Antonella Mancini, ActionAid 2005.
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