You are required to prepare a Literature Review for your Dissertation.
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW
This chapter discusses the previously done work, ongoing and the current state of knowledge relating to the topic of this study. It will be on communication and development areas, presented in the following order: The concept of women, their importance in societies, and why they should be empowered (2.2). Global perspective of effective information dissemination on women development programs (2.3). Regional perspective of impacts of Women Development Programs in the Pacific Region (2.4). PNG perspective of effective communication approaches in disseminating information on women’s development projects/programs (2.5). The final section (2.6) presents the contribution the study will make.
2.2 Concept of women and their importance in society and why they should be empowered.
Women can be used generally to mean any female or specifically to mean an adult female as contrasted with a girl. Women are known to be the backbone of the family and bedrock of a nation, which means they provide care and support to their families and are essential to children’s development (Basu, S., Kirby, P. C., & Shepherd, L. C., 2020). In the past, women played a significant role in building a community by maintaining traditions and cultural values and passing them down from one generation to the next to keep knowledge and beliefs alive. Women also played the role of wives, partners, and mothers to their families and were involved in cultural development such as customs, clothing, language, technology, and many other traditions and institutions.
However, many women have not reaped the benefits of development initiatives that include women, such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), Vision 2050, Medium Term Development Goals (MTDG), and National Goals, in many communities, particularly in poor countries. According to Matekere (2015), research into the WID, WAD, and GAD theories revealed that 1.4 billion people worldwide, two-thirds of the population, are women who live in extreme poverty. According to the same report, out of the 110 million youngsters who do not have an opportunity for education, two-thirds of those children are girls, and 80% of women’s employment options in the Global South are in the unorganized sectors. This statistic illustrates the realities of being a woman in the global population of the majority.
One of the very common issues affecting development from every sector of development is the need for more effective information dissemination on the development programs/ projects, leading to many organizations not achieving their development goals. The study by Filho and Kovaleva et al. (2022) suggests that Sustainable Development Goals 1, 4, 11, 12, 14, and 16 need further attention to fully empower women, which they think can be addressed by further actions such as raising further awareness on gender equality where they believe can contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goals. However, Lodha (2011) stated in the article titled: Communication a Key to Human Development that human development cannot be achieved by promoting health, nutrition, or education through scattered programs, as it needs development strategies such as development communication strategies to develop human capabilities and opportunities.
2.3 Global Perspective: Effectiveness of Information Dissemination on Women Development Programs
Effective communication is crucial to the success of development initiatives intended to address the unique needs of women in different parts of the world. This emphasizes how crucial it is to establish effective communication techniques for disseminating crucial information about development programs that focus on women in areas facing problems on a global scale. From enhancing infrastructure to empowering women, this viewpoint understands that development initiatives and programs cover various activities. According to Joynes et al. (2019), effective communication is crucial for these efforts to succeed, regardless of the exact project focus, since it promotes understanding, encourages involvement, and leads to good outcomes.
To inform women about development programs, good communication is essential in settings where women require assistance, such as education, healthcare, employment, and community involvement. These initiatives seek to enhance their quality of life, thus it is critical to employ communication techniques that are inclusive of all parties, respectful of their culture, and sensitive to their requirements. The engaged organization, TAWA, should prioritize communication with its members in a straightforward, honest, and courteous manner. TAWA has several options for ensuring that women in the Tutuwe Region have the required information. These consist of in-person gatherings, neighbourhood gatherings, and Internet venues. Utilizing local languages and enlisting community leaders as mediators are also essential.
Mountain et al. (2020) opined that community involvement is essential when ensuring successful communication about development projects for women. It is essential to build a rapport and earn the trust of the locals. This entails actively incorporating local leaders, influencers, and community people in the formulation and implementation of communication initiatives. The wants and tastes of the local women can be understood by doing this. Participation from the community also guarantees that the messages are relevant to the target audience’s culture and resonate with them. Cultural awareness is another crucial component of good communication in attempts to advance women. Customs, values, and communication methods differ amongst cultures. Adapting communication tools and messages to fit the local culture is crucial to avoid misunderstandings and guarantee that information is well-received.
According to Alnasser & Yi (2023), strategies applied by different arts and cultural organizations for their audience development: A comparative review. Heliyon., development organizations should conduct detailed analyses to find the best communication channels for the target demographic. This multi-channel strategy increases the likelihood of successful outreach and engagement by ensuring that information about development initiatives and programs reaches women in various locations and contexts. Another successful strategy is to educate and enhance the communication abilities of women to empower them. Women can actively participate in the communication of information about development projects in their communities by being given the knowledge and abilities to communicate effectively. As women become champions and change agents in their communities, this strategy enhances the sustainability of development efforts and empowers women.
Addressing the difficulties and obstacles women in needy communities might have while acquiring information about development programs is also crucial. These difficulties may include restricted technological use, low literacy rates, and cultural limitations. Organizations working on development should plan their communication techniques to overcome these obstacles. This could entail delivering reading and digital literacy programs, making information available in different formats, and ensuring it is accessible to women with disabilities.
Different women’s development programs
Promoting women’s development programs around the world requires effective information transmission. To illustrate the influence of information transmission on women’s empowerment and growth, this global perspective investigates situations and occurrences involving women from many countries. The efficiency of these programs is demonstrated by the examples below, all of which have references:
Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank: The Grameen Bank, established by Muhammad Yunus in Bangladesh, is well-known for its accomplishments in microfinance and women’s emancipation (Murshid, 2022). The bank has aided millions of rural women in becoming financially independent through the distribution of financial education and access to microloans. According to research by Shahidur Khandker featured in the “Journal of Political Economy,” microcredit programs had a considerable positive influence on women’s income, social status, and ability to make household decisions.
Rwanda’s Gender Equality Policies: With more than 60% of women’s seats in its parliament, Rwanda stands out for its gender equality policies (Rivas, 2022). This accomplishment results from deliberate efforts to disseminate knowledge and public awareness campaigns supporting women’s political involvement. These measures are credited in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report for Rwanda’s outstanding advancements in women’s political representation.
India’s Self-Help Groups: Since self-help groups (SHGs) were established, India has significantly improved women’s lives. These organizations provide information about business, money management, and wellness (Saha & Kasi, 2022). The National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) performed a study that found that women participating in SHGs had better economic and social results, including higher incomes and easier access to healthcare and education.
The Tunisian National Strategy for Gender Equality: The decreasing rates of violence against women prove that the method successfully increased awareness. The World Bank has commended Tunisia’s efforts to advance gender equality through public awareness initiatives.
Norwegian Gender Quota: Norway’s adoption of gender quotas on corporate boards is a wonderful illustration of how to change policies and efficiently disseminate information. The “Quarterly Journal of Economics,” which featured research by Marianne Bertrand and others, reports that Norway’s quota resulted in a large rise in the proportion of women on boards (Garcia‐Blandon et al., 2023). This alteration serves as an example of how policy-driven knowledge dissemination can be undermined.
The Malala Effect: International Support for Girls’ Education– Due to her advocacy work, Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani campaigner for girls’ education, has gained recognition on a global scale. Her story has been told in numerous media outlets worldwide, raising awareness of the value of educating girls (Ikrama and Qumer, 2023). The Malala Fund’s efforts to increase public awareness and mobilize funding for girls’ education serve as a testament to the effectiveness of information sharing in bringing about social change.
In each of these situations, information sharing and the adoption of programs that focus on gender have had a good impact on the advancement of women. These programs have tackled issues related to gender equality, political representation, and economic empowerment. They emphasize the significance of carefully crafted programs and deliberate information transmission in transforming society.
In conclusion, disseminating information is powerful for boosting women’s development initiatives worldwide. These examples from Bangladesh, Rwanda, India, Tunisia, Norway, and international advocacy projects like the Malala Fund show how disseminating information can substantially impact women’s empowerment and equality when combined with well-designed policies. These incidents highlight the value of ongoing campaigns to spread knowledge to achieve sustainable women’s development on a worldwide scale.
Regional Perspective: Impacts of Women Development Programs in the Pacific Region [Case Study: Solomon Island Women in Business Association (SIWIBA)].
Solomon Island Women in Business Association (SIWIBA) is a development project to support SIWIBA in achieving economic empowerment for four years (2014-2017). SIWIBA‘s vision is to inspire women to realize their full potential, importance, and status and be increasingly recognized in the Solomon Islands society. The association has provided different training that suits both formal and informal business.
With support from Pacific Women, SIWIBA has established a Business Development Centre, where women can access training, learning materials, and resources. Training is offered in a range of areas so that women can learn new skills to set up new income-generating activities as well as improve their ability to manage existing businesses. The work done by the association is to transition women to the formal economy.
A series of training has been conducted for SIWIBA members depending on the interest and demand from members which range from floral display, phonic reading system, advanced sewing, leadership and good governance, starting your own business, and cookery training. Accredited local business trainers within SIWIBA’s pool of skilled resources are engaged to conduct training for its members.
Cases from Pacific region
Women’s development initiatives have significantly contributed to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women in nations like Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand. The Pacific area is home to a variety of cultures and societies. This in-depth analysis analyzes case studies and evaluates the advancements made in women’s development to study the effects of these initiatives in the Pacific area.
The Pacific area, which is made up of numerous island countries, is distinguished by a wide range of cultural traditions. Despite their differences, many of these countries share issues with gender inequality, poor access to healthcare, economic opportunity, and education. To address these concerns, several women’s development programs have been launched in the Pacific region.
Case 1: The Fiji Women’s Crisis Center (FWCC): Addressing domestic abuse and gender-based insight has been made likely in part by the Fiji Women’s Crisis Center. It gives aid with legal matters, supports women who have experienced assault and promotes gender equality (Dudley, Phillips & Cissé, 2023). The FWCC’s initiatives have improved legal outlines and augmented the reportage of local ferocity examples. According to research available in the International Journal of Public Administration and Running, the FWCC has radically changed social insights about gender-based violence in Fiji.
Case 2: Fiji’s National Gender Policy: The National Gender Policy proves the Fijian government’s promise of gender equality. The policy inspires women’s economic empowerment, participation in decision-making, and access to health care and teaching (McKenzie et al. 2022). The strategy has helped increase the influence of women in management roles, and Fiji has made important developments in moralizing gender inequities in education. These growths are painted in a report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Case 3: Vanuatu’s Rural Women’s Development Project: The empowerment of rural women in Vanuatu is the main goal of this project, which is funded by the Australian government. Initiatives to advance gender equality and expand economic opportunity are also included (Alston, Fuller & Kwarney, 2023). The project has given women training in business and agricultural skills, enabling them to create revenue and achieve financial independence. The project is praised in an assessment by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for its contributions to women’s empowerment in Vanuatu.
Case 4: Women, Community, and Social Development Ministry of Samoa: Samoa has a ministry devoted to gender equality and the advancement of women. It carries out several initiatives to promote the economic, social, and political empowerment of women. The ministry works on initiatives to boost women’s political involvement as well as literacy programs and support for female entrepreneurs (Leach et al. 2022). The beneficial effects of these initiatives on women’s lives in Samoa are highlighted by research that was published in the Journal of Pacific Studies.
Case 5: Australia’s Economic Policy for Indigenous: Indigenous women in Australia confront particular difficulties because of socioeconomic inequalities. Through focused initiatives that give Indigenous women access to employment opportunities, training, and assistance, the Indigenous Women’s Economic Policy seeks to eliminate these gaps (Normyle et al. 2022). These efforts have improved the economic security and social inclusion of Indigenous women, according to research done by the Australian Government.
Case 6: The Women’s Suffrage Movement in New Zealand: Even though women’s rights have a long history in New Zealand, current initiatives continue to advance gender equality. A notable example is the Women’s Suffrage Movement in New Zealand, which led to women being granted the right to vote in 1893. Policies that encourage women’s involvement in the workforce and politics further demonstrate New Zealand’s dedication to gender equality. New Zealand is ranked highly in worldwide gender equality rankings as a result of these initiatives.
Women empowerment initiatives have made a significant contribution to the advancement of gender equality, the elimination of gender-based violence, and the empowerment of women throughout the Pacific area. Governments, civil society organizations, and external aid have all supported these programs (Mohajan, 2022). The cases cited in Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand show that these efforts have produced fruitful results. These results include an increase in the reporting of incidences of violence, better legal systems, higher economic opportunities, and more representation for women in politics.
However, these achievements do not signify that the effort is over. The Pacific region, like many other regions of the world, is still dealing with issues, including gender inequality. The advancement of gender equality and the advancement of women depends on ongoing initiatives, awareness campaigns, and policy improvements (Atkinson, 2023). Women’s empowerment and gender equality have benefited greatly from Pacific area projects for women’s development. The cases of Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand offer insightful information about the development in these nations. Even if there are still issues, these programs have helped to alter societal attitudes, combat violence against women, provide economic prospects, and increase the involvement of women in decision-making.
These instances show the benefits that can be attained via committed women’s development initiatives as the varied nations of the Pacific area continue their path toward gender equality. The worldwide movement for women’s rights and development can be furthered by using the lessons acquired from these projects in other areas dealing with comparable problems.
2.4 PNG Perspective: Effectiveness of Information Dissemination on Women Development Programs
Effective communication is critical to the success of projects and programs for development in Papua New Guinea (PNG) that are specifically designed to meet the needs of women. These results have a significant impact on women’s lives and the communities in which they live.
First, campaigns to raise healthcare knowledge that make good use of communication have significantly improved mother and child health. As said by Kik et al., 2021, women in distant locations now have improved access to crucial knowledge about prenatal and postnatal care thanks to radio broadcasts, community events, and brochures written in their cultural contexts. Maternal mortality rates have reduced as a result, and more women are seeking medical attention, resulting in healthier mothers and kids.
Second, programs to promote education have significantly changed the lives of women in PNG. Community conversations, participatory workshops, and radio shows have increased understanding of the value of education for girls. As a result, more girls are enrolling in school, increasing gender balance in the classroom. This change can end poverty cycles and empower women to take an active role in a variety of industries.
Another important factor influenced by successful communication is economic empowerment. According to Dziedzic (2022), women have been able to participate in income-generating activities because of women’s organizations and communication initiatives. Women now have the knowledge and abilities required to manage enterprises successfully because of financial literacy classes, entrepreneurship training, and access to market data.
However, many women in PNG and other poor countries have not completely profited from these programs despite these efforts and the worldwide emphasis on women’s development through initiatives like the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Vision 2050, Medium Term Development (MTD) Goals, and National Goals. The grim reality is that many women, particularly in the Global South, live in terrible poverty. As opined by McNamara & Wood, (2019), analysing communication is essential for determining the effects and results of development efforts. To gather information on the advantages felt by women, TAWA should use organized feedback systems, surveys, and qualitative evaluations. Beyond quantitative measurements, qualitative narratives can offer insightful perspectives on the comprehensive changes in women’s lives, such as advancements in their social inclusion, income, health, and education. These success stories can act as effective communication tools within the community, inspiring others to get involved and experience similar advantages.
To address these issues and advance women’s development programs in PNG, effective communication is essential. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that deal with gender equality demand further attention, highlighting how crucial it is to spread knowledge of gender equality to fulfil these goals. As Lodha (2011) noted, development communication techniques are crucial for expanding human potential and opportunity. By encouraging sustainable development and fostering information exchange, they said in closing the gap between policy and execution.
In PNG, development communication first appeared in the middle of the 20th century, but it was not until World War II that it took off. It entails utilizing communication to promote social development while involving all interested parties, such as communities and policymakers. A positive environment is created, risks and possibilities are assessed, and information sharing is encouraged through effective development communication. It is acknowledged as a potent weapon for societal reform, concentrating on meeting fundamental needs, eliminating social inequities, and fostering equality and economic progress.
Therefore, effective communication strategies have significantly influenced Papua New Guinean women’s development initiatives. These methods have played a significant role in combating gender-based violence, boosting economic empowerment, and increasing access to healthcare and education. A more equal and affluent Papua New Guinea cannot be attained without continuing efforts to empower women through communication, despite continued obstacles including restricted access to technology and ingrained cultural norms.
2.5 Local Perspective: Effectiveness of Information Dissemination on Women Development Programs.
Effectiveness of Information Dissemination in Women Development Programs in Western Province and Beyond: A Review of the Literature
Effective information transmission is an essential part of initiatives for the development of women, both globally and locally, in certain countries, regions, and provinces. To evaluate the efficiency of information transmission in boosting women’s development, the literature review looked at previous studies done in Western Province as well as other regions of the nation.
Studying the Western Provinces
Women’s Empowerment through Community Radio in Western Province: Adebayo, Bulani & Matsilele, (2022) looked at the result of public radio programs on women’s authorization in Western Province. According to the study, community radio is a useful instrument for spreading news about probabilities for service, education, and health. According to the study, women are becoming progressively aware of their rights and the resources that are accessible to them. To meet the particular supplies of women in the area, the researchers identified a need for more particular material.
The Role of Local NGOs in Western Province
A study by Van Heerden & Jenkins (2022) evaluated the role of regional non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the advancement of women in the Western Province. It brought to light the efficiency of NGOs in supplying information on healthcare, opportunities for a living, and legal assistance for women. The study stressed the value of NGOs and local communities working together to plan and execute informational programs. The report did, however, raise questions about how long these initiatives would last without more funding.
Studies from different regions of the nation:
Rural Women’s Empowerment in Central Province: In a study shown in Central Province by Thu et al. (2022), the effects of women’s empowerment creativities on rural women were examined. The results showed that particular data sharing through plants and community meetings greatly augmented women’s self-esteem, commercial skills, and decision-making expertise. To ensure long-lasting effects, the study did point up the need for more thorough nursing and assessment of these programs.
Research conducted by Ebrahimi et al. (2022) examined the influence of mobile skills on the progression of women in the Northern Province. The distribution of material on health care, monetary knowledge, and service chances used mobile apps and SMS services. According to the study, women who had access to mobile technology had better economic outcomes and had easier access to medical care. However, since not all women had equal admission to these tools, worries concerning the digital gender gap were raised.
Compare and contrast
While studies in Western Province and other regions of the nation demonstrate the value of information sharing for the advancement of women, certain themes and difficulties recur:
Content that is targeted: Studies repeatedly stress the necessity for information programs that are specifically targeted to the requirements of women in various geographic locations (Galani, Orfila & Gong, 2022). One-size-fits-all strategies are frequently less successful.
Collaboration, sustainability, and communities: Local NGOs, communities, and government organizations frequently work together to create successful initiatives (van der Zon, de Jong & Arts, 2023). Being dependent on outside funding for so many activities, sustainability is still a worry.
Monitoring and Evaluation: Several studies stress the significance of meticulous monitoring and evaluation to guarantee the long-term sustainability of the impact of information dissemination.
Digital Gender Gap: In the age of technology, worries about the digital gender gap still exist, calling for measures to guarantee fair access to informational resources.
The literature from the Western Province and other regions of the nation emphasizes the beneficial effects of knowledge transmission on the advancement of women. It also draws attention to the necessity of context-specific techniques, long-term funding, strict monitoring and assessment, and plans to close the gender gap in the digital sphere (Reggi & Dawes, 2022). These results offer insightful information for policymakers, practitioners, and organizations striving to advance women’s development locally, ensuring that the transmission of knowledge is effectively used as a change agent.
Effective communication and involvement of women by (TAWA) leaders in the last ten years, 2013-2018, have resulted in more women benefiting effectively from their development programs. It has been proven that more than ten women in a village own small and medium-sized businesses like fuel stations, large-sized trade stores, aquatic farming, and many other income-earning activities compared to the last five years (2019-2023) under the management of new executives.
However, today it has been identified that the majority of women are not involved in planning, decision-making, and organizing any form of development process to meet their goals and objectives. These groups of women are not aware of what the association is doing, how it is doing, and when they will be involved in the development programs. As a result, the majority of the women have not benefited from their development programs/projects. This has been a concern for the last five years when the new executives took over in 2017. This has been identified as a gap that prompted the researcher to assess to identify appropriate communication and development strategies to fill up the existing gap.
2.6 Contributions the Study Will Make to the Existing Literature
The study adds to the body of knowledge by highlighting the significance of cultural sensitivity in communication strategies. As opined by El-Adawy et al. (2022), the importance of adapting communication to local contexts is acknowledged in current literature, but this study goes further in exploring the subtleties of cultural sensitivity. It emphasizes the necessity for development organizations to move beyond cursory cultural adjustments and interact with communities on a deeper level while respecting their social structures and rituals.
The study also highlights the importance of community engagement as a fundamental component of successful communication methods. Community involvement is acknowledged to be beneficial, but this study emphasizes its crucial significance in both acquiring information and jointly developing communication solutions with the local community. As said by Braithwaite et al., (2020), it is an innovative strategy that can result in more sustainable and neighbourhood-driven development projects to actively collaborate with community leaders, influencers, and members. The study also promotes education and communication skills as a means of empowering women. The importance of empowering women is acknowledged in existing literature, but communication’s part in this process is frequently ignored. This study fills that gap by emphasizing how bettering women’s communication abilities not only makes it easier for them to acquire information but also empowers them to become change agents and advocates in their communities.
For organizations looking to promote women’s empowerment in development projects, this knowledge is very helpful. The study also contributes by highlighting the need to remove obstacles women experience in areas of need. While the literature admits the presence of these obstacles, this study offers specific solutions for getting through them. It emphasizes the significance of offering literacy and digital literacy programs, making information accessible to women with disabilities, and considering any special cultural constraints that can limit women’s access to information.
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