Women’s empowerment is key to the health and rights of women worldwide, and achieving women’s empowerment requires approaches that “promote participation and incite action”(Aziz, 303). This paper describes Aga Khan University’s (AKU) participation in Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts (WEMC), a five-component study that used a participatory action research approach. The AKU-WEMC “adapted the participatory rural appraisal (PRA) tools to explore women’s perceptions and reflections on their existent situation and aspired needs with respect to empowerment, community’s overall health, mental health, reproductive health, daily work load, access to resources, participation in decision-making and violence against women” (Aziz, 103). A five-step model of participatory action research for women’s empowerment is presented as a tool for community-based work and social change.

Aziz, A., Shams, M., & Khan, K.S. (2011). Participatory action research as the approach for women’s empowerment. Action Research, 9(3), 303-323. Full Text.