MA IDS Thesis Projects

Date of Award


Document Type



College of Theology, Arts, & Sciences


International Development and Service

Degree Name

International Development and Service, MA


Research conducted in this study examined women’s empowerment through a comparison of case studies in Northern Ireland and Ecuador. The objective was to explore the approaches and effectiveness these programs have towards empowering women. A review of existing literature assisted the researcher in defining and conceptualizing empowerment, thereby creating a framework in which empowerment could occur. Past research indicated that empowerment groups throughout the world addressed such issues as economic, social, and gender equality. Through a comparative case study analysis of two community-based programs and the review of the literature, the researcher discusses the current progress and challenges of women’s empowerment in Belfast, Northern Ireland and Quito, Ecuador.