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Enabling Women's Agency: Arab Women Speak Out
Unformatted Document Text:  Tracking #: ICA-19-11265 lasted two-and-a-half hours. Each workshop trained up to 20 women. The training manual includes a media-monitoring guide to promote critical analysis of media images of women. Over the course of the workshop, facilitators encouraged every participant to rethink preconceptions about women’s roles and responsibilities that may have been perpetuated by stereotypes in the media, to remember and reflect upon her life experiences in light of group discussions, and to represent herself rather than allowing others to represent her. Remembering and representing are important elements in the formation of politicized consciousness and self-identity. Indeed, retelling one’s story and representing oneself can lead to personal and social transformations. Given this theoretical framework, we hypothesized that women who watched and analyzed the video profiles together with their fellow participants would be more likely to act in ways exemplified by the women in the video profiles than would non-participants. Methods Study Respondents The evaluation consisted of a post-test only control group design; the survey took place in March-April 2001. The population from which the sample of participants was chosen was restricted to individuals trained before June 2000, thus allowing participants time to make changes in their lives. Study subjects were chosen proportional to the numbers who had participated in Egypt, Jordan and Yemen—the only countries where workshops were held before June 2000. Some 217 participants were randomly selected from the list of participants for face-to-face interviews (141 Egyptians, 63 Jordanians and 16 Yemeni women). 32 The study design required a group of women who had not participated in the AWSO workshops. Since the workshops are held on an ongoing basis, the researchers randomly selected a sample of women from those registered to participate in upcoming workshops. Interviews of this control group took place right before their training commenced. The control group comprised 101 women (72 Egyptians, 20 Jordanians and 9 Yemenis). The research team trained a group of interviewers to collect data from women in both the experimental and control groups. The experimental and control groups were statistically equivalent with respect to nationality, age distribution, educational attainment, marital status, number of children, and work status. Respondents signed a written informed consent statement that had been approved by institutional review boards in their respective countries. The 21 percent of respondents who were non-literate consented orally, which was witnessed and noted. The quantitative findings were complemented with qualitative research, which took the form of open-ended interviews with twelve participants (four from each of the three countries represented in the study). Additionally, a series of open-ended questions was posed of all AWSO participants. This approach gave respondents the opportunity to explain in their own words whether and how participation in the project affected their apperceptions, aspirations and actions. Measures The theoretical framework discussed above guided the development of the survey instrument and the open-ended qualitative research instrument, which were pilot-tested for comprehension and relevance. The questionnaire for the quantitative research assessed sociodemographic, knowledge (access to information), self-efficacy, and decision-making factors as well as agency, which was

Authors: Underwood, Carol R. and Jabre, Bushra.
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Tracking #: ICA-19-11265
lasted two-and-a-half hours. Each workshop trained up to 20 women.

The training manual includes a media-monitoring guide to promote critical analysis of media
images of women. Over the course of the workshop, facilitators encouraged every participant to
rethink preconceptions about women’s roles and responsibilities that may have been perpetuated
by stereotypes in the media, to remember and reflect upon her life experiences in light of group
discussions, and to represent herself rather than allowing others to represent her. Remembering
and representing are important elements in the formation of politicized consciousness and self-
identity. Indeed, retelling one’s story and representing oneself can lead to personal and social
transformations.

Given this theoretical framework, we hypothesized that women who watched and analyzed the
video profiles together with their fellow participants would be more likely to act in ways
exemplified by the women in the video profiles than would non-participants.
Methods
Study Respondents
The evaluation consisted of a post-test only control group design; the survey took place in March-
April 2001. The population from which the sample of participants was chosen was restricted to
individuals trained before June 2000, thus allowing participants time to make changes in their
lives. Study subjects were chosen proportional to the numbers who had participated in Egypt,
Jordan and Yemen—the only countries where workshops were held before June 2000. Some 217
participants were randomly selected from the list of participants for face-to-face interviews (141
Egyptians, 63 Jordanians and 16 Yemeni women).
32
The study design required a group of women
who had not participated in the AWSO workshops. Since the workshops are held on an ongoing
basis, the researchers randomly selected a sample of women from those registered to participate
in upcoming workshops. Interviews of this control group took place right before their training
commenced. The control group comprised 101 women (72 Egyptians, 20 Jordanians and 9
Yemenis). The research team trained a group of interviewers to collect data from women in both
the experimental and control groups. The experimental and control groups were statistically
equivalent with respect to nationality, age distribution, educational attainment, marital status,
number of children, and work status. Respondents signed a written informed consent statement
that had been approved by institutional review boards in their respective countries. The 21
percent of respondents who were non-literate consented orally, which was witnessed and noted.

The quantitative findings were complemented with qualitative research, which took the form of
open-ended interviews with twelve participants (four from each of the three countries represented
in the study). Additionally, a series of open-ended questions was posed of all AWSO
participants. This approach gave respondents the opportunity to explain in their own words
whether and how participation in the project affected their apperceptions, aspirations and actions.

Measures

The theoretical framework discussed above guided the development of the survey instrument and
the open-ended qualitative research instrument, which were pilot-tested for comprehension and
relevance. The questionnaire for the quantitative research assessed sociodemographic,
knowledge (access to information), self-efficacy, and decision-making factors as well as agency,
which was


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