Is ignorance bliss?: the interrelation of consciousness-expansion and empowerment in Nepalese women's literacy

Iwaoka, Izumi
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Guelph

The goal of my research was to reveal whether critical levels of consciousness obtained by literacy programs relate to the higher levels of empowerment in the strict caste and patriarchal system in Nepal. CLC literacy focused on the literacy first approach while REFLECT literacy aimed at the empowerment approach based on consciousness-expansion. Direct observation, questionnaire and discussions generated by story telling discovered that respondents of REFLECT seem to have been originally conscientized and empowered and their conscious and empowerment level remained almost the same after joining it. By contrast, many of the respondents of CLC have been significantly conscientized and empowered through the literacy program. A range of variables influenced the results, and teachers' qualification was one of these. Further in-depth research needs to be conducted to assess the variety of variables within REFLECT and CLC. Finally this study found that the empowerment approach to literacy was not a prerequisite for acquisition of literacy skills, consciousness-expansion and women's empowerment.

critical levels of consciousness, literacy programs, empowerment, caste syste, patriarchal system, Nepal, CLC literacy, REFLECT literacy