Elisa Martinez, Doctoral Candidate in Sociology and Program Assistant at ISSR, has co-authored the chapter "Empowerment and HIV Risk Reduction among Sex Workers in Bangladesh" in the edited volume Women's Empowerment and Global Health: A Twenty-first Century Agenda (University of California Press). The chapter explores the links (and insufficiency thereof) among interventions seeking to promote empowerment among women engaged in sex work in one of Bangladesh's largest red light districts, changes in the women's lived experiences of gendered power, and their levels of HIV risk.
Martinez co-authored the chapter with two colleagues from her days as Senior Advisor for Gender Equity and Diversity at the international development agency CARE: Victor Robinson (independent consultant) and Theresa Hwang (Director for Gender, CARE). It is based on one of more than thirty connected inquiries Martinez oversaw in CARE's 5-year action research on women's empowerment, which sought to uphold rights-based approaches alongside persuasive standards of rigor in conceptualizing, assessing, and improving the impact of CARE's work on gender and women's empowerment. Methodological reflections on the Strategic Impact Inquiry on Women's Empowerment as an exercise in large-scale action research appear in the most recent SAGE Handbook of Action Research (Glenzer, Martinez and Drinkwater, 2015), and a rich collection of material from the Strategic Impact Inquiry on Women's Empowerment can be found here.