Discrimination against women and their lack of involvement in public and private spheres indicated in the 1960s the need for separate programmes for women. Being aware of these problems, various development and social activities emerged focusing exclusively on women. However by the 1990s women still remained in a "disempowered" position. This book aims to provide the results of a new approach to development efforts that focused on empowering rural women through Income Generating Programmes (IGPs). These programmes helped women to become aware of their situations in various social and political fields, and increased their access to and control over personal incomes. Despite these changes IGPs have not yet ensured public participation, control of household resources and the power to make independent decisions. This study analyses this short fall in terms of the relationship between women's participation and the social, structural and contextual factors that shape their situation. The book will provide useful insights for development professionals involved in making policies, and formulating and implementing women's empowerment projects.