Date of Completion

Spring 5-1-2015

Thesis Advisor(s)

David Richards; Jennifer Sterling-Folker

Honors Major

Political Science

Disciplines

Comparative Politics | Inequality and Stratification | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Studies | Other Political Science | Politics and Social Change | Social Policy | Women's Studies

Abstract

Much research has been done on increasing the amount of female participation in both the formal economy and political sphere across the globe. This project seeks to go beyond this idea and analyze whether economic empowerment leads to increased political participation. By analyzing a specific type of empowerment, social entrepreneurship, through the specific lens of Soluciones Comunitarias’ MicroConsignment Model, my paper looks to explore if and how women in Guatemala are affected by this model politically and economically. Existing work in the field of women’s social movements makes clear the linkage between social mobilization and positive outcomes, such as increased development, capability, and capacity. This research aims to look at the interim step (indirect linkage) between social movements and positive outcomes for women by studying the relationship between women’s exposure to social entrepreneurship programs -- via one type of social mobilization -- and the level of women’s political participation and participation in the formal economic sector. I hypothesize that women who have been exposed to social entrepreneurship will be more likely to engage in political participation and will be more likely to be involved in the formal economic sector; ultimately, my hypotheses were proven correct. Through synthesis of the literature and data analysis of sixty surveys completed by Guatemalan women, I illuminated the effects of the model beyond its intended purpose to a broader political and economic level.