University of Oulu

Exploring women’s learning and participation through the case of Khwaab : a women’s skill development centre in India

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Author: Rawat, Bhavna1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.1 MB)
Pages: 111
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : B. Rawat, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-08-20
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Siklander, Pirkko
Reviewer: Siklander, Pirkko
Lehtomäki, Elina
Järvelä, Maria


Target 4.3 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals states that- “By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university.” In a drastically changing world, the role of community-based spaces becomes crucial for ensuring access to quality learning, skill-development, and fostering leadership at the grass-root level. Literature reviews on non-formal and community-based learning spaces for women from underprivileged sections in India display a pattern of macro-level studies which use quantitative methodologies to look at economic impacts of these spaces in the lives of women. This research follows an embedded case design of Khwaab, a women’s skill development centre in Delhi. The aim of this case study is to explore women’s learning and participation through a two-fold purpose. First, to understand trainers’ perceptions about learning and its influence on the training design. And second, to capture voices of learners through their interpretations of learning experiences and perceived ways of participation. The study adheres to social constructivist paradigm, drawing on sociocultural approaches to learning, mainly the theoretical lens of community of practice and situated learning. Lifelong learning framework characterise Khwaab as a site of non-formal learning. Feminist theories from India contextualise the case and the participants. The data consists of audio recorded interviews from 5 learners and 2 trainers, and training toolkits used at Khwaab. Findings from thematic analysis of interviews and summative content analysis of training toolkit have been merged to showcase eight major themes, spanning over characterisation of learners and their collective identity, group interaction, responsive organisational structures, and interpretations of empowerment. This case study has implications for creating new or improving the existing teaching-learning designs and organisational structures in the context non-formal learning settings, especially for women. Insights from the findings also contribute in furthering the dialogue to reconceptualise social development as a learning process.

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