The focus of this paper is the theme of empowering work, or more specifically, the transformativepotential of paid work, including its implications for voice and bodily integrity. This focus can be seen as one strand in a broader research agenda on the material dimensions of women’s empowerment, an agenda which would also include women’s property rights, access to credit, social transfers, skills training and other kinds of economic resources. Different resources have their own forms of materiality in that the changes associated with them are likely to take concrete shape through somewhat different pathways in women’s lives. In order to keep the discussion in the paper focused, I will deal primarily with paid work but draw on
research relating to these other economic resources for illustrative purposes.