Feminist Interventions: Accountability Beyond Symptom Reduction

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Abstract

Feminist interventions to facilitate women’s psychological well-being are forging new pathways to achieving the goals of the Decade of Behavior. In emphasizing the complex interplay between internal and external factors in women’s lives, feminist interventions are designed to promote women’s safety, health, positive life styles, personal strength, competence, and resilience. In contrast, prevailing medical models locate the problem within the woman by concentrating on diagnosis and treatment of pathology and internal disorders. I offer a model here for implementing and assessing intervention strategies that targets both the effects of unsupportive or negative environments and the imperative to strengthen and empower girls and women, their families, and their communities. The obligation to be accountable for the outcomes of feminist interventions encompasses a major focus of this article. Evolving developments in research on accountability are reviewed in relation to conceptualization, goal setting, and assessment of feminist interventions. I encourage continuing collaboration between the feminist-informed research and practitioner communities to promote women’s health, safety, and well-being in the Decade of Behavior.

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