Empowermentprocesser – ett sätt att öka långtidssjukskrivna kvinnors resurser? En studie om att återta balansen i arbetslivet att återta balansen i arbetslivet
Sammanfattning: The aim of the thesis is to understand and explain how a group of women have ended up on the long-term sick-list and how a return to working life can be brought about. Support for their return is organized within the framework of a R&D project within the EU-program EQUAL, where empowerment is one of the key principles.The research has been carried out using an interactive approach in close collaboration with the women in the project who have been signed-off long-term on medical grounds. Group discussions, questionnaires and individual interviews have provided the basis for collective analyses. This learning process, which is the central core in the interactive research, has, resulted in a deeper and more valid understanding of the reasons leading to ill-health and of the return to working life.The empirical part of the study and the analyses are divided into three parts. The first part I call the powerlessness process, namely tha which the women describe as a contributory factor to ill-health, caused by diminishing resources and increasing demands both in working life and in private life, and which eventually initiates a long-term signing-off on medical grounds. The second part is concerned with regaining and/or changing the resources that have been lost during the powerlessness process. The third part illustrates the return to working life, which is described in different steps.The thesis shows the worth of looking at the interplay between individual, organizational and community levels when trying to understand the reasons underlying ill-health and how changes at these different levels can affect the individual.The thesis shows also the importance of looking at ”life as a whole” and not just working life, where a return to work is concerned. In order to achieve a sustainable working life, attention must also be paid to gender structures and work-life balance.
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