Every day in international development organisations, feminists make use of strategy, tactics, wisdom and skill to act for their principles. Most of their strategies are invisible and their tactics subtle. They draw on networks of friendships and relationships that create ripples of effect in enabling their organisations to be pathways of women's empowerment.
Feminists in Development Organizations arises from a collaborative project between 2007 and 2012 in which a group of feminists working inside the head offices of multilateral organisations, government aid agencies and international non-governmental organisations came together to critically reflect on their work. The personal stories in this book show that these feminists are 'tempered radicals' positioned on the border of development agencies that employ them. It is a place where they are neither fully one thing nor another: neither fully paid-up, pen-pushing bureaucrats, nor full-blown feminist activists on the barricades. Nevertheless, these feminist bureaucrats see their work as urgent, essential and a necessary contribution to global efforts to achieve women's rights.
Through a series of case studies written by women in development organisations this book reflects on the progress of gender mainstreaming. It shows how feminists can build effective strategies to influence development organisations. It demonstrates and fosters a creative dialogue between feminists working inside and outside bureaucracies for greater understanding and more effective alliances for social change.
The book is aimed at staff of development organisations - who want their organisations to become an instrument in helping transform the lives of women - and at students and researchers concerned with the politics of gender mainstreaming.