Displaying items 1 - 15 of 64 in total
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    Advancing Women's Empowerment or Rolling Back the Gains? Peace Building in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

    When the Sierra Leone civil war was declared over in January 2002, the concept of women’s empowerment was firmly entrenched in development discourse and practice. The aftermath of the brutalities of rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy, abduction, among other atrocities that women and children, especially girls, were subjected to during Sierra Leone’s eleven years’ civil war was firmly on the post-war agenda. There was a groundswell of protest from women’s NGOs and activists demanding the protection and promotion of women’s rights as part of peace negotiations, post-conflict reconstruction and peace consolidation processes.  …

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    'A Femocrat just doing my Job': Working within the State to Advance Women's Empowerment in Ghana

    Following the round of UN Conferences on Women from the 1970s to the 1990s, many states in the developing world established national machineries to first 'integrate women into development', and later to spearhead the task of gender mainstreaming adopted in the Beijing Platform for Action.  …

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    Agents Of Change, Daily Star

    An article on Pathways’ study on Women Health Workers has shown that despite the challenges that women face working in the public, their standing within the family, in the broader community and the formal space of the workplace is enhanced through their profession, indicating that the government and non-governmental Women Health Worker programmes improve women's positioning in society. …

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    A Missed Opportunity: Women And The 2010 UK General Election 2010

    The 2010 UK general election presented a rare opportunity to significantly enhance women's representation in the UK due to the larger numbers of vacant-held seats following the parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009. However, despite encouraging words and commitments from the main political parties, the opportunity was missed. The proportion of women's representation in the UK parliament remains at around 22 per cent, comparing unfavourably with countries as diverse as Rwanda and Sweden, and leaving the UK ranking 52nd in the global league table. Although there is no one single answer for achieving sex parity in politics, many factors can increase women's opportunities. …

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    Appropriating 'Gender' And 'Empowerment': The Resignification Of Feminist Ideas In Nigeria's Neoliberal Reform Programme

    This paper focuses on processes involved in the Obasanjo administration’s appropriation of feminist language and meanings in its economic empowerment and development strategy, NEEDS. This appropriation of progressive ideas takes apparently gender neutral forms, through the presentation of the government’s economic and development agenda as partitioned from political practice, as well as forms that are more specifically oriented to the terms ‘gender’ and ‘empowerment’. On both tracks, appropriation involves the erasure of power in the production of altered meanings. I argue that NEEDS works ideologically to manufacture hegemony and the illegitimacy of dissent with regard to the government’s reform programme. …

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    A Silver Lining: Women In Reserved Seats In Local Government In Bangladesh

    The system of reserved seats with direct elections to local government bodies has been in place for women since 1997. This article investigates how perceptions have changed about the role of women representatives in local government. By exploring the accounts of women's views, experiences and how they negotiate various structural and attitudinal obstacles, and the changes in the wider sociopolitical context, the article shows that women representatives have gained greater voice and social legitimacy in representing specific types of‘women's issues. ’These gains were partly a result of the supportive policy directives and mechanisms created by the state. …

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    Beyond the Rhetoric of Choice: Promoting Women's Economic Empowerment in Developed Countries

    In preparing for the twenty-year review of the Beijing Platform for Action on women’s economic empowerment, both formal policy documents and media coverage in developed countries such as the Netherlands resonate with the rhetoric of choice between work and care. In this article, my central argument is that framing the combination of work and care as a matter of personal choice stands in the way of economically empowering women. For policy makers to take responsibility in these matters, both policy documents and media coverage should promote win-win instead of zero sum solutions in combining work and care, for both men and women. …

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    Community Health Workers As Agents Of Change Conference Report

    One of the pathways of women’s empowerment is participation in workforce. In Bangladesh one of the first areas which saw mass employment of women outside paid work is the family planning and health sector. It is thus important to explore how these women workers have been able to negotiate and challenge gender norms within their families and their communities and have become role models for the younger generation. The purpose of the research was to explore to what extent women health workers have become agents of change in an environment which restricted their movement and opposed their exposure into the public sphere. …

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    Community Health Workers As Agents Of Change: Negotiating Pathways Of Empowerment Within The Family, Community And Workplace

    Health has been a sector that is traditionally considered appropriate for women’s employment as it is consistent with their caring role. However in the South Asian context, women community health workers are in fact challenging various social constraints and stereotypes by being engaged in regular employment, in coming out of their homes, being mobile in their communities and fulfilling a socially valued role. A qualitative research study was carried out from March 2008 to explore how women health workers have been instrumental in bringing social change into their communities, whether their role as paid workers has empowered them as women, and if there are discernible changes in gender relations as a consequence of their work. The Bangladesh study compared Government women health workers with non-government women health workers of pioneering programmes in three locations: ICDDR,B; Ganoshathya Kendro and BRAC. …

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    Counting The Cost Of Privatised Provision: Women, Rights And The Neoliberal Health Reforms In Chile

    This paper traces the reshaping of the right to health under neoliberal reforms and considers the new Plan AUGE that has been implemented in the health sector in Chile. The paper highlights how women’s right to health has been challenged by the marketisation of health care services. At the same time the paper demonstrates how a limited notion of women’s health is being promoted, one that notably excludes women’s reproductive rights. The Plan AUGE will improve women’s access to health care services but does little to challenge the underlying gendered assumptions around unpaid work and women’s reproductive rights remain severely restricted. …

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    Does The Political Participation Of Women Matter? Democratic Representation, Affirmative Action And Quotas In Costa Rica

    For many countries, despite their adoption of quotas, women's political participation remains low. Costa Rica, however, presents a success story in terms of increasing women's descriptive representation and, as a country which has tried a variety of quota systems, it represents a unique case study. This article looks at the processes which have influenced the evolution of the Costa Rican experience, and the struggle to achieve effective quota law highlights the importance of clear, unambiguous legislation that leaves no loopholes for those resisting its implementation. However, there is also a cautionary note that although quotas can be effective in increasing numbers, the quest by women's organisations to seek transformation can be co-opted by others leading perhaps to undesired outcomes. …

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    Feminist Voices and the Regulation, Islamization and Quango-ization of Women's Activism in Mubarak's Egypt

    This chapter examines the context in which diverse forms of women’s activisms thrive in Egypt today. It is a politically volatile context, in which political space expands and contracts in unpredictable ways. It is also a context in which women’s national machineries are making claims as the principle actors mediating between the international community and the state on gender matters, and between state and society. …

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    Forging Ahead Without An Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians In Sierra Leone's Post-War Electoral Process

    In contemporary post-conflict Sierra Leone, women have managed to secure 13. 5 per cent of seats in parliament – without affirmative action in place, thanks to women's groups' and coalitions' mobilisation and activism. While the political resistance to Sierra Leone having a quota was high, the women's movement has succeeded in forcing the political parties and the government to recognize that it is no longer politically viable to sidestep women's rights, should they wish to capitalise on women's voting power. As women's organisations, in particular the 50/50 group, continue the struggle to introduce a quota, the challenge for Sierra Leonean women is how to ensure that the quota project is not hijacked by the male-dominated political establishment. …

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    From Status to Rights: The Shifting Dimensions of Women's Activism in Iranian Family Law Reform

    This chapter will examine the contemporary legal, social and religious (jurisprudential) debates over the recent revisions to Iran's Family Protection Act (2011). By highlighting the differential tenor of these debates in various sectors of Iranian society, this chapter will reveal the tensions over women's status and rights in Iranian society, the role of law in shaping that status from 'above,' and, finally, the disparate groups claiming the authority to define women's roles in the Iranian social order. …

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    Gender Mainstreaming Critiques: Signposts or Dead Ends?

    An enduring legacy of the Beijing Conference, gender mainstreaming has been widely implemented and widely critiqued since the 1990s. But the basis of these critiques has changed over time: this article charts a typology of critique approaches. It shows how the central problem is diagnosed variously as the loss of the political dimensions of gender in the course of mainstreaming; or technical shortcomings; or the gendered nature of organisations as the causes of technical failure. For others, the problem has been the failure to scrutinise the connection between gender mainstreaming and changes in gender relations in women’s real lives. …