Displaying items 46 - 60 of 132 in total
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    Liberal Vs. Liberating Empowerment: A Latin American Feminist Perspective On Conceptualising Women's Empowerment

    In this paper Cecilia Sardenberg argues that, despite the great diversity in the uses of the term ‘empowerment’, it is possible to distinguish two basic approaches in conceptualising women’s empowerment. The first, identified here as ‘liberal empowerment’, regards women’s empowerment as an instrument for development priorities, be they the eradication of poverty or the building of democracy. Consistent with liberal ideals, the focus in this approach is on individual growth, but in an atomistic perspective on the notion of the rational action of social actors based on individual interests. Moreover, it de-politicizes the process of empowerment by taking ‘power’ out of the equation. …

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    Liberal Vs Liberating Empowerment: A Latin American Feminist Perspective. Pathways Working Paper 7

    The term ‘women’s empowerment’ is viewed with a certain amount of distrust by feminists in Latin America. There has been some ambiguity surrounding the term in the region and in some cases it has been appropriated to legitimize actions that may not actually empower. This paper reflects on feminist conceptualisations of empowerment and how the process is believed to unfold. It outlines two basic approaches to conceptualising empowerment: ‘liberal’ and ‘liberating’ empowerment. …

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    Local Feminism: Between Islamism And Liberal Universalism

    In this paper Islah Jad argues that the spread of universal women’s rights discourse, based on the liberal individual notion of rights, potentially ignores the different contexts in which ‘indigenous’ forms of resistance by feminist movements takes place, and risks sidelining some important knowledge and gains that have been achieved by these movements. In the Palestinian context detaching feminist struggle from the wider context of the emancipatory struggle for national liberation has led to the marginalization of women’s movements and the subordination of their claims for rights to a universal donor agenda. …

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    Looking At Sexuality And Identity In The Information Society From A Latin American Feminist Perspective: Implications For Policy Formulation

    This paper, presented Strategic Planning Workshop of the Feminist Network on Gender, Development and Information Society Policies, IT for Change, Bangalore, India, 5-7 October, briefly addresses some of the issues in debates on the rise of the information society and its impact on feminism and women’s movements in a world scale, as well as its importance as a tool for the empowerment of women and significance to contemporary expressions of sexuality and identity. In this paper, Sardenberg focuses more specifically, on those debates relating to expressions of sexuality and identity in the information society, as seen from a critical Latin American feminist perspective. She raises these issues in the hopes that they can be of significant consequence for policy formulation on the uses of the information society with greater gender equity. …

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    Men Aboard? Movement for a Uniform Family Code in Bangladesh

    In the late 1980s and early 90s, the Bangladeshi feminists mobilised for a uniform family code. Despite the extensive groundwork by the feminists on the required legal changes, the movement failed to attain its goal. The demand for a uniform family code not only challenged male privileges based on Shari'a law but also those based on religious laws of the minority communities. This chapter explores the movement building strategies and negotiations for a uniform family code, particularly feminist efforts to contest the pitting of the ‘right to equality’ against the ‘right to religion’. …

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    Men And Gender Justice: Old Debate, New Perspective

    The nature of men's involvement in the struggle for gender justice has long fiercely divided gender-equality advocates. After nearly three decades of disagreement this seam of tension doggedly persists, little engaged with and largely unresolved. …

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    Nari Andolon Abong Shomorthon Toirer Koushol: Akti Porjalochona

    Report in Bangla on the research which documented and analysed strategies and approaches used by three national women's organisations in Bangladesh to mobilize and advocate for women's rights and raise demands to the state and other rights holders. The study challenges the established view that feminist voice, organisation and movement loses ground after democratic transitions. …

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    Negotiating Alliances, Overcoming Opposition: Women's Movements and Other Social Movements Roundtable

    The Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Programme Consortium (RPC) and the Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts (WEMC) RPC held a public discussion on the theme of building alliances on 13 November 2008 in Cape Town prior to the AWID Forum. The day’s programme included an introduction to the two RPCs by their respective directors, followed by inputs from the RPC members about women’s movements’ encounters with other social movements, after which there was a question and answer session. An internal meeting was held by the two RPCs for members to identify key issues of strategic relevance for building alliances as well as overcoming oppositions, and to formulate strategies for engagement across movements. …

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    Organizing to Monitor Implementation of the Maria da Penha Law in Brazil

    The Maria da Penha Law (LMP), which was introduced in 2006, is the first Brazilian federal code to address domestic and familial violence against women. The law is the outcome of thirty years of struggles led by Brazilian women and feminist movements. LMP is an extensive legal instrument that is meant to prevent and combat domestic and familial violence against women.  …

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    Participatory Pathways: Researching Women's Empowerment in Salvador, Brazil

    Can research on empowerment be in itself empowering to those that take part in it? If so, how might that research be constructed and conducted, and what kind of empowerment might researchers and research participants experience? This article explores a series of research initiatives in Salvador, Brazil, that sought to integrate transformative feminist principles into the study of women's empowerment as part of an international research programme involving researchers from Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, West Africa, the UK and the USA. We reflect on debates about epistemology and methodology that gave rise to the design of these projects and on the research journeys that these designs brought into being. Contrasting research projects with very different foci, methodologies and participants, the article explores insights from these initiatives for feminist research on empowerment. …

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    Politicising Masculinities: Beyond The Personal Workshop

    A diverse mix of people came together in Dakar, Senegal from 13-19 October 2007, to debate issues of men, gender and power: unconventional practical academics, open-minded policymakers, reflective practitioners and activists. It was a unique gathering and offered a unique opportunity – to inform and inspire a greater engagement by men in the struggle for gender justice and broader social change. The symposium was borne out of a realization that much of the most innovative work on men and masculinities has worked at the level of the personal, such as seeking to transform men’s sexual behaviour, violence against women and relations of fatherhood. The HIV epidemic has forced an open space for greater acknowledgement of the fluidity and diversity of men’s sexual and social identities. …

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    Poor Women's Agency In Gaza Case Study

    This research examined the complexity of gendered subjectivity in Gaza Strip and how it is reshaped in a contradictory manner in the context of livelihood crisis and insecurity caused by the full siege imposed on Gaza Strip by the Israeli occupation and the international community. The research is unique because it attempted to deal with the reality of women’s everyday life and avoided any standardized framework of gender analysis. It focused on the contextualization of the concept of women’s agency based on the narration of women’s stories and life experiences. The documentation of poor women’s interpretation of their daily life is the basis for creating new knowledge and new theories. …

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    Positionality and Transformative Knowledge in Conducting 'Feminist' Research on Empowerment in Bangladesh

    This article is based on the experiences and reflections of a group of researchers in Bangladesh (of which we were members) studying women's empowerment. We investigate the kinds of epistemological and ethical dilemmas that arose from how they selectively presented their identities to gain access and tried to create ‘positional spaces’ in conducting fieldwork. We also explore how these researchers engaged in co-production of knowledge with research participants and tried to balance our multiple accountabilities in this process. By exploring these issues, we analyse assumptions about ‘feminist’ research practices and our struggles to live up to these. …

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    Quotas As A Path To Parity: Challenges To Women's Participation In Politics

    The promise of democratic equality has not arrived for women. In all societies said to be democratic, women have had an arduous struggle and are still fighting for access to rights common to any male citizen, for example an equal salary for equal work, promotion opportunities, the right to physical integrity, and access to work. Gaining the right to vote and the right to run for office as elected representatives has not in practice meant the right to be elected under the same conditions as men (Petit 2007). In the immense majority of representative democracies, women are far from having won political equality. …

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    Reclaiming 'Agency', Reasserting Resistance

    This paper examines how concepts of women’s ‘agency’ have been appropriated and transformed by neo-liberal discourses. Within this framework, the exercise of agency is sought in women’s strategies for survival rather than struggles for transformation, and at the level of the individual rather than the collective. Post-modern preoccupations with the subject and the recognition of ‘difference’ have been incorporated alongside liberal definitions of the ‘rational individual exercising free will’ to pursue and legitimise neo-liberal economic policies involving intensified exploitation of poor women’s labour. Meanwhile the emphasis on women’s agency marginalizes analysis of oppressive structures, and shifts the focus away from patriarchal ideologies. …