Displaying items 16 - 30 of 84 in total
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    Empowerment As Change

    In this article, Connell argues that true empowerment of women requires radical institutional change – a democratizing of institutions. She reflects on MGD3’s claim that development requires gender equality, arguing that much development is done with the subordination of women. She discusses the rhetoric of empowerment as being politically effective but also problematic in its simplification of the category of women, and says that in order for progress in women’s empowerment and for gender justice, men need to be involved. She argues that any worthwhile concept of development must involve communities, institutions and populations as well as institutions, and must have a sense of limits and justice. …

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    Empowerment For Grassroots Women

    Mwaura-Muiru highlights the need for the women’s movement and donors to work towards and support woman-led (especially poor woman-led) transformation. Collective organizing and social networks is a means of empowerment that allows women to respond to challenges, but grassroots organizing is being threatened by social and macro economic models of development. The women’s movement’s renewed interest in grassroots women’s coping strategies could potentially be a huge step forward for the women’s movement, but, Mwaura-Muiru argues, the views of the less privileged should be seen as the critical voice in the design of appropriate interventions. She critiques Gender and Development as being too focussed on technical and professional training, which continues to marginalize poor women, and argues that there is a need to rethink development and women’s empowerment, and stresses that strategies towards women’s empowerment need to consider grassroots women’s needs and diversity. …

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    Empowerment From Below

    Alan Greig uses his experience as a development practitioner to reflect on the lessons that have been learned with regards to women’s empowerment, what questions remain unaddressed, and what the frictions, hopes and challenges are for women’s empowerment. He discusses the things that need to be considered more attentively in the broader attempts to ‘empower’ economically and politically, and offers his opinion on the determining factors for women’s empowerment. …

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    Gender Equality And Economic Growth: Is There A Win-Win?, IDS Working Paper 417

    To what extent does gender equality contribute to economic growth? And to what extent does the reverse relationship hold true? There are a growing number of studies exploring these relationships, generally using cross-country regression analysis. They are characterized by varying degrees of methodological rigour to take account of the problems associated with econometric analysis at this highly aggregated level, including the problems of reverse causality. Bearing these problems in mind, a review of this literature suggests that the relationship between gender equality and economic growth is an asymmetrical one. The evidence that gender equality, particularly in education and employment, contributes to economic growth is far more consistent and robust than the relationship that economic growth contributes to gender equality in terms of health, wellbeing and rights. …

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    Guide To Heteronormativity

    Activists, academics and practitioners Kate Bedford, Stevi Jackson, Kamala Kempadoo, Jo Doezema, Jennifer Radloff and Jeanne Prinsloo, Chris Dolan, Amy Lind, and Alan Greig define ‘heteronormativity’ in a series of short interviews. …

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    Interrogating the Rights Discourse on Girls' Education: Neocolonialism, Neoliberalism, and the Post-Beijing Platform for Action

    This article examines how girls’ education since 1995 has emerged as a prominent symbol within the ‘rights’ discourse coming out of the Beijing Platform for Action. By highlighting the neo-liberal and neo-colonial processes during this time, particular shifts are traced which show how girls’ education has been a symbolic part of the geo-political canvas in Pakistan and Afghanistan alongside the ‘war on terror’ and universalisation of education. The article refers to alternative voices which have attempted to disrupt the global narrative of the post-Beijing ‘rights’ agenda and points to the problems of this in the context of occupations, militarisation, and markets being used simultaneously as strategies for global governance and order. …

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    Introduction: Negotiating Empowerment

    This introductory article draws out some of the dimensions and dilemmas around women's empowerment that are highlighted in the articles in this IDS Bulletin: the choices, the negotiations, the narratives and above all, the context of women's lived experience. In doing so, we show that empowerment is a complex process that requires more than the quick and easy solutions often offered by development agencies. Much of the significant change happening in women's lives takes place outside of the range of these conventional interventions. In conclusion, we suggest that for development agencies to really support women's empowerment requires greater engagement with changing structures rather than accommodating women within the inequitable existing order, and a much deeper understanding of what makes change happen in their lives. …

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    Introduction: Reclaiming Feminism, Gender And Neoliberalism

    Neoliberalism – that ‘grab-bag of ideas based on the fundamentalist notion that markets are self-correcting, allocate resources efficiently and serve the public interest well’, as Stiglitz (2008) puts it – has been a focal point for contestation in development. Feminists have highlighted its deleterious effects on women’s lives and on gender relations. They have drawn attention to the extent to which the institutions promoting neoliberal economic and social policies have undermined a more progressive agenda, as they have come to appropriate words such as ‘empowerment’ and ‘agency’ and eviscerate them of any association with a project of progressive social change. This collection of articles brings together reflections from a diversity of locations on prospects for reclaiming these ideas and using them to reframe and revitalise feminist concepts like ‘agency’ and ‘empowerment’, we argue, we need to return to and reaffirm their ‘liberating’ dimensions, reaffirming their association with forms of collective action that involve resisting and transgressing repressive social norms. …

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    Introduction: Sexuality Matters, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    This IDS Bulletin addresses a theme that mainstream development has persistently neglected: sexuality. Why is sexuality a development concern? Because sexuality matters to people, and is an important part of most people’s lives. Because development policies and practices are already having a significant – and often negative – impact on sexuality, and because sexuality and the societal norms that seek to contain and control it have, in turn, a significant impact on poverty and well-being. Development needs to move beyond the current limited and negative approaches, to embrace the significance of sexuality for development in more affirmative ways. …

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    Introduction: Women, Sexuality And The Political Power of Pleasure

    This introduction introduces the debates on sexuality in the global north, and focuses on the debates around sexuality and pleasure occurring in the south that are starting to break the silence on the positive and empowering dimensions of women’s sexuality. Although there is much debate on the theoretical aspects of women’s sexuality, there is little debate on the policy implications of these debates, or documentation of practical initiatives on empowerment through positive approaches to sexuality. The authors note that, in discussions of sexuality, there is no focus on enjoyment, only on the dangerous aspects of sexuality. Development discourse associates sex with hazard and harm, and ndoes not talk about what might be positive, pleasurable or empowering about sexuality. …

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    Islam And Abortion: The Diversity Of Discourses And Practices, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    One in four world citizens across the globe identify themselves as Muslim, and they represent a striking diversity of values and interpretations of Islam’s tenets towards female sexual behaviour and abortion. This is characterized both in the social stigma associated with abortion, and the varying legal status abortion holds in Islamic countries, ranging from legalization to decriminalization in certain cases to full criminalization. In many places, the changing face of society and attitudes towards family size have not kept current with policies and access to contraception, resulting in an increase in the number of abortions and high levels of maternal mortality rates where abortion remains a criminal offense. This article illustrates how a range of strategies including documenting and sharing women’s experiences, advances in abortion techniques, and learning from model countries can be used by a variety of actors and organisations to advocate, on religious, human rights and political grounds, to gain greater access to safer abortion and sexual health services. …

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    Man Hunt Intimacy: Man Clean Bathroom: Women, Sexual Pleasure, Gender Violence And HIV, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    The spread of HIV is affected by a wide range of factors including household income, domestic divisions of labour, seasonal workloads and expenditure, communication, relationships, gender violence, and sexual pleasure or dissatisfaction. Drawing on material from North and South America and Africa, the author concludes that the links between these issues are both universally experienced and critical to HIV prevention and mitigation. The author also challenges the rejection of ‘anecdote’ in formal research settings, particularly when the stories told by women – and men – are so similar and so widespread. The Stepping Stones training methodology supports participants’ own analyses of these links in their lives, and has enabled them to work out their own mutually agreeable solutions. …

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    Marriage, Motherhood And Masculinity In The Global Economy, Open Democracy

    In this article, Naila Kabeer looks at the rising global phenomenon of the female breadwinner. This phenomenon has had an impact on relations of social reproduction, family structure and size, and on global trade, which has, as a result, seen a rise in global mail-order bride services and the globalization of the sex trade. …

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    Marriage, Motherhood And Masculinity In The Global Economy: Reconfiguration Of Personal And Economic Life, IDS Working Paper 209

    The different processes associated with globalisation have led to rising rates of paid work by women often in contexts where male employment is stagnant or declining. This paper explores how women and men are dealing with this feminization of labour markets in the face of the widespread prevalence of male breadwinner ideologies and the apparent threat to male authority represented by women’s earnings. Responses have varied across the world but there appears to be a remarkable resistance to changes in the domestic division of unpaid work within the household and a continuing failure on the part of policymakers to provide support for women’s care responsibilities, despite the growing importance of their breadwinning roles. Many of the services previously provided on an unpaid basis are being transferred to the paid economy but most working women continue to bear a disproportionate burden of domestic responsibility. …

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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. …