Displaying items 1 - 15 of 47 in total
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    30%: Women And Politics In Sierra Leone

    This film looks at the Sierra Leonean women's movement's campaign for increased participation for women in Sierra Leone politics and their aim to achieve legislation for a minimum 30% quota. The film explores this issue through the stories of Dr Bernadette Lahai of the Sierra Leone People's Party, Barbara Bangura, National Coordinator of the Women's Solidarity Support Group, and Salamatu Kamara, a prospective parliamentary candidate. …

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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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    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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    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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    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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    Implementing Affirmative Action: Global Trends

    This scoping article gives a global picture of dynamics, trends, policies and mechanisms for engaging with women's representation in political office. It discusses the kind of affirmative action introduced, and where it features vis-à-vis electoral cycles. It describes and compares candidate and reserved seats quotas and shows how electoral systems influence the possibilities of challenging power hierarchies in politics. The second part of the article reflects on the extent to which implementing quotas have been effective in engendering political representation and the conditions that allow or inhibit this. …

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    Interrogating Policy Discourses On Women's Empowerment In Ghana Case Study

    Understanding what works to promote, support and sustain ‘women’s empowerment’ calls for a greater appreciation of what the term means to different policy actors in different contexts. In Ghana, there is a strong commitment to women’s empowerment from government administrative officials, particularly female staff. However, there appears to be limited knowledge about the dimensions, pathways and strategies for women’s empowerment within government and the bureaucracy. Officials often base their interventions on a desire to address women’s individual situations rather than on analysis of the deeper-rooted structural constraints that women face, and remedies that might address them. …

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    Introduction: Quotas - Add Women And Stir?

    Quotas have become increasingly popular as a fast track option for securing enhanced political representation largely because of their proven impact on increasing the number of women in parliament. As more countries have adopted one form or another of the quota, it is now timely to reflect on what the implications have been for transforming gender relations and the nature of politics at large. This introduction examines from the country case studies presented in this IDS Bulletin, the insight offered into the dynamics of motorways and pathways of increasing women's decision-making power (with or without a quota) and the underlying assumptions about gender, power and politics as well as the policy issues for consideration. …

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    Legitimacy Enhances Capacity. Capacity

    This article questions whether affirmative action and training of women politicians leads to effective voice and change on issues that are relevant for women. The authors examine the case of Bangladesh, which has an affirmative action policy for women in government, and consider the barriers that women in politics continue to face, as well as the doors that are opened to them through their role in politics. The Bangladesh case shows that the advent of direct elections has established a direct link between the constituency and women members. This, in turn, has given women a stronger voice and more legitimacy as political actors. …

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    Palestinian Women Contesting Power In Chaos

    Palestinian women's political participation is marked by the Israeli occupation and a volatile political situation. This article argues that the political chaos following the Oslo Agreement of 1993 has led to civil society fragmentation and the marginalisation of certain groups. However, women's traditional involvement within the Palestinian national movement led to their assumption that society would adopt a non-gender biased perspective during elections. Disappointing results led to the formation of a coalition to campaign for a quota system. …

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    Pathways Latin America Hub Final Synthesis Report

    Final synthesis report from the Latin American Hub of Pathways of Women’s Empowerment (Pathways) - an international research and communications programme that has focused for the five years from 2006-2011 on understanding and influencing efforts to bring about positive change in women’s lives. After an introduction to the Latin American research projects within the four research themes, the report analyses selected research. Highlights from the LA Hub are given along with a detailed list of research outputs. …

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    Pathways Of Women's Empowerment Consortium Presents Findings From Research To UK Parliamentarians

    This is a short news article about this high profile meeting held at the UK Houses of Parliament where Pathways convened to celebrate the launch of its synthesis report, and to mark its move from a consortium to a network. The event was hosted by Baroness Glenys Kinnock and this article includes a podcast of the event. …

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    Quotas: Add Women And Stir?

    At the Millennium Summit world leaders committed to reducing extreme poverty through a series of targets encompassed within the MDGs, with a deadline of 2015. One of these was to promote gender equality and empower women, and the ‘proportion of seats held by women in national parliament’ was set as a key indicator. With the MDG Review Summit meeting in September 2010, this is an opportunity to consider whether the proportion of women in parliament continues to be the most adequate proxy for women’s political empowerment. This IDS Bulletin explores what the quota has meant as a motorway to women’s accession to political power by drawing on research findings from the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Programme Consortium (‘Pathways’), as well as a series of articles from a special seminar in the Brazilian National Congress as part of this programme, and contributions from other country case studies. …

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    Quotas: A Highway To Power In Egypt… But For Which Women?

    Egypt has recently passed a new quota law, reserving 64 seats for women in addition to its 454 member parliament. While the executive regulations were not issued at the time of writing, the political messages conveyed about the quota are highly relevant: for example, additional seats were allocated rather than existing ones shared. This article speculates on whether the quota will challenge power hierarchies within and among parties. While the quota will undoubtedly increase women's representation in parliament, the political configurations of the existing context – a highly authoritarian one – raise questions as to which women are most likely to occupy these seats. …

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    Quotas: A Pathway of Political Empowerment?

    This chapter reflects on the quotas for women experience of Latin America, where their implementation, in a context of affirmative action policies, has figured as a major goal in women’s struggles for access to power structures. It asks two main questions: to what extent have quota systems in Latin America served as a pathway of women’s political empowerment? And what lessons can be learnt from this experience? …