Displaying items 1 - 15 of 91 in total
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    Advocating For Abortion Access: Lessons And Challenges, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    This article reflects on the lessons learnt about strategies for increasing access to abortion from an 11 country comparative policy analysis known as the Johannesburg Initiative. It reflects on the value of learning and sharing strategic thinking while remembering that opportunities for litigation, policy change, shifts in programming, or even changing public opinion are often place and time specific, so that what leads to victory in one place cannot necessarily be repeated in another. The task is to build the evidence, the legal and health system capacity, the engagement with the public and policymakers to be able to take advantage of windows of opportunity as they arise. The article also suggests that while many gains have been made in winning a broader base of support for the idea of sexual and reproductive rights internationally, there is an urgent need to reinvigorate this movement, particularly through greater leadership, organisational and strategic engagement by activists from developing countries. …

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    African Women And Domestic Violence

    This article looks at the issue of domestic violence from the perspective of African experience, and examines the impact of attempts to address it by legal means. It poses three questions: 1) what are the similarities and differences in the experiences of African countries that have attempted to pass domestic-violence legislation; 2) what lessons have been learned in the process; and 3) how do attempts to pass such laws connect to the lived realities of ordinary women? …

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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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    Better Sex And More Equal Relationships: Couple Training In Nigeria

    In Nigeria, within marriage, women are expected to pleasure their husbands, and preparation for marriage focuses on teaching the girl how to do so. In contrast, non-married women were expected to enjoy sex with their boyfriends. Yet, what emerged from research by Aken’Ova’s organisation INCRESE (The International Centre for Reproductive Health and Rights) was women’s deep lack of sexual pleasure in their relationships, married or not. Some men mistakenly believed they were giving great pleasure to their lovers, and had not discovered the truth due to lack of communication. …

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    Challenging Empowerment

    McFadden argues that societies in the South have been approached from a particular research gaze that is derived from a liberal epistemology that focuses on the individual; it simplifies women’s lives and is both methodologically and politically inadequate and deeply problematic. Empowerment as a notion is, too, embedded in liberal and neo-liberal worldviews and is ideologically flawed. With this liberal and neo-liberal development discourse in mind, McFadden looks at empowerment, MDGs, gender and human rights, and citizenship, entitlement and rights and analyses how they are embedded in this ideology. …

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    Changing Narratives Of Sexuality Concept Paper, Pathways Working Paper 4

    This concept paper focuses on the politics of sexuality. Its focus is on the normative construction of heterosexuality in mainstream narratives of sexuality produced by institutions such as the media, the law, religion and the development industry; by cultural arenas such as popular music and soap operas, as well as for counter narratives produced by women themselves. Foregrounding concepts of heterosexualty, sexuality and gender, the paper explores the connections between them and connections to norms that reinforce compulsory heterosexuality and male supremacy, and the implications for the workings of power and privilege. Narratives of sexuality serve both to affirm and also to challenge these norms. …

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    Changing Narratives of Sexuality: Contestations, Compliance and Women's Empowerment

    Changing Narratives of Sexuality examines the tensions and contradictions in constructions of gender, sexuality and women's empowerment in the various narrations of sexuality told by and about women. From storytelling to women's engagement with state institutions, stories of unmarried women and ageing women, a sex scandal and narrations of religious influence on women's subjectivities and sexualities, this impressive collection explores sexuality in a wide range of national contexts in the global South. …

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    Communicating Empowerment: Countering The Cardboard Woman

    Tessa Lewin draws on the work done by the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research and Communications Consortium from 2007 to date. She explores both the broad approach to communicating empowerment and highlights the work of various projects undertaken. …

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    Conceptualising Women's Empowerment In West Africa

    This paper discusses how the concept of ‘empowerment’ and specifically women’s empowerment, has been constructed in different literatures and the insights that these may offer for Pathways’ research programme. In particular the paper explores how different understandings of women’s empowerment shape capacity for action, by women themselves as well as by diverse policy actors. …

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    Contextualising The Economic Pathways Of Women's Empowerment

    Women’s paid work has featured in the development literature for two main reasons. The instrumental reason relates to its potential to contribute to make a variety of development goals, from poverty reduction to human development to economic growth. The intrinsic reason is its potential to transform the lives of women and girls by addressing gender inequalities on a wide variety of fronts. However in both cases, paid work is most likely to achieve this potential if it empowers women; since it is women’s capacity to exercise voice and influence in the key arenas of their lives that provides the impetus for change. …

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    Could Watching Porn Increase Our Expectations Of (Safe) Pleasure? An Exploration Of Some Promising Harm Reduction Practices

    This chapter explores how pornography can eroticize safer and less gender normative sex. The authors point out that pornography is a huge industry, and one of the most important sources of information on sexuality for young people in many countries. They discuss the prevalence and importance of porn as a conduit for sex education before describing ways in which the pleasure industry is challenging norms to create pornography that is positive. They advocate a harm-reduction approach where the harm is not ended, but its negative effects are mitigated, and cite examples of porn that erotizes safer sex with actors using female and male condoms. …

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    Critical Perspectives On Empowerment

    In this article, Petchesky questions the definition of empowerment, asking who is doing the empowerment and based on what agenda. She addresses disempowerment created by structural militarization, self-determined self-empowerment, and stresses the need for a nuanced and contextualized sense of gender to address power and change, as well as the need to go beyond gender and break the divides between people and nature and North and South. …

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    Desires Denied: Sexual Pleasure In The Context Of HIV

    Writing as a woman living with HIV, Alice Welbourn focuses on the forced asexuality that is often foisted on women when they are diagnosed with HIV. She argues that a focus on sexual rights and pleasure can enhance our analysis of the ways in which legal, religious and medical discourses can reinforce fear of women’s unfettered sexuality. Welbourn’s chapter offers a poignant reminder of the extent to which HIV positive women experience the pain of forced retirement from sexual pleasure. Welbourn describes how positive women’s pleasurable sexual experiences are constrained by the grief of a positive diagnosis; like trauma or rape, she argues, this can lead to forced asexuality which denies women their rights to their own autonomy with regard to their sexual and reproductive pleasure. …

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    Dialogues Of Empowerment Meeting, African Studies Association Meeting

    The theme of the Annual Dialogue on Empowerment of the West Africa Hub held in Chicago from 13-16 November 2008, was “Women’s Empowerment and Development Policy,”. More than 50 participants attended the session, whose presentations were entitled: “Consuming Nollywood: Young Women’s Perspectives on Popular Films in Nigeria”, ”Women’s Empowerment in Post‐Conflict Sierra Leone”, “Exploring Women’s Empowerment in Everyday Lives: Intergenerational Perspectives in Ghana” and “Changing Representations of Women in Ghanaian Popular Culture”. The presentations were followed by a discussion and concluding remarks. …

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    Economics, Assets And Empowerment

    Grown discusses her work on the Gender Analysis Programme on Economics at American University and its connection between teaching and research. She elaborates on her project with colleagues to conduct a household survey to gather sex- disaggregated information on physical and financial asset ownership and control, and to develop for designers and implementers of household surveys a parsimonious set of questions that can be added to every single household survey. The survey will show that this information can be collected at low cost and that it is important for public policy. She hopes that the survey will show that women own more assets than is commonly perceived to be the case, although ownership on its own is not enough for true empowerment. …