Displaying items 61 - 75 of 213 in total
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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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    Islam and Feminism, Contestations, Issue 1

    Islam and feminism have had a troubled relationship. Over the last two decades, scholars and activists have questioned the western credentials of feminism and claimed justice as a purpose and possibility that can be captured via religious routes. Religion provides women with an ethical framework and a moral foundation that recognizes their rights as individuals and as a collective, albeit redefining equality in the process. The mosque movement in Egypt has empowered women to find dignity, companionship and comfort through piety and conformity to a religious ideal and challenge the less-than-perfect world around them. …

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    Islamism And Secularism: Between State Instrumentalisation And Opposition Islamic Movements

    In Palestine, a reassertion of the ‘secularist’ identity of the ‘Palestinian national project’ is taking place against a deeply divided political society characterised by a Palestinian authority in conflict with Hamas. This article argues that the instrumentalisation of religion by the state has backfired leaving secular feminist activists in an unenviable position – without a constituency or a socially legitimate framework through which to address gender and social justice issues. At the same time, a reassertion of the ‘secularist’ identity is taking place against a deeply divided political society characterized by a Palestinian authority in conflict with Hamas. This conflict accompanying the ‘secularization process’ resulted in crushing the very structure of the notion of citizenship and the figure of the secular citizen subject itself. …

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    Islamist Women Of Hamas: Between Feminism And Nationalism, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 12.2

    In December 1995, when Hamas announced the establishment of the Islamic National Salvation Party, a political organization separate from its military wing, it opened the way for involvement of the Islamic movement in the political processes brought about in the West Bank and Gaza with the signing of the Oslo Accords and the arrival of the Palestinian National Authority. In speaking of the rights of different groups, including women, in its founding statement, and in setting up in Gaza a Women's Action Department, the new party opened its doors to the ‘new Islamic woman’ and to a significant evolution in Islamist gender ideology in Gaza, if not in the West Bank – where, due to Hamas' policy there of targeting only males, there exists no parallel to the Salvation Party or organisational support for women like that represented by the Women's Action Department in Gaza. Hamas' gender ideology, like that of the secularist parties, remains contradictory, and doors to women's equality only partly open; nevertheless, Islamist women have managed to build impressive, well‐organised women's constituencies among highly educated and professional women coming from poor and refugee backgrounds; and the Salvation Party shows an increasing tendency to foster gender equality and more egalitarian social ideals, while holding fast to the agenda of national liberation. These advances have been achieved both through alternative interpretations of Islamic legal and religious texts, and through positive engagement with the discourses of other groups, whether secular feminists or nationalists. …

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    Journeys Without Maps

    This paper illustrates the complementarities between women’s work and their private and intimate choices. The engagements of women in Egyptian labour markets are determined to some extent by their personal life trajectories. The fabled low rates of formal employment for women are a function of the gender roles that women choose to or are compelled to play. Work and marriage choices are linked and have mutual bearings on one another. …

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    'Khul'

    The film, which examines how the ancient Egyptian divorce law of khul’ is helping women in modern day Cairo to escape from abusive marriages, is directed by Lucy Bennett from Manifest Films. Forty-seven per cent of married women in Egypt are affected by domestic violence but whilst khul’ is a crucial law, it can come at a high price. Following the stories of three women, the film explores how khul’ has both helped and hindered them and asks what more now needs to be done. …

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    Larry Witness Account

    A witness account from Larry on the politically motivated sexual assaults targeting female protestors of the Arab revolt in Cairo. These have been taking place since the revolution in 2011 which deposed President Mubarak. …

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    Legal Reform, Women's Empowerment and Social Change: The Case of Egypt

    New family laws have been passed in Egypt within the last several years, with important ramifications for women. In this chapter, Mulki Al-Sharmani argues that two issues diminish the transformative role that these reforms could play in strengthening Egyptian women's rights and achieving gender justice. …

  • Archive Resource

    Legal Reform, Women's Empowerment And Social Change: The Case Of Egypt

    In the last decade, new family laws have been passed in Egypt, with important ramifications for women. In this article, I argue that two issues diminish the transformative role that these reforms could play in strengthening Egyptian women's rights and achieving gender justice. First, despite the recently passed laws, the model of marriage that the state continues to uphold through its codes and courts is premised on gendered roles and rights for husbands and wives. This model, however, contradicts the realities of Egyptian marriages. …

  • Archive Resource

    Lina Witness Account

    A witness account from Lina on the politically motivated sexual assaults targeting female protestors of the Arab revolt in Cairo. These have been taking place since the revolution in 2011 which deposed President Mubarak. …

  • Archive Resource

    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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    Local Power and Women's Empowerment in a Conflict Context: Palestinian Women Contesting Power in Chaos

    Palestinian women’s political participation is marked by the Israeli occupation and a volatile political situation. This chapter 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. …