Displaying items 46 - 60 of 89 in total
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    Strategies Of Feminist Bureaucrats: United Nations Experiences. IDS Working Paper 397

    This paper explores the challenges and opportunities for feminists working as women’s rights and gender equality specialists in the United Nations as analysed from a practitioner perspective. Part 1 by Joanne Sandler analyses the experience of feminists struggling with the institutional sexism of the UN bureaucratic machine and shows how this played out in the difficult but ultimately successful negotiations around the creation of UN Women. In Part 2, Aruna Rao describes how cross-agency UN Gender Theme Groups worked together through a process of reflexive inquiry to strengthen the gender equality programming of three UN Country Teams, respectively in Morocco, Albania and Nepal. …

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    Struggling For Survival And Autonomy; Impact Of NGO-isation On Women's Organisations In Bangladesh. Development 52:2

    Sohela Nazneen and Maheen Sultan analyse the impact of the NGO-ization process on the structure, autonomy and accountability relations of different types of women’s organisations in Bangladesh. They argue that the impact of NGO-ization varies depending on the resources, level of operation and the organizational motives behind adopting the NGO model. The impacts on smaller women’s organisations operating at the local level are an expansion of structure, loss of autonomy and a prioritization of accountability towards donors. However, some national-level women’s organisations have been able to manage the process through strategically mobilizing resources and prioritizing own agendas, thus retaining their feminist character. …

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    Subversively Accommodating: Feminist Bureaucrats And Gender Mainstreaming

    Is it possible to secure the desired policy action ‘infusing’ gender into existing ways of doing and organising things – and by so doing to incrementally secure real gains for women? Or will transformative policies for women's empowerment only be achieved through discursive and organisational transformation? But can the two be separated so neatly? Are there possibly unpredictable effects when feminist policy actors are on the one hand committed to changing discourse and power relations while on the other hand acting pragmatically to secure small instrumental changes? Taking international development organisations as the field of analysis, this article examines assumptions about policy change as a pathway of women's empowerment and goes on to explore a shift from a focus on institutional capability to one on actors and agency, and on strategies, tactics and manoeuvres. …

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    The Participation Paradox: Quotas Policy In Latin America

    Within the last 20 years, the problem of women’s participation in formal power positions has been mobilizing women, especially feminists, throughout Latin America. After over half a century since gaining the right to vote, Latin-American women have recognized that, in practice, this fought for right did not guarantee the right to be elected as well. Indeed, Latin American women have remained marginalized from power, kept from participating in greater numbers in deliberative power structures. In these circumstances, the implementation of quota systems for women in a context of affirmative action policies has figured as a major goal in the mobilisation of women in their struggle for access to power structures. …

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    The Pathways Of Women's Empowerment Research Programme Consortium, Gender And Development, 16.2

    Tessa Lewin introduces Pathways of Women’s Empowerment RPC, explaining its purpose in bringing together academics and activists from five hubs to understand the factors influencing women’s empowerment. The article elaborates on the four themes of Pathways, namely ‘Conceptions of Women’s Empowerment’, ‘Building Constituencies for Equality and Justice’, ‘Empowering Work’ and ‘Changing Narratives of Sexuality’, before identifying some of the common factors which hamper women’s empowerment and highlighting some of the research being done by Pathways researchers. …

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    The Power Of Association: Reflecting On Women's Collective Action As A Force For Social Change

    Naila Kabeer reflects on the power of association and collective action, and its ability to transform the lives and livelihoods of marginalized groups, especially women. Inclusive gatherings of women, she says, are important reminders that seemingly isolated struggles against apparently insurmountable odds are really part of a worldwide movement for change. She gives examples of different kinds of collective action and the different kinds of change each movement affected. Her research experience suggests that collective action does not linearly lead from powerlessness to empowerment; instead, myriad transformative processes occur over time through collective action which solidify into a coherent movement for change. …

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    The Will To Political Power: Rwandan Women In Leadership

    Rwanda has one of the highest representations of women in parliament in the world. This article examines, from the perspective of a female MP in parliament, the dynamics behind the process of supporting more women assuming leadership positions in parliament. The article argues that the implementation of an electoral gender quota certainly carves the space necessary to allow more women to enter politics, nevertheless, a constellation of factors is needed to work together in order to create the enabling environment necessary for the quota to be effective. Some of these factors include (but are not restricted to) challenging the hierarchical gender relations in post-genocide Rwanda; the political will on the part of the government to engender politics; the role of national machineries in monitoring and pressing for gender-sensitive national policies, as well as the strategic mobilisation of female parliamentarians backed by the progressive new Rwandan constitution. …

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    Unsafe Abortion And Development: A Strategic Approach, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    Despite 80,000 female deaths a year due to unsafe abortions and a higher prevalence of them occurring in developing countries, abortion remains a women’s reproductive health problem instead of a development problem. In fact, it calls for a stronger advocacy strategy for greater consciousness-raising and sensitization. The Campaign Against Unwanted Pregnancy in Nigeria seeks to employ a multi-pronged strategy that seeks to break the silence on unsafe abortion to create climate for discourse, conduct reliable studies to provide data for debate, and employ the data as a tool to rally support for action on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in general, and safe abortion specifically. Undertaken primarily through partnering community and faith-based organisations, CAUP seeks to engage policy-makers, the media, CBOs and religious and traditional leaders as part of a strategy to build up a critical mass of advocates that will fight to reduce high levels of mortality caused by unsafe abortion. …

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    VII Annual Encampment Of Women Rural Workers And Indigenous Women In Bahia, Brazil

    This article describes the annual gathering of over a thousand women rural workers from the Brazilian state of Bahia, to share their experiences in the struggle for land and in the struggle against all forms of violence but especially domestic violence; and to remind themselves that, as women, they need to demand to be treated with respect by both their colleagues in struggle and by society at large. …

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    Well-Chosen Compromises? Feminists Legitimizing Voice in Bangladesh

    This chapter explores the strategies and choices of feminists in organising voice and mobilising support in a post-authoritarian Bangladesh. It provides an analytical narrative of how three national level feminist organisations strengthen their voice by: a) packaging their demands strategically to appeal to different actors; b) building coalitions and networks with other civil society actors, c) using personal networks to access politicians and state actors, d) creating transnational links to exert pressure on the state. …

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    What Does It Mean To Be A Feminist Within A Global Policy Institution? Challenges Of Identities, Alliances And Accountabilities

    Since February 2007, a small group of feminist activists working from inside the head offices of international development organisations (bilateral, multilateral and INGO) have been participants in a project to explore how they can encourage their organisations to be pathways of women’s empowerment. The project’s objective is to encourage greater strategic awareness among the policy activists themselves concerning their room for manoeuvre, and secondly to stimulate discussion among others as to how they could optimally support those working from inside bureaucracies. In this paper, presented to 'Pathways: What are we Learning?' Analysis Conference, Cairo, 20-24 January 2009, I explore the challenges facing these feminist activists in building relations for institutional and policy change for women’s rights. Research participants believe that the principal factor in successfully changing institutional arrangements, albeit subversively, is networking and alliances within and between organisations as well as with the wider women’s movement. …

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    Women And Religion In Bangladesh: New Paths

    In south Asia as elsewhere in the world, religion has come to play an increasing role in shaping and reshaping women’s lives. This process is a particular challenge to people like Firdous Azim, a feminist who “grew up” intellectually and politically via involvement in the women’s movement of the 1980s in Bangladesh. The activism of that period was explicitly secular; its main priorities were the issues of rights, inequalities and violence prevalent in a young state which had achieved independence only in 1971. Firdous Azim is professor in the department of English and the humanities at BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. …

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    Women And Rural Trade Unions In North East Brazil

    Whilst there are numerous cases where women workers experience a regressive double marginalization (as workers and as women) in globalized export agriculture, it is important to investigate cases where gendered working practices have given rise to more complicated, and possibly, more progressive outcomes. This chapter takes the case of women workers in export horticulture in North East Brazil to explore what these new sites might sometimes offer women workers, and whether they have been able to increase their bargaining power. The study looks at the context in which the rural trade union Sindicato dos Trabalhadores Rurais (STR) was operating, the ways in which women workers have engaged with the union, and the extent to which they have won benefits as workers through this engagement. The chapter places this case study in the broader Brazilian context; explain the reasons for, and extent of women’s employment in the São Francisco valley, documenting how women have become increasingly active in the valley’s rural trade union and how this has, in turn, resulted in important changes both within the trade union and to women’s working conditions in the grape sector; and finally offers some preliminary conclusions to this study. …

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    Women In Local Government: The Pakistan Experience (Chapter)

    This chapter looks at women’s representation in local government in Pakistan, focusing particularly on the introduction of a quota setting 33 per cent of the seats for women brought in under General Musharraf’s Devolution of Power Plan in 2000. The article suggests that establishing a direct correlation between a woman’s quota and regime type is problematic. It demonstrates a complex pattern of interaction on the issue by both the military and civilian regimes in Pakistan. Policies which have been brought in, informed both by political pragmatism and ideological continuity, have been wide ranging and almost contradictory in nature. …

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    Women's Empowerment In Brazil: Tensions In Discourse And Practice

    Cecilia M. B. Sardenberg reflects upon the experience of NEIM – the Nucleus of Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies of the Federal University of Bahia – in engaging with ‘empowerment’. NEIM has been involved in 27 years of activism in order to bring about changes, both structural as well as in women’s individual lives, towards insuring greater autonomy for women and our increasing participation in decision-making. …