Displaying items 1 - 15 of 27 in total
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    A Rights-Based Model: Perspectives From Health Service Providers, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    Latin America and the Caribbean have among the highest levels of unsafe abortions, and current debate rages to change the abortion-related laws and policies. In response, the International Planned Parenthood Federation – Western Hemisphere Region has established a three-pronged framework to fight unsafe abortions, based on promoting the right to increasing access and reducing need, promoted through a range of service and advocacy components. In this case study, a Uruguayan partner organization, ‘Iniciativas Sanitarias’ (IS), adapts this rights-based framework for local application, creating the harm reduction approach. Based on the rights to information, health and women’s autonomy, the IS seeks to empower women and strengthen the commitment of health professionals to provide safer abortion information and services based on the bioethical principles of autonomy, justice and patient-provider confidentiality. …

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    Beijing +15 From Hopes To Disappointment And Non-Accountability

    Lydia Alpı´zar Dura´n was invited to address the annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). She shares her reflections as someone who joined the women’s movement in the midst of the Beijing preparations as a youth activist. She discusses the importance of the development community focusing on the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and going beyond the Millennium Development Goals. She presents key insights from the work on advancing women’s rights and gender equality over the last 15 years along with a review of some relevant current trends and concludes with a set of action-oriented recommendations. …

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    Beyond 2015: Pathways to a Gender Just World

    On the 29-30 May 2014 a group of feminist scholars, activists, and media and communications professionals met at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex to celebrate and interrogate learning from the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Consortium (Pathways). This was an opportunity to look at the trajectory that the consortium had taken since its early days in 2005, consider how Pathways research could shape the post-2015 development agenda, and strategise about future directions in work on women’s empowerment. …

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    Beyond 2015: Pathways to Gender Justice Reading Pack

    This pack contains relevant background and current information on the post-2015 discussions about gender. You may wish to read the documents in preparation for our discussions at the conference. You will find a list of the readings contained in the pack along with short summaries to assist you with navigating through the information.  Hyperlinks to the documents have been provided where possible in the summary text. …

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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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    Choosing Words With Care? Shifting Meanings Of Women's Empowerment In International Development

    Women’s empowerment’, as used by international development organisations, is a fuzzy concept. Historical textual analysis and interviews with officials in development agencies reveal its adaptability and capacity to carry multiple meanings that variously wax and wane in their discursive influence. Today a privileging of instrumentalist meanings of empowerment associated with efficiency and growth are crowding out more socially transformative meanings associated with rights and collective action. In their efforts to make headway in what has become an unfavourable policy environment, officials in development agencies with a commitment to a broader social change agenda juggle these different meanings, strategically exploiting the concept’s polysemic nature to keep that agenda alive. …

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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 From The Semiperiphery Perspective

    Blagojevic reflects on empowerment. She looks at the history of ‘empowerment’ in Serbia, from the debate over its translation to the co-opting of the concept by donors to enforce democratic, neo-liberal policies, with the result that empowerment simply instrumentalized women. She provides a definition of empowerment that links it with rights and introduces the concept of ‘de-development’ to indicate when development does not equal progress, linking this concept to MGDs. In relation to the Balkans, Blagojevic suggests that gender equality instead of empowerment may be a better term to use. …

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    Gendered Rights in the Post-2015 Development and Disasters Agendas

    This article explores how, 20 years after Beijing, women's rights are being discussed within processes to develop a post-2015 sustainable development agenda and the parallel international disaster risk reduction framework. It is based on analysis of documents produced to date from the various processes, and also personal experience of seeking to influence both the post-2015 development and disaster agendas. It highlights how attempts to marry the environmental and development agendas reveal a continued problematic conceptualisation of sexual and reproductive rights. It suggests that in gender terms, while the post-2015 development agenda and the related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are over ambitious to the point of being mere rhetoric, gender rhetoric is yet to enter the international disaster risk reduction discourse. …

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    IDS Gender Evidence For Action Paper: Gender Equality And The MDGs: Pathways To A Transformative Agenda

    The Millennium Declaration commits itself to gender equality as part of its broader vision of human rights and social justice, The commitment is expressed in terms of two rationales: one intrinsic, seeing gender equality as a fundamental human right, the other instrumental, recognizing the powerful contribution that women make to the eradication of poverty in all its dimensions – and indeed to development itself. This paper takes as its starting premise the intrinsic case for gender equality, that it is a matter of human rights and social justice. Its primary aim is to analyse the pace of progress on gender-related goals, targets and indicators in different regions of the developing world, to explore the factors which have contributed to this progress as well as those which have blocked it. The paper homes in on those Millennium Development Goals and objectives that have the most direct gender dimensions to illustrate the nature of the constraints that block progress on gender equality and the kinds of interventions that can help to advance it. …

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    If Not Now, When? Reasserting Beijing for a Progressive Women's Rights Agenda in 2015 and Beyond

    Women’s rights organisations have been central to progress on women’s rights and gender equality since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA). Drawing on interviews carried out in January 2015 with twelve of Womankind Worldwide’s partner organisations, the myriad ways in which women’s movement actors draw strategically on the BPfA as appropriate to their context are explored, along with universally-shared challenges in implementation. …

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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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    Paid Work, Women's Empowerment And Gender Justice, Pathways Brief 3

    This paper is intended as a contribution to the agenda-setting activities of the Pathways of Women's Empowerment RPC. The paper is concerned with Pathways' theme of empowering work, more specifically with women’s access to paid work and the pathways through which such work might translate into empowerment. This focus on the transformative potential of paid work can be seen as one strand in a broader research agenda on the material dimensions of women's empowerment, an agenda which would also include women's property rights, access to credit, social transfers, skills training and other kinds of economic resources. However, different resources have their own forms of materiality in that the changes associated with them are likely to take concrete shape through somewhat different pathways in women's lives. …

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    Paid Work, Women's Empowerment And Gender Justice, Pathways Working Paper 3

    This paper explores the contradictions and contestations that characterize debates about the relationship between paid work and women’s empowerment. It suggests that this absence of consensus appears to reflect differences of context. It reflects other factors as well. It reflects changes in the social meaning of work over time. …

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    Power, Politics And Development In The Arab Context: Or How Can Rearing Chicks Change Patriarchy?

    The empowerment of women has become an interesting if troubling issue for debate and action in the Arab world. Since September 11 it has been difficult for Arabs to escape the simplistic and stereotypical misconstructions of their worlds, and there has been a growing resistance to ideas such as women’s empowerment. Such a resistance makes for a highly frustrating and antagonistic climate to feminism and women’s empowerment initiatives. Hania Sholkamy offers a personal analysis of why women in the Arab world attract attention as victims of an unfair social order and yet repel the advances of those who would work to over turn this social order to ‘save’ them. …