Displaying items 1 - 15 of 63 in total
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    Addressing The Preconditions: Women's Rights And Development In Financing Gender Equality, Commonwealth Perspectives

    ‘Gender equality’ may have made it into the language of mainstream development. But in most parts of the world, inequalities between women and men in the workplace, in political institutions and in the home have proven exasperatingly persistent. For all the valiant efforts that have been made, gender mainstreaming has largely failed live up to its promises. The dilution and depoliticization of the ‘gender agenda’ as it has come to be taken up by development institutions calls for more attention to be paid to what it takes to make a difference to women’s lives. …

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    A Feminist Bureaucrat At The OECD, Patti O'Neill Talks With Rosalind Eyben

    Patti O’Neill talks with Rosalind Eyben about being a feminist bureaucrat at the OECD. …

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    'A Femocrat just doing my Job': Working within the State to Advance Women's Empowerment in Ghana

    Following the round of UN Conferences on Women from the 1970s to the 1990s, many states in the developing world established national machineries to first 'integrate women into development', and later to spearhead the task of gender mainstreaming adopted in the Beijing Platform for Action.  …

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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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    Beyond The Mantra Of Empowerment: Time To Return To Poverty, Violence And Struggle

    The paper will examine some of the critical issues raised by the women's movement in India on the violence experienced by women both within the family and through modes of development initiated by the state in India and the manner in which the state has sought to both counter feminist critiques as well as co-opt them through state initiated policies. It will particularly examine literacy and micro-credit programmes to argue that the rhetoric of empowerment functions as a new 'mantra' which does little to even dent the violence of women's everyday lives especially when they are poor and located on the social margins. …

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    Challenging Clitoraid

    This chapter uses rhetorical analysis to analyse the Clitoraid campaign, an American initiative started by the believers of the Raelian religion that set out to raise funds to build a ‘pleasure hospital’ in Burkina Faso that would perform operations to ‘restore’ the capacity of excised women for clitoral orgasm. …

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    Development As If Gender Matters

    Wendy Harcourt highlights the most interesting and contentious issues to emerge during a conversation held among 25 people from key women’s networks, UN agencies, research institutions and think tanks at the 54th Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) in New York March 2010. Using charterhouse rules, the dialogue was an attempt to hold a new kind of conversation in the CSW space. The participants candidly held up to scrutiny the key concepts of gender and empowerment in the context of the new development institutions. …

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    Dialogue On Concepts Of Women’s Empowerment – Bangladesh

    This seminar held in Dhaka on 21 January 2008, brought together work and discussions around concepts of empowerment, among academics, practitioners and activists, both within and outside the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment RPC. There were researchers and activists from Sierra Leone, Ghana, Palestine, Egypt, and Brazil present. The day’s programme was arranged around three themes: livelihoods and labour, political spaces and institutions, and civil society discourses. The discussions addressed common questions and the presenters applied them to their individual experiences. …

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    Editorial: Lady Gaga Meets Ban Ki-Moon'

    In this article, Harcourt argues that conventional development approaches to gender and empowerment are constraining and unimaginative, and do not foster lively, authentic debate. Instead, in development, people tend to limit their definitions of gender and empowerment to acceptable terms to avoid conflict or funding cuts. She looks at pop culture that celebrates and sells images of empowered women (Lady Gaga in particular) and compares this to the depoliticized notion of ‘empowerment’ in development, and suggests that development practitioners need to reach out further than the constraining environment of development and in the process change development itself. Harcourt points to new media and communications technologies that can be harnessed to create spaces and engage a variety of people with development debates and to make development more adventurous and creative, arguing that doing so would do much to help us get out of discourses of professionalism that create institutions afraid to open up because they fear argument and difference. …

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    Emancipation And Its Failures

    In this reflection on ‘empowerment’, Taylor looks at how development proponents have instrumentalised women’s role in development and poverty reduction, arguing that development should be about access to rights and freedoms. She points out that empowerment as a concept needs to be rethought – that real change needs to start with a democracy and human rights culture, a foundation of equal access to all the amenities of public life. Women’s visibility in work and politics is good, but is not the structural change that is needed because it doesn’t address power. She looks at human development as a valuable approach for women’s empowerment, and argues that the realization of women’s human rights into reality is necessary for empowerment. …

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    Empowerment For Grassroots Women

    Mwaura-Muiru highlights the need for the women’s movement and donors to work towards and support woman-led (especially poor woman-led) transformation. Collective organizing and social networks is a means of empowerment that allows women to respond to challenges, but grassroots organizing is being threatened by social and macro economic models of development. The women’s movement’s renewed interest in grassroots women’s coping strategies could potentially be a huge step forward for the women’s movement, but, Mwaura-Muiru argues, the views of the less privileged should be seen as the critical voice in the design of appropriate interventions. She critiques Gender and Development as being too focussed on technical and professional training, which continues to marginalize poor women, and argues that there is a need to rethink development and women’s empowerment, and stresses that strategies towards women’s empowerment need to consider grassroots women’s needs and diversity. …

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    Feminists in Development Organizations

    Every day in international development organisations, feminists make use of strategy, tactics, wisdom and skill to act for their principles. Most of their strategies are invisible and their tactics subtle. They draw on networks of friendships and relationships that create ripples of effect in enabling their organisations to be pathways of women's empowerment. …

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    Feminists Working in International Development Organisations: An Account of a Reflexive Practice Workshop

    This workshop held from 26-28 October 2008 brought together participants in a reflective practice project, a small and self-selected group of feminist policy practitioners working on women’s rights and gender equality issues in the head offices of international development organisations, who aim to be more effective in their work by studying and reflecting on their own experiences. The workshop provided an opportunity for collective reflection and analysis. Some brought with them a long experience of working in global policy spaces while others are relative newcomers. Our specific responsibilities and working environments have varied considerably. …

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    Finding our Organizational Way

    Meeting at a weekend-long retreat, the five women discuss what 'success' is for a feminist bureaucrat, and the challenges of gender mainstreaming. They agree on the importance of analysing and understanding the organisations they work for, and of finding opportunities to influence by 'working with the grain'. …

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    Gender Equality and Aid Effectiveness

    Studies and discussions at a workshop of four aid‐funded initiatives in different countries in South East Asia show that the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness offers a useful framework for assessing and strengthening government‐ed efforts towards greater gender equality and the achievement of the MDGs. The Paris principles provide the opportunity for governments, civil society and donors to work together in more genuine partnerships provided the search for efficiency gains is not at the expense of securing long term impact and that donors change their own organisational behaviour where this constrains gender equality efforts.    …