Displaying items 31 - 45 of 63 in total
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    Sexual Pleasure Empowers Women!, Contestations, Issue 2

    Images of women as victims are rampant in gender and development. This is particularly the case in discussions of sexuality, where the world is portrayed as so fraught with danger, it seems almost impossible to imagine women enjoying themselves. This focus on the negative can be paralysing – both in terms of ease with one’s own body, and in terms of mobilising around women’s wants and desires. And such narratives dovetail with religious right agendas to protect women’s chastity. …

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    Strategies Of Feminist Bureaucrats: Perspectives From International NGOs. IDS Working Paper 396

    This paper explores the challenges and opportunities for feminists working as women’s rights and gender equality specialists in international non-governmental development organisations, as analysed from an insider practitioner perspective. Part 1 identifies the strategies used and the challenges encountered when Turquet lobbied DFID on its gender equality policy while struggling to avoid marginalisation within her own organisation, Action Aid. In Part 2, Smyth describes how she left Oxfam for a year to work in the Asian Development Bank and uses this experience to consider the strategic opportunities available to a gender specialist working in an NGO such as Oxfam as compared with working in an international finance institution. …

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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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    Taking The Bull By The Horns: Contemporary Feminist Politics In Bangladesh In South Asian Feminisms: Politics And Possibilities. Zed Books

    In recent years, feminists in Bangladesh have faced many challenges. This chapter focuses on two major issues: the NGO-ization of feminist organisations and the generational divide within the movement; and provides new insights on the impact of NGO-ization and the possibilities of creating an intergenerational movement. Based on empirical data, we demonstrate that size, location and available resources make a difference to the impact of NGO-ization on feminist organisations, especially on their organisational autonomy, agency and accountability. We argue that while NGO-ization has diluted feminist political messages it has increased outreach and helped to transmit feminist messages into other spheres. …

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    The Ethics Of Empowerment

    In this article, Koggel reflects on the various influences on her thinking on gender and development, including a research project in Indonesia to explore the possible gaps between the World Bank’s understanding of empowerment and social science theory and NGO practice prior to mainstreaming the concept; capabilities theory and the difference between empowerment and agency; and the rhetoric of empowerment. She discusses the importance of contextual analyses and of the limitations of generalized policies or principles designed to promote ‘development’ or empower women. An important lesson for development ethicists is the need to pay attention to and analyse relations of power – including the overarching factor of economic globalization in the form of neo-liberal and capitalist assumptions and structures. Another important lesson is the one she learned from Sen's complex analysis of poverty: that ethical issues of development are as relevant to ‘developed’ countries as they are to poor ‘developing’ countries. …

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    The Gender and Development Agenda in the UK

    A meeting was held in October 2006 at Queen Elisabeth House hosted by  Barbara Harris White and organised by Tina Wallace (International Gender  Studies at QEH) under the auspices of the Womenʹs Study Group of the DSA.   The intention was to stand back and look at where gender is in the  development agenda with a group of people committed to and concerned about  what has happened to gender in the past few years.   …

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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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    Time To Call The Bluff: (De)-Constructing ‘Women's Vulnerability’, HIV And Sexual Health

    Jerker Edström argues that common interpretations of vulnerability in gender and development discourse, policy and practice tend to reinforce essentialisms about men and women. These interpretations compromise our ability to think clearly about the structural influences on HIV and sexual health, as well as its relations to gender inequity and women’s empowerment. He examines some predominant constructions of women in the AIDS response, based on the notion of vulnerability, and suggests how unhelpful the notion of vulnerability is to the political project of women’s empowerment in redressing inequality and injustice. …

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    'To Beijing and Back': Reflections on the Influence of the Beijing Conference on Popular Notions of Women's Empowerment in Ghana

    The 1995 Beijing conference was a pivotal moment for legitimating women’s rights work in Ghana, and served as a powerful framing for women’s empowerment. This article explores the Beijing conference and examines its influence on popular notions of and efforts to promote women’s empowerment. We argue that the discursive context provided by the conference shaped popular narratives about women directly and also through its influence on the ideas and practices of public institutions and civil society. There is greater acceptance that women have rights that should be promoted and protected, and that there should be institutions and systems to which they have recourse. …

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    Vulnerabilities Of Feminist Engagement And The Challenge Of Developmentalism In The South: What Alternatives?

    The paper examines the challenge of feminist engagement in the South today. The analysis proceeds from the position that feminist engagement has registered multiple successes with a major break through in the ways in which it has made considerable dents into dominant development discourses. However, I argue, that this very success has created inherent vulnerabilities, with success appearing as a double edged sword whose disintegrative effects are much fiercer and much more anchored, in terms of power regimes. By trying to have a command into the development arena feminism had to reshape itself – even at the basic level of being understood. …

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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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    Whose Money Is It?': On Misconceiving Female Autonomy And Economic Empowerment In Low-Income Households

    This article argues that the slip between policy intension and outcome in policies addressing women and money lies in three neo-liberal assumptions: that individuals have clear title to their earnings, that markets are not socially constructed and that viewing individuals and families as isolated units of subsistence is a valid analytical method. It argues that critiques of development policy that are rooted in individualised conceptualisations and measurement of female autonomy and empowerment do not adequately challenge these assumptions, instead they tend to rely on them themselves. It also suggests that feminist critiques are based on the double standard that women should have clear title to their earnings and assets, while men should be supporting the family. Using research undertaken in South India, this article demonstrates that the social construction of credit, labour, housing and marriage markets determine the extent to which women can benefit from improved livelihoods. …

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    Women, Islam And Nation In Bengal, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 12.2

    Women have always been central to the process of national identity formation in South Asia, and in the contests and contradictions with which such monolithic identity making is, of necessity, faced. It is hoped that the new scholarship will open up new ways of negotiating contested terrains, and will shed new light on the historical and cultural positioning of women in this process. In this article, Azim reviews two books that look at Islam and the politics of being Muslim in Bangladesh. The books concentrate on the construction of Islam or a Muslim polity as well as on the position of women within emerging structures. …

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    Women's Empowerment: What Do Men Have To Do With It? Contestations, Issue 3

    Representations of men as perpetrator and patriarch have profoundly shaped the terms of gender and development’s engagement with masculinities discourse and practice. Many of those working in the field have remained hesitant, tentative, and often hostile to the notion that men might be potential allies in the struggle for gender justice. Even feminists broadly sympathetic to the principle of working with men tend to set out from the notion that all men everywhere are inherently part of the problem. And so efforts have focused on involving men, engaging men, inviting men in – usually on our terms. …

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    Women's Empowerment: What Works and Why?

    Revisiting foundational feminist work on the concept of empowerment from the 1980s and 1990s, this paper draws on the findings of a multi-country research programme, ‘Pathways of Women’s Empowerment’, to explore pathways of positive change in women’s lives, in diverse contexts, and to draw together some lessons for policy and practice. It begins with an account of women’s empowerment in development, tracing some key ideas that have shaped feminist engagement with empowerment in theory and practice. It then introduces the Pathways programme and its methodological approach, before turning to each of Pathways’ themes, exploring key findings from our research and highlighting examples of ‘what works’. It goes on to narrate a series of stories of change that illustrate some of the dynamics and dimensions of change identified in our key conclusions. …