Displaying items 16 - 30 of 75 in total
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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 As Resistance: Conceptualising Palestinian Women's Empowerment

    Eileen Kuttab contextualizes empowerment historically in Palestinian practices of mobilisation and resistance. She draws on interviews and focus group discussions to explore the meanings the term has come to acquire in the Palestinian context. Kuttab examines alternative ways of understanding empowerment that go beyond instrumentalism to recapture some of the original associations the term had with power and resistance. …

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    Empowerment Beyond Resistance: Cultural Ways of Negotiating Power Relations

    This paper explores Muslim women's experiences of empowerment in northern Pakistan by drawing upon the life history of a woman informant named Dana. It also outlines some of the methodological concerns related with researching empowerment in a situation where the researchers and the researched share common context. The paper re-conceptualises the utility of empowerment by unveiling it as an intricate process, which involves the negotiation of roles, responsibilities and values by individuals. The findings evidence that empowerment is not always exhibiting absolute power over others or open defiance against standard norms; neither is it resistance against coercion at all times. …

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    Exceptional Women: Reserved Councillors in Municipal Corporations in Bangladesh

    Most of the literature on women in politics and political empowerment in Bangladesh has either focused on the elected women representatives at the union level in rural areas and the constraints they face or on the ineffectiveness of women Members of Parliament (MPs) in reserved seats. In this chapter, we shift the focus from rural areas and women MPs to women councillors in urban government. …

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    Family Courts In Egypt

    In the last decade a series of reforms have been introduced in Egyptian family laws. On January 26, 2000 the Egyptian Parliament passed procedural Law No. 1 of 2000. The goal of this law was to address the problems of backlog of cases and inefficient legal procedures, challenges which were mostly confronted by women since they tended to be the majority of claimants in family law cases. …

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    Family, Households and Women's Empowerment through the Generations in Bahia, Brazil: Continuities or Change?

    This chapter identifies change and continuities in gender relations in a working class neighbourhood in Salvador, Bahia, through the generations. Based on data collected over a period of nearly twenty years, it seeks to identify processes of of women's empowerment. …

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    Family Law Reforms and Women's Empowerment: Family Courts in Egypt

    In the last decade, there have been several significant family law reforms in Egypt that have impacted the struggle to enhance the legal rights of women in the domain of marriage and family. How have these reforms been brought about? Who were the actors involved in the process? Who are the various interlocutors in the public debate about these reforms? What does this debate tell us about their views and agendas in regard to women’s rights and position in the society? This paper will answer these questions with the aim of providing the context for a study on family courts in Egypt. The purpose of this study is to examine how these reforms are being implemented, to identify the diversions and subversions in the process, and to determine whether these reforms are strengthening the legal rights of women in family disputes. The first section of the paper outlines how Shari'a model of marriage is framed in family law, and the significance of the varied ways in which this religious legal model has been interpreted and implemented. …

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    Feminist Voices and the Regulation, Islamization and Quango-ization of Women's Activism in Mubarak's Egypt

    This chapter examines the context in which diverse forms of women’s activisms thrive in Egypt today. It is a politically volatile context, in which political space expands and contracts in unpredictable ways. It is also a context in which women’s national machineries are making claims as the principle actors mediating between the international community and the state on gender matters, and between state and society. …

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    Introduction: Quotas - Add Women And Stir?

    Quotas have become increasingly popular as a fast track option for securing enhanced political representation largely because of their proven impact on increasing the number of women in parliament. As more countries have adopted one form or another of the quota, it is now timely to reflect on what the implications have been for transforming gender relations and the nature of politics at large. This introduction examines from the country case studies presented in this IDS Bulletin, the insight offered into the dynamics of motorways and pathways of increasing women's decision-making power (with or without a quota) and the underlying assumptions about gender, power and politics as well as the policy issues for consideration. …

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    Islam in Urban Bangladesh: Changing Worldviews and Reconfigured Sexuality

    Samia Huq discusses the reconfiguration of sexuality at the heart of changing worldviews in urban Bangladesh. Until recently, the modernity of the state had been predicated on the notion of a ‘modern woman’, which Islamists have sought to unravel. …

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    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. …

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    Liberal Vs. Liberating Empowerment: A Latin American Feminist Perspective On Conceptualising Women's Empowerment

    In this paper Cecilia Sardenberg argues that, despite the great diversity in the uses of the term ‘empowerment’, it is possible to distinguish two basic approaches in conceptualising women’s empowerment. The first, identified here as ‘liberal empowerment’, regards women’s empowerment as an instrument for development priorities, be they the eradication of poverty or the building of democracy. Consistent with liberal ideals, the focus in this approach is on individual growth, but in an atomistic perspective on the notion of the rational action of social actors based on individual interests. Moreover, it de-politicizes the process of empowerment by taking ‘power’ out of the equation. …

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    Liberal Vs Liberating Empowerment: A Latin American Feminist Perspective. Pathways Working Paper 7

    The term ‘women’s empowerment’ is viewed with a certain amount of distrust by feminists in Latin America. There has been some ambiguity surrounding the term in the region and in some cases it has been appropriated to legitimize actions that may not actually empower. This paper reflects on feminist conceptualisations of empowerment and how the process is believed to unfold. It outlines two basic approaches to conceptualising empowerment: ‘liberal’ and ‘liberating’ empowerment. …

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    Monitoramento Da Lei Maria Da Penha - Relatório Preliminar De Pesquisa

    This is the preliminary research report from the Maria Da Penha Law Observatory which monitors the implementation and application of the Maria Da Penha on violence against women in Brazil. …

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    Mulheres Participando Politicamente: Para além de Petardos Mágicos e Super Estradas

    This article, translated into Portuguese by Cecilia Sardenberg, adopts an upside-down approach to women's political empowerment. While the number of women we need to get into legislatures has often assumed centrestage, this paper takes women's pathways as its starting point. In so doing, it challenges the narrow conception of women's political engagement as occupying formal positions and seeks to present a more nuanced perspective on the spaces, relationships and ways of working that influence power hierarchies and dynamics.  …