Displaying items 16 - 30 of 64 in total
  • Archive Resource

    Implementing Affirmative Action: Global Trends

    This scoping article gives a global picture of dynamics, trends, policies and mechanisms for engaging with women's representation in political office. It discusses the kind of affirmative action introduced, and where it features vis-à-vis electoral cycles. It describes and compares candidate and reserved seats quotas and shows how electoral systems influence the possibilities of challenging power hierarchies in politics. The second part of the article reflects on the extent to which implementing quotas have been effective in engendering political representation and the conditions that allow or inhibit this. …

  • Archive Resource

    Interrogating Policy Discourses On Women's Empowerment In Ghana Case Study

    Understanding what works to promote, support and sustain ‘women’s empowerment’ calls for a greater appreciation of what the term means to different policy actors in different contexts. In Ghana, there is a strong commitment to women’s empowerment from government administrative officials, particularly female staff. However, there appears to be limited knowledge about the dimensions, pathways and strategies for women’s empowerment within government and the bureaucracy. Officials often base their interventions on a desire to address women’s individual situations rather than on analysis of the deeper-rooted structural constraints that women face, and remedies that might address them. …

  • Archive Resource

    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. …

  • Archive Resource

    Legitimacy Enhances Capacity. Capacity

    This article questions whether affirmative action and training of women politicians leads to effective voice and change on issues that are relevant for women. The authors examine the case of Bangladesh, which has an affirmative action policy for women in government, and consider the barriers that women in politics continue to face, as well as the doors that are opened to them through their role in politics. The Bangladesh case shows that the advent of direct elections has established a direct link between the constituency and women members. This, in turn, has given women a stronger voice and more legitimacy as political actors. …

  • Archive Resource

    Motivated by Dictatorship, Muted by Democracy: Articulating Women's Rights in Pakistan

    Women’s rights activists often cite the repetition of military dictatorships in Pakistan as being responsible for arrested democratic development, worsening gender discrimination and increased theocratisation of state and society. This chapter argues that in fact, whether the nature of dictatorship was repressive and misogynistic (as under General Zia ul Haq, 1977-88) or purportedly liberal and ‘enlightened’ (General Musharraf, 1999-2008), women’s activism has been arguably the most energised and even incomparably influential, during such regimes. This is especially so in terms of mobilised political expression. In comparison, democratic interregnums have tended to mute women political actors, both in government and in civil society or sometimes through self-censorship. …

  • Archive Resource

    Nari Shastho Kormi: Shomojhota O Nobouddog

    This report in Bangla focuses on research which considers whether and how the work done by Women Health Workers leads to changes at the individual, family and societal levels. The researchers explored how Women Health Workers are introducing new role models for women, challenging purdah, encouraging mobility, and creating pathways of empowerment. …

  • Archive Resource

    Paid Work as Pathway of Empowerment: Pakistan's Lady Health Worker Programme

    This chapter explores the contributions that paid work can make to creating pathways of empowerment for women in Pakistan. It draws on the case of Pakistan’s government-run Lady Health Workers Programme (LHWP), which employs almost 100,000 women across Pakistan as community health workers who act as a vital link between communities and primary health care. …

  • Archive Resource

    Paid Work, Women's Empowerment and Inclusive Growth: Transforming the Structures of Constraint

    Drawing on household survey data collected in Egypt, Ghana and Bangladesh as part of the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Partners’ Consortium, this report provides insights into the ‘resource’ pathways that enhance women’s agency and thereby contribute to the inclusiveness of the economic growth process. Moreover, it looks at the the extent to which the structure of economic opportunities, generated by a country’s growth strategies, translated into positive impacts on women’s lives in these three country contexts.  …

  • Archive Resource

    Palestinian Women Contesting Power In Chaos

    Palestinian women's political participation is marked by the Israeli occupation and a volatile political situation. This article argues that the political chaos following the Oslo Agreement of 1993 has led to civil society fragmentation and the marginalisation of certain groups. However, women's traditional involvement within the Palestinian national movement led to their assumption that society would adopt a non-gender biased perspective during elections. Disappointing results led to the formation of a coalition to campaign for a quota system. …

  • Archive Resource

    Quotas: Add Women And Stir?

    At the Millennium Summit world leaders committed to reducing extreme poverty through a series of targets encompassed within the MDGs, with a deadline of 2015. One of these was to promote gender equality and empower women, and the ‘proportion of seats held by women in national parliament’ was set as a key indicator. With the MDG Review Summit meeting in September 2010, this is an opportunity to consider whether the proportion of women in parliament continues to be the most adequate proxy for women’s political empowerment. This IDS Bulletin explores what the quota has meant as a motorway to women’s accession to political power by drawing on research findings from the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Programme Consortium (‘Pathways’), as well as a series of articles from a special seminar in the Brazilian National Congress as part of this programme, and contributions from other country case studies. …

  • Archive Resource

    Quotas: A Highway To Power In Egypt… But For Which Women?

    Egypt has recently passed a new quota law, reserving 64 seats for women in addition to its 454 member parliament. While the executive regulations were not issued at the time of writing, the political messages conveyed about the quota are highly relevant: for example, additional seats were allocated rather than existing ones shared. This article speculates on whether the quota will challenge power hierarchies within and among parties. While the quota will undoubtedly increase women's representation in parliament, the political configurations of the existing context – a highly authoritarian one – raise questions as to which women are most likely to occupy these seats. …

  • Archive Resource

    Quotas: A Pathway Of Political Empowerment?

    Over the last 20 years, the problem of low levels of representation of women in political office has been mobilising women, and especially feminists, throughout the world. The adoption of quotas has become a much-used tool to address the challenge of increasing women's political representation, and as a route to enhancing women's political empowerment. In Latin America, many countries have adopted quota systems, but with widely varying effects. This article takes stock of Latin American experience and asks to what extent quota systems have served as a pathway of women into politics. …

  • Archive Resource

    Quotas As A Path To Parity: Challenges To Women's Participation In Politics

    The promise of democratic equality has not arrived for women. In all societies said to be democratic, women have had an arduous struggle and are still fighting for access to rights common to any male citizen, for example an equal salary for equal work, promotion opportunities, the right to physical integrity, and access to work. Gaining the right to vote and the right to run for office as elected representatives has not in practice meant the right to be elected under the same conditions as men (Petit 2007). In the immense majority of representative democracies, women are far from having won political equality. …

  • Archive Resource

    Readjusting Women's Too Many Rights: The State, the Public Voice, Women's Rights in South Yemen

    This chapter discusses the processes that led to the promulgation of the two Yemeni family codes of 1974 in the South and 1992 after the Unification. The author will look from a larger societal perspective at who the actors were in drafting the codes and what kind of public debates were allowed as part of the two processes. In particular, she will discuss the theoretical implications of a development gone reverse; does modernisation always bring women more rights? What kind of rhetoric a state has to turn into when it takes away women rights that gained popular approval? …

  • Archive Resource

    Reforming Muslim Family Law For Developing Guidelines For Reforming Muslim Family Laws

    The aims of this workshop held in Cairo from 9-11 January 2009 were threefold: 1) disseminate the findings of the research on the reforms in Egyptian family laws and their impact on women’s empowerment, 2) exchange knowledge on reform trajectories in family laws in a number of Middle Eastern countries, and 3) have a regional debate about reform trajectories, strategies, challenges, and successes in regard to the question of women’s rights and Muslim family laws. The workshop was attended by members of women’s rights organisations, judiciary, lawyers, students of gender studies, researchers and academics, and representatives of relevant government bodies such as Ministry of Justice. …