Displaying items 1 - 15 of 36 in total
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    A Missed Opportunity: Women And The 2010 UK General Election 2010

    The 2010 UK general election presented a rare opportunity to significantly enhance women's representation in the UK due to the larger numbers of vacant-held seats following the parliamentary expenses scandal of 2009. However, despite encouraging words and commitments from the main political parties, the opportunity was missed. The proportion of women's representation in the UK parliament remains at around 22 per cent, comparing unfavourably with countries as diverse as Rwanda and Sweden, and leaving the UK ranking 52nd in the global league table. Although there is no one single answer for achieving sex parity in politics, many factors can increase women's opportunities. …

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    A Silver Lining: Women In Reserved Seats In Local Government In Bangladesh

    The system of reserved seats with direct elections to local government bodies has been in place for women since 1997. This article investigates how perceptions have changed about the role of women representatives in local government. By exploring the accounts of women's views, experiences and how they negotiate various structural and attitudinal obstacles, and the changes in the wider sociopolitical context, the article shows that women representatives have gained greater voice and social legitimacy in representing specific types of‘women's issues. ’These gains were partly a result of the supportive policy directives and mechanisms created by the state. …

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    Conservative Modernization in Brazil: Blocking Local Women's Political Pathways to Power

    This chapter looks at the challenges of creating spaces for women to engage in politics in Brazil using a longitudinal study approach spanning the period between 1988 to 2011. It shows that despite the implementation of policies intended to enhance women’s broad political representation such as the introduction of affirmative action and a comprehensive decentralisation policy, political parties, the gatekeepers, are stalling women’s entry into politics. …

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    Contemporary Feminisms In Brazil: Achievements, Challenges, Tensions

    Contemporary feminist activism in Brazil emerged in a moment of political upheaval, playing an important role in the process of re-democratization of the country and stretching the very concept of democracy in this process. Over the last three decades, feminisms in Brazil have brought important contributions, not only in terms of a change of values regarding women’s place in society, but also towards building a more gender equitable society in formal terms. However, formal power structures, such as those of the legislative, judiciary and executive branches have remained notoriously resistant to the inclusion of women, which has resulted in a major paradox for Brazilian feminists: on the one hand, the presence of a wide and well articulated women’s movement, and on the other, a notorious absence of women in decision making positions. One of the consequences of this state of affairs is that the feminist movement in Brazil still lacks a “critical mass” of women to push forth the implementation of new state institutions and policies, and there is also little support in the legislative and judiciary to guarantee greater advancements insofar as women’s sexual and reproductive rights are concerned. …

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    Does The Political Participation Of Women Matter? Democratic Representation, Affirmative Action And Quotas In Costa Rica

    For many countries, despite their adoption of quotas, women's political participation remains low. Costa Rica, however, presents a success story in terms of increasing women's descriptive representation and, as a country which has tried a variety of quota systems, it represents a unique case study. This article looks at the processes which have influenced the evolution of the Costa Rican experience, and the struggle to achieve effective quota law highlights the importance of clear, unambiguous legislation that leaves no loopholes for those resisting its implementation. However, there is also a cautionary note that although quotas can be effective in increasing numbers, the quest by women's organisations to seek transformation can be co-opted by others leading perhaps to undesired outcomes. …

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    Feminisms in Brazil: Voicing and Channelling Women's Diverse Demands

    In this chapter the authors discuss how feminists in Brazil have responded to the challenge of dealing not only with tensions from existing inequalities within their ranks, but also with the task of devising strategies to channel very diverse women’s demands. They look at the national conferences for women held over the last decade  - the Conference of Brazilian Women (2002), and the I and II National Conferences of Public Policies for Women (2004 and 2007, respectively) – and examine their products: the Feminist Political Platform and the I and II National Plans of Public Policies for Women.  …

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    Forging Ahead Without An Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians In Sierra Leone's Post-War Electoral Process

    In contemporary post-conflict Sierra Leone, women have managed to secure 13. 5 per cent of seats in parliament – without affirmative action in place, thanks to women's groups' and coalitions' mobilisation and activism. While the political resistance to Sierra Leone having a quota was high, the women's movement has succeeded in forcing the political parties and the government to recognize that it is no longer politically viable to sidestep women's rights, should they wish to capitalise on women's voting power. As women's organisations, in particular the 50/50 group, continue the struggle to introduce a quota, the challenge for Sierra Leonean women is how to ensure that the quota project is not hijacked by the male-dominated political establishment. …

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    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. …

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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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    I Seminário Nacional: O Feminismo No Brasil, Reflexões Teóricas E Perspectivas

    Report from the first National Seminar on Feminisms in Brazil Theoretical Reflections and Perspectives. …

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    La Trayectoria Del Feminismo Académico Y La Creación Del Programa De Estudios Interdisciplinares Sobre Mujeres, Género E Feminismo

    Report by Ana Alice Costa and Cecilia Sardenberg on the creation of the interdisciplinary studies programme on women, gender and feminism at the Interdisciplinary Women's Studies Nucleus at the Federal University of Bahia in Salvador, Brazil. …

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    Mudanca do Garcia

    “Mudança do Garcia” is one of the most popular Carnival events in Salvador, as a traditional arena for political protest. Thousands of people from Garcia neighbourhood converge on the city centre. The tradition takes place on Carnival Monday, and started in the mid-1930s when middle-class families began to move to Garcia and sought police support to close a famous brothel that operated there at the time. On the day of their eviction, the women brothel workers left Garcia in horse-drawn chariots, dressed in fancy costumes, and followed by a band and a parade of protesting customers. …

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    Negotiating Alliances, Overcoming Opposition: Women's Movements and Other Social Movements Roundtable

    The Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Research Programme Consortium (RPC) and the Women’s Empowerment in Muslim Contexts (WEMC) RPC held a public discussion on the theme of building alliances on 13 November 2008 in Cape Town prior to the AWID Forum. The day’s programme included an introduction to the two RPCs by their respective directors, followed by inputs from the RPC members about women’s movements’ encounters with other social movements, after which there was a question and answer session. An internal meeting was held by the two RPCs for members to identify key issues of strategic relevance for building alliances as well as overcoming oppositions, and to formulate strategies for engagement across movements. …

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    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. …

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    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. …