Displaying items 1 - 15 of 39 in total
  • Archive Resource

    Decentering A Traditional Classroom Through War-Talk And/Or Trauma

    In this paper presented to the 2nd Annual Feminist Pedagogy Conference in New York on 12 October 2007, Fofana Ibrahim details how she uses her students’ experiences of the war in Sierra Leone, supported by feminist and critical pedagogies, to encourage them to think critically about their assumptions. She believes that including women’s experiences or alternative knowledge about the war and other issues result in a shift of perspective and lead to a better understanding of the way sin which systems of oppression intersect in academia. …

  • Archive Resource

    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. …

  • Archive Resource

    Empowerment From The Semiperiphery Perspective

    Blagojevic reflects on empowerment. She looks at the history of ‘empowerment’ in Serbia, from the debate over its translation to the co-opting of the concept by donors to enforce democratic, neo-liberal policies, with the result that empowerment simply instrumentalized women. She provides a definition of empowerment that links it with rights and introduces the concept of ‘de-development’ to indicate when development does not equal progress, linking this concept to MGDs. In relation to the Balkans, Blagojevic suggests that gender equality instead of empowerment may be a better term to use. …

  • Archive Resource

    Islamism And Secularism: Between State Instrumentalisation And Opposition Islamic Movements

    In Palestine, a reassertion of the ‘secularist’ identity of the ‘Palestinian national project’ is taking place against a deeply divided political society characterised by a Palestinian authority in conflict with Hamas. This article argues that the instrumentalisation of religion by the state has backfired leaving secular feminist activists in an unenviable position – without a constituency or a socially legitimate framework through which to address gender and social justice issues. At the same time, a reassertion of the ‘secularist’ identity is taking place against a deeply divided political society characterized by a Palestinian authority in conflict with Hamas. This conflict accompanying the ‘secularization process’ resulted in crushing the very structure of the notion of citizenship and the figure of the secular citizen subject itself. …

  • Archive Resource

    Local Feminism: Between Islamism And Liberal Universalism

    In this paper Islah Jad argues that the spread of universal women’s rights discourse, based on the liberal individual notion of rights, potentially ignores the different contexts in which ‘indigenous’ forms of resistance by feminist movements takes place, and risks sidelining some important knowledge and gains that have been achieved by these movements. In the Palestinian context detaching feminist struggle from the wider context of the emancipatory struggle for national liberation has led to the marginalization of women’s movements and the subordination of their claims for rights to a universal donor agenda. …

  • Archive Resource

    Local Power and Women's Empowerment in a Conflict Context: Palestinian Women Contesting Power in Chaos

    Palestinian women’s political participation is marked by the Israeli occupation and a volatile political situation. This chapter 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. …

  • 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

    Pilot Study Report On Women's Empowerment In Sierra Leone

    This pilot study was conducted over a two-month period in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Seventeen women from different socio-economic, educational, religious, and ethnic backgrounds were interviewed and they were encouraged to talk about the following: family life while growing up, marriage, work and education, the war, religion, excision, politics, their take on empowerment and general concerns about Salone society. The report includes transcripts from some of the interviews. …

  • Archive Resource

    Poor Women's Agency In Gaza Case Study

    This research examined the complexity of gendered subjectivity in Gaza Strip and how it is reshaped in a contradictory manner in the context of livelihood crisis and insecurity caused by the full siege imposed on Gaza Strip by the Israeli occupation and the international community. The research is unique because it attempted to deal with the reality of women’s everyday life and avoided any standardized framework of gender analysis. It focused on the contextualization of the concept of women’s agency based on the narration of women’s stories and life experiences. The documentation of poor women’s interpretation of their daily life is the basis for creating new knowledge and new theories. …

  • Archive Resource

    Security And The Pathways Of Women's Empowerment, IDS WP 406

    While security and women’s empowerment are both prominent development concerns, there has to date been little sustained analysis of the relationship between the two. An unexamined assumption appears to be that insecurity – violence and rights abuses – prevent women from gaining power over their lives through full social, economic or political participation. But how and how much does insecurity structure women’s agency? In which domains and contexts are these insecurities prominent? And what are the policy and practical implications of the relationship between women’s security and processes of empowerment in contemporary developing countries? This paper reports on an effort to derive lessons about how security and insecurity shape processes of women’s empowerment in developing countries through a thematic synthesis of a collection of research outputs from a five-year programme of research on the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment. The programme covered four broad thematic areas: voice (political mobilisation), paid work, body (or changing narratives of sexuality) and concepts of empowerment. …

  • Archive Resource

    The Many Faces of Feminism: Palestinian Women's Movements Finding a Voice

    This chapter situates the analysis of the Palestinian women’s movement in a colonial context and conceptualises the relation between the national liberation struggle against the Israeli occupation and social emancipation. It traces the historical development of the women’s movement including the contemporary professionalisation and institutionalisation of women's activism in the nineties, and its impact in expanding the gap between women’s leadership and grassroots. …

  • Archive Resource

    The Meaning And Practice Of Women's Empowerment In Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

    Hussainatu J. Abdullah and Aisha Fofana-Ibrahim address the meaning and practice of women’s empowerment in Sierra Leone’s post-conflict reconstruction and peace consolidation processes from the perspectives of the Government of Sierra Leone and the UN system in Sierra Leone. These two institutions illustrate how women’s empowerment has been pursued in two institutions with key roles and positions in Sierra Leone’s post-war renewal processes. …

  • Archive Resource

    Thorns And Silk

    Directed by Paulina Tervo, Thorns and Silk tells four unusual stories from Palestine, featuring women who work in jobs that are conventionally associated with men in their society. All four of them have the courage to break traditional rules, though not without challenges. We dip into the life of a wedding filmmaker, who films women-only weddings in the most conservative part of Palestine; hear the stories of a female taxi driver who works in the Israeli parts of Jerusalem; discover a young police trainee at the Palestinian Police Academy and learn about the hardships in occupied Nablus from a mother who takes on male roles in order to keep her family toilet paper factory going. …

  • Archive Resource

    Unmarried In Palestine: Embodiment And (Dis)Empowerment In The Lives Of Single Palestinian Women (Article)

    There are rising numbers of single women across the Arab world. While this is usually connected with delayed marriage, Palestine shows a unique pattern of early but not universal marriage. This article looks beneath the statistics to investigate the stories behind this trend. How do young unmarried women negotiate boundaries and understand and enact choice in the context of a society experiencing prolonged insecure and warlike conditions, political crisis and social fragmentation and where the high number of unmarried women can be an increasing locus of moral panic? In conducting focus groups with two generations of women, my research looks at the prevailing importance of education, civil society and security in negotiating space within women's lives and uncovers a long tradition of unmarried women leading full and significant lives which needs to be recovered from the past. …

  • Archive Resource

    Unmarried In Palestine: Embodiment And (Dis)Empowerment In The Lives Of Single Palestinian Women (Report)

    Using topical life stories, focus groups, data and discourse analysis, this paper, presented to 'Pathways: What are we Learning?' Analysis Conference, Cairo, 20-24 January 2009, explores the experiential diversity and thematic commonalities in the lives of Palestinian unmarried women, in the context of a society experiencing prolonged warlike conditions, political crisis, and social disruption. In particular, the project examines dynamics of choice, embodiment, responsibility, and survival, as well as attempt identify structural, social, political and economic factors shaping Palestine’s rather unique pattern of early, but not universal marriage, with a relatively high proportion of never-married women (but not men) over time. Comparing topical life stories of an earlier generation of largely educated unmarried women (now 40-65) who often had a clear trajectory of a life committed to the national project e and/or self-improvement with the diverse voices found in focus groups of contemporary young women (18-25) in diverse locations in the West Bank offers a window into how choice and responsibility operate differentially in the lives of unmarried women. Issues explored are how unmarried women place and value themselves in family and societal settings, how families and communities view unmarried women and shape these choices and responsibilities, and how unmarried women narrate marriageability, self-fashioning, and embodiment. …