Displaying items 1 - 15 of 49 in total
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    30%: Women And Politics In Sierra Leone

    This film looks at the Sierra Leonean women's movement's campaign for increased participation for women in Sierra Leone politics and their aim to achieve legislation for a minimum 30% quota. The film explores this issue through the stories of Dr Bernadette Lahai of the Sierra Leone People's Party, Barbara Bangura, National Coordinator of the Women's Solidarity Support Group, and Salamatu Kamara, a prospective parliamentary candidate. …

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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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    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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    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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    Latin America Hub Scoping Workshop Report

    The Regional Scoping Workshop for Latin America, organized by NEIM, took place in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, from 6-9 June 2006. The workshop was organized around five round-tables followed by open debates in plenary: 1) Theoretical Reflections on the Empowerment of Women in Latin America; 2) Power, Institutionality and the Empowerment of Women in Latin America; 3) Policies of Employment and Income as Spaces of Empowerment of Women in Latin America; 4) Public Policies for Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women; and 5) Struggles for Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Latin America. On the last two days there were three different discussion sessions in small groups, organized around the three axes that the RPC will be investigating (voice, work, and bodily integrity): 1) Issues in Measurement of Women’s Empowerment; 2) Identifying Stories of Change; 3) Exploring Policy Experiences. Group discussions had the objective of generating ideas and recommendations for the formulation of RPC projects, the results being presented in the final plenary session, followed by an informal evaluation of the workshop and its accomplishments. …

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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.  …

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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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    Pathways Of Women's Empowerment Consortium Presents Findings From Research To UK Parliamentarians

    This is a short news article about this high profile meeting held at the UK Houses of Parliament where Pathways convened to celebrate the launch of its synthesis report, and to mark its move from a consortium to a network. The event was hosted by Baroness Glenys Kinnock and this article includes a podcast of the event. …

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    Pathways to Political Power in Sudan

    This chapter argues that the Sudan experience puts into question the quota as a pathway for political power. It also argues that an explicit concern with numbers, and by extension quotas, can lead to unexpected pitfalls, since centralised and authoritarian regimes (and parties) can readily impose quotas from the top down. Quotas do not by default widen or transform political opportunities for women who come from diverse backgrounds and who carry with them complex identities, and in fact, quotas can serve to consolidate the status quo ‑ both at the level of party politics as well as in regards to patriarchal conceptions of women’s place. …

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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. …

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    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. …