Displaying items 106 - 120 of 181 in total
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    Sexuality And Women's Sexual Rights In The Gambia, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    Drawing on grassroots activism by the women’s rights NGO GAMCOTRAP, this article considers contested forms of sexuality in the Gambia. Among these are polygamy, early marriage, sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, marital/statutory rape, forced retirement by spouse from sex due to menopause, trafficking in women, and lesbianism. Arguments relating to Gambian culture and Islam are central to the contestations around these issues. For example, some men cite articles in the Koran as justifying polygamy, and many women accept this as their right. …

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    Sexual Pleasure Empowers Women!, Contestations, Issue 2

    Images of women as victims are rampant in gender and development. This is particularly the case in discussions of sexuality, where the world is portrayed as so fraught with danger, it seems almost impossible to imagine women enjoying themselves. This focus on the negative can be paralysing – both in terms of ease with one’s own body, and in terms of mobilising around women’s wants and desires. And such narratives dovetail with religious right agendas to protect women’s chastity. …

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    Taking The Lead? A Study Of Discourses And Practices On Women's Empowerment By Ghana's Ministry Of Women and Children's Affairs (MOWAC)

    This paper presented to 'Pathways: What are we Learning?' Conference held in Cairo from 20-24 January 2009 is derived from the authors’ larger project on policy discourses and practices on women's empowerment in Ghana by leading institutions and actors in the state, civil society and the donor community. The overall aim of the study is to understand and ultimately influence the conceptions of women's empowerment in Ghana, and the strategies and actions flowing from these. In this paper, the authors focus on the Ministry of Children and Women's Affairs (MOWAC), the designated central government agency for 'mainstreaming gender' into national development plans. Operationally, MOWAC sees itself as the coordinator and guide for other ministries and government agencies on gender issues and concerns. …

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    Terms Of Contact And Touching Change: Investigating Pleasure In An HIV Epidemic, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    Western-led discussions of sexual health have foregrounded warnings of the dangers of sex. Yet, pleasure is one important reason why people have sex. Sexual health work must open up discussion of how pleasure can be experienced with less risk. There are challenges in addressing pleasure in work on safer sex. …

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    The Ethics Of Empowerment

    In this article, Koggel reflects on the various influences on her thinking on gender and development, including a research project in Indonesia to explore the possible gaps between the World Bank’s understanding of empowerment and social science theory and NGO practice prior to mainstreaming the concept; capabilities theory and the difference between empowerment and agency; and the rhetoric of empowerment. She discusses the importance of contextual analyses and of the limitations of generalized policies or principles designed to promote ‘development’ or empower women. An important lesson for development ethicists is the need to pay attention to and analyse relations of power – including the overarching factor of economic globalization in the form of neo-liberal and capitalist assumptions and structures. Another important lesson is the one she learned from Sen's complex analysis of poverty: that ethical issues of development are as relevant to ‘developed’ countries as they are to poor ‘developing’ countries. …

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    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. …

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    The NGOization Of Women's Movements And Its Implications For Feminist Organizing

    A panel from the the AWID Forum held in Cape Town from 14-17 November 2008. Dzodzi Tsikata discussed how women’s NGOs in Ghana have responded to some of the challenges they face because of NGOization. She recounted the history of NGOization in Ghana and the lessons that women’s NGOs learned from it, and concluded that “while NGOization still remains a huge issue for the women’s movement in Ghana, I think that women’s organisations in Ghana have come to recognize by their work that NGOs are not synonymous with civil society nor with the women’s movement. ” Saba Khatak placed the women’s movement in Pakistan in the larger context of Pakistani politics. …

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    The Pathways Of Women's Empowerment Research Programme Consortium, Gender And Development, 16.2

    Tessa Lewin introduces Pathways of Women’s Empowerment RPC, explaining its purpose in bringing together academics and activists from five hubs to understand the factors influencing women’s empowerment. The article elaborates on the four themes of Pathways, namely ‘Conceptions of Women’s Empowerment’, ‘Building Constituencies for Equality and Justice’, ‘Empowering Work’ and ‘Changing Narratives of Sexuality’, before identifying some of the common factors which hamper women’s empowerment and highlighting some of the research being done by Pathways researchers. …

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    The Will To Political Power: Rwandan Women In Leadership

    Rwanda has one of the highest representations of women in parliament in the world. This article examines, from the perspective of a female MP in parliament, the dynamics behind the process of supporting more women assuming leadership positions in parliament. The article argues that the implementation of an electoral gender quota certainly carves the space necessary to allow more women to enter politics, nevertheless, a constellation of factors is needed to work together in order to create the enabling environment necessary for the quota to be effective. Some of these factors include (but are not restricted to) challenging the hierarchical gender relations in post-genocide Rwanda; the political will on the part of the government to engender politics; the role of national machineries in monitoring and pressing for gender-sensitive national policies, as well as the strategic mobilisation of female parliamentarians backed by the progressive new Rwandan constitution. …

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    Thinking With Pleasure: Danger, Sexuality And Agency

    Sexuality, especially in African female sexual discourse, is associated with danger and fear, a paradigm that is dangerous and paralysing, especially to young women coming to sexual consciousness. Bakare-Yusuf argues for the need to provide a counter-narrative that emphasises pleasure, love and desire and transcends this discourse of sexual danger. Moving beyond this discourse allows for the exploration of the complexity and richness of women’s sexuality so that women don’t fall into a sexual paralysis. In this chapter, Bakare-Yusuf argues that the realm of ecstasy, desire, intimacy, mutuality and pleasure of the female erotic universe is often a precursor to and provides a backdrop to sexual danger and domination. …

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    Time To Call The Bluff: (De)-Constructing ‘Women's Vulnerability’, HIV And Sexual Health

    Jerker Edström argues that common interpretations of vulnerability in gender and development discourse, policy and practice tend to reinforce essentialisms about men and women. These interpretations compromise our ability to think clearly about the structural influences on HIV and sexual health, as well as its relations to gender inequity and women’s empowerment. He examines some predominant constructions of women in the AIDS response, based on the notion of vulnerability, and suggests how unhelpful the notion of vulnerability is to the political project of women’s empowerment in redressing inequality and injustice. …

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    'To Beijing and Back': Reflections on the Influence of the Beijing Conference on Popular Notions of Women's Empowerment in Ghana

    The 1995 Beijing conference was a pivotal moment for legitimating women’s rights work in Ghana, and served as a powerful framing for women’s empowerment. This article explores the Beijing conference and examines its influence on popular notions of and efforts to promote women’s empowerment. We argue that the discursive context provided by the conference shaped popular narratives about women directly and also through its influence on the ideas and practices of public institutions and civil society. There is greater acceptance that women have rights that should be promoted and protected, and that there should be institutions and systems to which they have recourse. …

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    Towards Alternative Representations Of Women In African Cultural Products in Festschrift In Honour Of Ama Atta Aidoo

    Ama Ata Aidoo is an iconic African writer who has inspired generations of black and other women writers. This latest collection of short stories brings together diverse themes that speak of the relationship between Africa and its diaspora in terms of home, exile and sense of belonging and alienation. It reveals the complexities involved in the African diaspora connections, engaging with a sense of anomie and fragmentation, revealing her interest in presenting common human frailties. Steeped in Ghanaian and African history, her craftmanship also embraces pertinent new levels. …

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    Unsafe Abortion: A Development Issue, IDS Bulletin 39.3

    Abortion has become an ever more controversial issue, provoking strong reactions both ‘for’ and ‘against’. Language used in disputes over whether or not women should have access to safe and legal abortion indicates just how polarised debates have become: pro-choice versus pro-life; pro-abortion versus anti-choice. As the anti-abortion agenda has become coupled with other conservative agendas, such as ‘pro-abstinence’, ‘pro-chastity’ and ‘anti-contraception’, an increasingly assertive movement has evolved. The extension of these conservative forces to parts of the world where thousands of women die every year because they were unable to access safe abortion and protect themselves from HIV infection, has turned this polarized dispute into an urgent development issue. …

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    Unsafe Abortion And Development: A Strategic Approach, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    Despite 80,000 female deaths a year due to unsafe abortions and a higher prevalence of them occurring in developing countries, abortion remains a women’s reproductive health problem instead of a development problem. In fact, it calls for a stronger advocacy strategy for greater consciousness-raising and sensitization. The Campaign Against Unwanted Pregnancy in Nigeria seeks to employ a multi-pronged strategy that seeks to break the silence on unsafe abortion to create climate for discourse, conduct reliable studies to provide data for debate, and employ the data as a tool to rally support for action on women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in general, and safe abortion specifically. Undertaken primarily through partnering community and faith-based organisations, CAUP seeks to engage policy-makers, the media, CBOs and religious and traditional leaders as part of a strategy to build up a critical mass of advocates that will fight to reduce high levels of mortality caused by unsafe abortion. …