Author: Rosalind Eyben
Women's rights organisations are highly significant for securing tangible results for women's empowerment. The nature of the state, state-society relations, the structure of gender relations and the particular history of the feminist movement and activism in any country all shape the character of women's mobilisation for their rights. Although Bangladesh and Ghana differ in all these respects, they also share some common characteristics which may not be present in all other aid recipient countries. Both have gone through a democratic transition after a long period of military/one party rule. Democratization led to the state creating new spaces for engagement, including setting up machineries for addressing women's issues. Democratization also led to a growth in number and variety of women's organisations and networks. In the last twenty years these have mobilised external and internal resources to pursue rights-based agendas in relation to women's empowerment, including policy advocacy.