Displaying items 76 - 90 of 135 in total
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    The Power Of Association: Reflecting On Women's Collective Action As A Force For Social Change

    Naila Kabeer reflects on the power of association and collective action, and its ability to transform the lives and livelihoods of marginalized groups, especially women. Inclusive gatherings of women, she says, are important reminders that seemingly isolated struggles against apparently insurmountable odds are really part of a worldwide movement for change. She gives examples of different kinds of collective action and the different kinds of change each movement affected. Her research experience suggests that collective action does not linearly lead from powerlessness to empowerment; instead, myriad transformative processes occur over time through collective action which solidify into a coherent movement for change. …

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    The 'Religious' In Debates About Reforming Egyptian Personal Status Laws

    In this paper, presented to 'Pathways: What are we Learning?' Analysis Conference, Cairo, 20-24 January 2009, I want to argue against a common and perhaps a temptingly easy understanding that posits a direct and problematic link between the challenges of reforming Egyptian personal status laws and their seemingly inescapable religious identity. Such a reading has a homogenizing effect that: 1) collapses those who take issue with the proposed changes in the substantive laws from a religious perspective into one unitary position, 2) fails to appreciate the interconnectedness of secular (e. g. human rights) and religious discourses that frame the debates about the new legal reforms, and 3) conceals a number of underlying issues which go beyond the question of the religious boundaries of the family laws. …

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    The Under Reporting Of Women’s Economic Activity In Bangladesh: An Examination Of Official Statistics. BDI 1

    In Bangladesh women are engaged in a variety of economic activities ranging from homestead based expenditure saving activities to outside paid work. However, women's work always remains under reported, especially women’s non‐market homestead based economic activities. Under reporting is particularly critical in the case of official statistics. The types of work women are involved in are often overlooked by women themselves. …

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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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    Understanding The Dynamics Of An NGO/MBO Partnership: Organizing And Working With Farm Women In South Africa

    This chapter is concerned with addressing the power dynamics and inequalities in the relationship between a South African non-government organization (NGO), Women on Farms Project (WFP) and the membership-based organization (MBO), Sikhula Sonke, which it established. In particular, it focuses on the genesis and evolution of the relationship and how unanticipated and initially unarticulated tensions led to a shift in power and a new phase in the relationship between the two organisations. The first section provides a short background to WFP, including the key discourses which have informed the understanding and approach of WFP’s work with farmwomen. The next section then outlines the contextual conditions of farmwomen in post-apartheid South Africa which led to WFP forming Sikhula Sonke. …

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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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    Vagina Sisters, Crying Mine, Soap Opera Stars And Sushi: The Story Of The Vagina Monologues In Belgrade, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    In spring 2006, the Vagina Monologues was staged in Serbia for the first time. Performed by well-known actresses, including a celebrity soap star, the show attracted a wide audience of people beyond those usually interested in the women’s movement. Hundreds of young girls came to see the soap star, but at the same time they heard about pleasure and orgasm, and how to love their bodies, as well as about sexual abuse and domestic violence. Men in the audience cried with emotion. …

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    Voicing Autonomy through Citizenship: The Regional Nationality Campaign and Morocco

    This chapter focuses on one of the most comprehensive, regional coalition building efforts for nationality reform and citizenship across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the Campaign to Reform Arab Women’s Nationality (the nationality campaign). It explores the politics and dynamics of channelling voice through feminist nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), and specifically examines regional and domestic advocacy campaigns and collaborations in the Campaign to Reform Arab Women’s Nationality. …

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    Vulnerabilities Of Feminist Engagement And The Challenge Of Developmentalism In The South: What Alternatives?

    The paper examines the challenge of feminist engagement in the South today. The analysis proceeds from the position that feminist engagement has registered multiple successes with a major break through in the ways in which it has made considerable dents into dominant development discourses. However, I argue, that this very success has created inherent vulnerabilities, with success appearing as a double edged sword whose disintegrative effects are much fiercer and much more anchored, in terms of power regimes. By trying to have a command into the development arena feminism had to reshape itself – even at the basic level of being understood. …

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    What Do Men Have To Do With Women's Empowerment? Series Of Interviews

    Zelal Ayman, Ulrika Holmstrom, Monica Williams, Marcos Nascimento, Kuhu Das, Dean Peacock, Carolyn Hannan, and Anita Gurumurthy reflect briefly on the question, “What do men have to do with women’s empowerment?” …

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    What Is Happening To Donor Support For Women's Rights? Contestations, Issue 4

    Human rights, including women’s rights are dropping off the donor agenda. Recent years have seen a marked shift in official development discourse, with less emphasis on a rights-based approach and more on an efficiency approach to gender equality, exemplified by Nike Foundation’s ‘Girl Effect’ theme of stopping poverty by investing in girls – an initiative that ignores the social, historical and structural factors which contribute to inequality while simultaneously ignoring the voices of the people it seeks to help. Removing the realization of rights, including women’s rights, from the donor agenda is part of a wider tendency to define development in terms of measurable outcomes or instruments – immunizations, bednets, numbers of children going to school, quotas for women in parliament. As a result of the shift to the political right in many OECD governments, these demands for reporting against quantifiable achievements as a measure of impact is having an effect on all the organisations that they are funding. …

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    Who is the Better Feminist? Negotiating the Middle Ground

    In this chapter, Laura Turquet draws on her experience working as a gender adviser at the international non-governmental organisation (INGO) ActionAid UK. By describing a series of events, she explores the successes and challenges of lobbying the UK government's Department for International Development (DFID), while struggling to avoid marginalisation within her own organisation. …

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    Witches Of Gambaga

    The Witches of Gambaga is the story of a community of women condemned to live as witches in Northern Ghana. Made over the course of five years, this disturbing expose is the product of a collaboration between members of the 100 strong community of ‘witches’ and women’s movement activists determined to end abusive practises and improve women’s lives in Africa. Painful experience and insight come together to create an intimate portrait of the lives of women ostracized by their communities. Told largely by the women themselves, their incredible stories and struggles are conveyed to a wide range of audiences by the director’s narration. …

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    Women And Rural Trade Unions In North East Brazil

    Whilst there are numerous cases where women workers experience a regressive double marginalization (as workers and as women) in globalized export agriculture, it is important to investigate cases where gendered working practices have given rise to more complicated, and possibly, more progressive outcomes. This chapter takes the case of women workers in export horticulture in North East Brazil to explore what these new sites might sometimes offer women workers, and whether they have been able to increase their bargaining power. The study looks at the context in which the rural trade union Sindicato dos Trabalhadores Rurais (STR) was operating, the ways in which women workers have engaged with the union, and the extent to which they have won benefits as workers through this engagement. The chapter places this case study in the broader Brazilian context; explain the reasons for, and extent of women’s employment in the São Francisco valley, documenting how women have become increasingly active in the valley’s rural trade union and how this has, in turn, resulted in important changes both within the trade union and to women’s working conditions in the grape sector; and finally offers some preliminary conclusions to this study. …

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    Women's Empowerment: An Annotated Bibliography

    What is 'women's empowerment' and how can we measure it? How is the concept being used in policy and practice and what are the problems with existing approaches? This bibliography gathers together a range of resources which discuss women's empowerment from different perspectives in order to provide an accessible introduction to key concepts, approaches and debates. A summary is provided of each resource, along with a link to the full document where available. The bibliography is divided into four sections exploring definitions of 'women's empowerment'; current programmes to advance women's empowerment; approaches to measuring and evaluating women's empowerment; and critiques of existing theory and practice. …