Displaying items 31 - 45 of 58 in total
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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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    Politics as Service: Pathways of District Assembly Women in Ghana

    In 2006, women constituted only 5 per cent of elected members and about 35 per cent of appointed members in 97 out of 110 district assemblies.  In this chapter, which is based on life history interviews with 32 elected and appointed District Assembly Women held by the Ghana Hub in 2007, Professor Manuh explores the personal biographies and factors that have enhanced opportunities for them to gain access to political power, including their backers and mentors at local level, and how this influences their agendas as assembly women as well as their experience of politics, how they perceive their roles and the kind of power they claim, and what they can do with it once they are in office. …

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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: 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. …

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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. …

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    Quotas As A Path To Parity: Challenges To Women's Participation In Politics

    The promise of democratic equality has not arrived for women. In all societies said to be democratic, women have had an arduous struggle and are still fighting for access to rights common to any male citizen, for example an equal salary for equal work, promotion opportunities, the right to physical integrity, and access to work. Gaining the right to vote and the right to run for office as elected representatives has not in practice meant the right to be elected under the same conditions as men (Petit 2007). In the immense majority of representative democracies, women are far from having won political equality. …

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    Researching Empowerment: On Methodological Innovations, Pitfalls And Challenges 2011 Report

    This paper adopts an upside-down approach to women’s political empowerment. While the number of women we need to get into legislatures has often assumed centre stage, 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. The paper’s aims are two-fold. …

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    The Limits Of Women's Quotas In Brazil

    In this article, I examine the case of Brazil which, unlike many other Latin American countries, is an example of where quotas are not working. Drawing on over ten years of research and exploring the dynamics of a varied group of political parties, I contest that male resistance is not the only reason behind this failure. Vagueness around the quota law and a lack of sanctions, together with the elitist nature of politics in Brazil are all contributing factors. My research has also revealed a few anomalies, showing that contrary to much of the literature, women would seem to fare better in elections within less developed and smaller states in Brazil. …

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    The Politics of Mobilising for Gender Justice in Egypt from Mubarak to Morsi and Beyond

    This paper examines the nature of the political struggle over the status, role and identity of women in Egypt in between the two revolutions (January 2011 and June 2013). …

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    The Sudanese Women's Movement And The Mobilisation For The 2008 Legislative Quota And Its Aftermath

    This article explores the pathways of political action pursued by the Sudanese women's movement leading up to the introduction of a women's quota in 2008 and its implementation in the most recent 2010 national parliamentary elections, the country's first in 24 years. The article argues that the main achievement of the quota was the extent to which it mobilized women to engage in politics, rather than the increased representation of women in parliament. The form the quota took however, has not significantly challenged political parties to put forth women candidates in core geographic constituencies, restricting them instead to separate women's lists. The need for revisiting the quota, healing divisions within the women's movement and negotiating a robust common programme in the next phase are all critical for translating numbers into positive changes in Sudanese women's lives. …

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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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    Towards A Politics Of Collective Empowerment: Learning From Hill Women In Rural Uttarakhand, India

    This article argues that to understand the conditions that enable effective participation by women in politics, analysis is needed not just of the characteristics and performance of elected women leaders but also the extent to which village communities are engaged through collective processes, in demanding accountability from those elected. The article presents the experiences of a women's movement in the Uttarakhand that has evolved from a programme of environmental education in the region. Over the years, this movement has developed a strong political consciousness. Women's participation in Whole Village Groups has paved the way for active engagement with local governance institutions. …

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    Women Engaging Politically: Beyond Magic Bullets and Motorways

    This paper 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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    Women In Local Government: The Pakistan Experience (Article)

    This article looks at women's representation in local government in Pakistan, focusing particularly on the introduction of a quota setting 33 per cent of the seats for women brought in under General Musharraf's Devolution of Power Plan in 2000. The article suggests that establishing a direct correlation between a woman's quota and regime type is problematic. It demonstrates a complex pattern of interaction on the issue by both the military and civilian regimes in Pakistan. Policies which have been brought in, informed both by political pragmatism and ideological continuity, have been wide ranging and almost contradictory in nature. …