Displaying items 16 - 30 of 54 in total
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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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    Negotiating Patriarchies: Women Fisheries Workers Build SNEHA In Tamil Nadu

    Women play an important part in several fisheries–related activities in Asia but are less well represented in national or regional fishworker organisations than in community and local level organisations. Women’s participation has been seen to broaden the agenda of fishworker organisations by bringing in issues that concern the quality of life such as access to health, sanitation, education and in particular, bringing in a community perspective to the fisheries debate. The experiences of women’s participation in local and community based organisations; the constraints faced; the different perspective they bring in; and ways in which meaningful participation can be strengthened, are explored in this chapter through the experiences of SNEHA (Social Need Education and Human Awareness), an organization that works with women in marine fishing in Tamil Nadu in India. Christy, the founder of SNEHA, is a member of the fishing community. …

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    Organising In The Informal Economy Workshop

    This workshop held in Delhi from 19-21 October 2008 brought together academics, activists and practitioners to discuss the experience of organisations of women workers beyond the formal economy. The workshop aimed both to document experience and to tease out strategies that have ‘worked’ for particular gains in particular circumstances. Some of the questions addressed were: what makes it possible for marginalized women workers in the informal sector to take collective action around their needs and interests; what strategies, visions and discourses do they draw on? …

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    Organising Women Workers in the Informal Economy

    This article focuses on the challenges facing organisation among the hardest-to-reach working women in the informal economy. What gives some of them the impetus and courage to organise? What is distinctive about the strategies they draw on to transcend their structurally disadvantaged position within the economy? What barriers do they continue to face in their efforts to address the injustices of the economic system? Through analysing the organisational strategies used in different contexts and for different sets of workers, we can start to see a different battery of weapons among these working women, which serve them better and more transformatively than the weapons of the weak on which they previously relied: the weapons of the organised. This article discusses these issues specifically in relation to the experience of two organisations: MAP Foundation, Thailand, and KKPKP, Pune India. …

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    Organizing For Life And Livelihoods In The Mountains Of Uttarakhand: The Experience Of Uttarakhand Mahila Parishad

    This chapter shares insights from a place-based, women-centred programme of Uttarakhand Mahila Parishad (Uttarakhand Women’s Federation), a network of around 16,000 rural women in the hill villages of the state of Uttarakhand, in India. There are 465 whole village women’s groups (WVGs) spread over seven districts of the state, which constitute the federation. In particular, Pande highlights the point that the dynamics of local livelihoods is governed by a gender dynamic embedded in the community way of life. However, with increasing awareness about gender issues and with the improving reach of global market forces in villages, this dynamic of community life is changing. …

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    Organizing Women Workers In The Informal Economy: Beyond The Weapons Of The Weak

    Organizing Women Workers in the Informal Economy explores the emergence of an alternative repertoire among women working in the growing informal sectors of the global South: the weapons of organization and mobilisation. This crucial book offers vibrant accounts of how women working as farm workers, sex workers, domestic workers, waste pickers, fisheries workers and migrant factory workers have organized for collective action. What gives these precarious workers the impetus and courage to take up these steps? What resources do they draw on in order to transcend their structurally disadvantaged position within the economy? And what continues to hamper their efforts to gain social recognition for themselves as women, as workers and as citizens? …

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    Power At The Bottom Of The Heap: Organizing Waste Pickers In Pune

    In several respects, waste pickers pose challenges to organizing: they are physically dispersed, have no employer, many work long hours, and they are socially shunned. Yet Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat (KKPKP), a waste pickers’ trade union has for nearly twenty years sustained a vibrant organization which has made tangible material and social gains on behalf of its membership. Its offspring, SWaCH (Solid Waste Collection and Handling), is growing in strength as a model for the new face of solid waste management in India; one which has put the interests of a very marginalized constituency of waste pickers in retaining access to waste as its top priority. This chapter highlights some aspects of its approach and strategies which have contributed to this progress. …

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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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    Reflections On The Language Of Rights From A Queer Perspective, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    The language of rights has been of great value to queer movements, particularly in the context of claim making vis-à-vis the state. There are however significant limitations of the rights language that need to be recognised. This article focuses attention on these, drawing on the experience of PRISM (People for Rights of Indian Sexuality Minorities), a queer activist forum based in Delhi, India. The rights language pushes us into a limiting framework of identity politics. …

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    Save us from Saviours

    This 10 minute film 'Save us from Saviours' explores the work of the sex worker collective Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP). VAMP has been providing HIV and development interventions in India since 1996. The film introduces the viewer to the collective and follows three members – Kamlabai, Shabana and Raju, who is the son of a sex worker. It highlights how they mobilise sex workers to claim their rights and support their community. …

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    Sexualidade e Empoderamento: Uma Conexão íntima

    What does sexuality have to do with women’s empowerment? Research from the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment RPC shows that sexuality affects women’s political and economic empowerment in a number of important ways. For example, in the ways that women experience seeking election to political office, how women are treated and respected (or disrespected) in the workplace and in public, and how families and communities place expectations on how women should behave. Being exposed to sexual harassment and sexual violence and not being able to exercise choice in their sexual relationships affects women’s well-being and ultimately undermines political, social and economic empowerment. …

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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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    Sex, Work And Citizenship: The VAMP Sex Workers' Collective In Maharashtra

    This chapter explores the evolution of The Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP) collective. VAMP is a sex-worker led organization born in 1996 in the context of a growing HIV/AIDS movement which has generally taken an instrumental approach to sex workers. In contrast to many sex worker organisations emerging around that time, VAMP took an explicitly rights-based approach from the outset. It aimed to forge and consolidate a common identity among women in sex work which could empower them to articulate and assert their full range of rights as well as protect themselves from HIV infection. …

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    Sex Work And Its Linkages With Informal Labour Markets In India, IDS Working Paper 416

    Based on the results of the First Pan-India Survey of Female Sex Workers (n=3000), this paper positions sex work within the broader spectrum of informal labour markets that women engage with in India. It puts forth an important dimension missing so far in sex work studies in India – of sex workers with prior or simultaneous labour market work experience. Informal labour markets act as important sites/junctures linking poverty with sex work. For a substantial proportion of respondents, sex work was not their first experience of paid work. …

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    Sodomy In India: Sex Crime Or Human Right?, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    There is a wide spectrum of sexual acts, practices and identities worldwide. The existing language of sexual rights has emerged largely in relation to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. In turn, this language seems to cater primarily to LGBT or similar such identities. Heterosexuals may be excluded, as well as indigenous same sex practising or transgender people who do not identify as LGB or T, such as the Hijras of South Asia. …