Displaying items 226 - 240 of 562 in total
  • Archive Resource

    Introduction: Negotiating Empowerment

    This introductory article draws out some of the dimensions and dilemmas around women's empowerment that are highlighted in the articles in this IDS Bulletin: the choices, the negotiations, the narratives and above all, the context of women's lived experience. In doing so, we show that empowerment is a complex process that requires more than the quick and easy solutions often offered by development agencies. Much of the significant change happening in women's lives takes place outside of the range of these conventional interventions. In conclusion, we suggest that for development agencies to really support women's empowerment requires greater engagement with changing structures rather than accommodating women within the inequitable existing order, and a much deeper understanding of what makes change happen in their lives. …

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    Introduction: Putting Unsafe Abortion On The Development Agenda, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    This introductory article argues that the interlinked issues of legal reform, the provision of accessible and affordable services and the strengthening of women’s capacities to exercise agency over their own bodies make safe abortion a development issue. Within this understanding, it reviews these intersections through the multiple framings used in the articles in this IDS Bulletin. Public health arguments for safe abortion services speak to increasing concerns over the toll of maternal morbidity and mortality from unsafe abortion. Rights-based approaches engage with both national struggles for citizenship rights and personal entitlements to agency. …

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    Introduction: Quotas - Add Women And Stir?

    Quotas have become increasingly popular as a fast track option for securing enhanced political representation largely because of their proven impact on increasing the number of women in parliament. As more countries have adopted one form or another of the quota, it is now timely to reflect on what the implications have been for transforming gender relations and the nature of politics at large. This introduction examines from the country case studies presented in this IDS Bulletin, the insight offered into the dynamics of motorways and pathways of increasing women's decision-making power (with or without a quota) and the underlying assumptions about gender, power and politics as well as the policy issues for consideration. …

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    Introduction: Reclaiming Feminism, Gender And Neoliberalism

    Neoliberalism – that ‘grab-bag of ideas based on the fundamentalist notion that markets are self-correcting, allocate resources efficiently and serve the public interest well’, as Stiglitz (2008) puts it – has been a focal point for contestation in development. Feminists have highlighted its deleterious effects on women’s lives and on gender relations. They have drawn attention to the extent to which the institutions promoting neoliberal economic and social policies have undermined a more progressive agenda, as they have come to appropriate words such as ‘empowerment’ and ‘agency’ and eviscerate them of any association with a project of progressive social change. This collection of articles brings together reflections from a diversity of locations on prospects for reclaiming these ideas and using them to reframe and revitalise feminist concepts like ‘agency’ and ‘empowerment’, we argue, we need to return to and reaffirm their ‘liberating’ dimensions, reaffirming their association with forms of collective action that involve resisting and transgressing repressive social norms. …

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    Introduction: Sexuality Matters, IDS Bulletin, 37.5

    This IDS Bulletin addresses a theme that mainstream development has persistently neglected: sexuality. Why is sexuality a development concern? Because sexuality matters to people, and is an important part of most people’s lives. Because development policies and practices are already having a significant – and often negative – impact on sexuality, and because sexuality and the societal norms that seek to contain and control it have, in turn, a significant impact on poverty and well-being. Development needs to move beyond the current limited and negative approaches, to embrace the significance of sexuality for development in more affirmative ways. …

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    Introduction: Voicing Demands: Feminist Activism in Transitional Contexts

    This introductory chapter provides a brief discussion on conceptual debates on voice and the assumptions that the authors interrogate using empirical evidence. The broader contexts within which feminist activism and voice are organised are discussed. It focuses on the various influences on feminist activism: NGOisation/ professionalisation ; increase in transnational networks and links; rise of conservative forces; creation of participatory/democratic spaces; increase in donor’s epistemic power to shape feminist agenda; and how these have influenced feminist voice in the selected countries. …

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    Introduction: Women, Sexuality And The Political Power of Pleasure

    This introduction introduces the debates on sexuality in the global north, and focuses on the debates around sexuality and pleasure occurring in the south that are starting to break the silence on the positive and empowering dimensions of women’s sexuality. Although there is much debate on the theoretical aspects of women’s sexuality, there is little debate on the policy implications of these debates, or documentation of practical initiatives on empowerment through positive approaches to sexuality. The authors note that, in discussions of sexuality, there is no focus on enjoyment, only on the dangerous aspects of sexuality. Development discourse associates sex with hazard and harm, and ndoes not talk about what might be positive, pleasurable or empowering about sexuality. …

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    I Seminário Nacional: O Feminismo No Brasil, Reflexões Teóricas E Perspectivas

    Report from the first National Seminar on Feminisms in Brazil Theoretical Reflections and Perspectives. …

  • Archive Resource

    Islam And Abortion: The Diversity Of Discourses And Practices, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    One in four world citizens across the globe identify themselves as Muslim, and they represent a striking diversity of values and interpretations of Islam’s tenets towards female sexual behaviour and abortion. This is characterized both in the social stigma associated with abortion, and the varying legal status abortion holds in Islamic countries, ranging from legalization to decriminalization in certain cases to full criminalization. In many places, the changing face of society and attitudes towards family size have not kept current with policies and access to contraception, resulting in an increase in the number of abortions and high levels of maternal mortality rates where abortion remains a criminal offense. This article illustrates how a range of strategies including documenting and sharing women’s experiences, advances in abortion techniques, and learning from model countries can be used by a variety of actors and organisations to advocate, on religious, human rights and political grounds, to gain greater access to safer abortion and sexual health services. …

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    Islam and Feminism, Contestations, Issue 1

    Islam and feminism have had a troubled relationship. Over the last two decades, scholars and activists have questioned the western credentials of feminism and claimed justice as a purpose and possibility that can be captured via religious routes. Religion provides women with an ethical framework and a moral foundation that recognizes their rights as individuals and as a collective, albeit redefining equality in the process. The mosque movement in Egypt has empowered women to find dignity, companionship and comfort through piety and conformity to a religious ideal and challenge the less-than-perfect world around them. …

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    Islam In Urban Bangladesh: Between Negotiation And Appropriation

    In the past two decades, women en route to places of work and education have become a very visible part of the urban landscape. In the past five to seven years, women’s active engagement with religion via taleem groups has also left its mark on the public space through, among other things, the proliferation of the hijab - the covering of the head. In light of the new spaces that have opened up for women, this paper, presented to 'Pathways: What are we Learning?', Analysis Conference, Cairo, 20-24 January 2009 explores what it means for these women - the factory worker, the student and the taleem participant to be Muslim. It investigates what it means for these women to have faith, and how they negotiate the performance of rituals. …

  • Archive Resource

    Islam in Urban Bangladesh: Changing Worldviews and Reconfigured Sexuality

    Samia Huq discusses the reconfiguration of sexuality at the heart of changing worldviews in urban Bangladesh. Until recently, the modernity of the state had been predicated on the notion of a ‘modern woman’, which Islamists have sought to unravel. …

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    Islamism And Secularism: Between State Instrumentalisation And Opposition Islamic Movements

    In Palestine, a reassertion of the ‘secularist’ identity of the ‘Palestinian national project’ is taking place against a deeply divided political society characterised by a Palestinian authority in conflict with Hamas. This article argues that the instrumentalisation of religion by the state has backfired leaving secular feminist activists in an unenviable position – without a constituency or a socially legitimate framework through which to address gender and social justice issues. At the same time, a reassertion of the ‘secularist’ identity is taking place against a deeply divided political society characterized by a Palestinian authority in conflict with Hamas. This conflict accompanying the ‘secularization process’ resulted in crushing the very structure of the notion of citizenship and the figure of the secular citizen subject itself. …

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    Islamist Women Of Hamas: Between Feminism And Nationalism, Inter-Asia Cultural Studies 12.2

    In December 1995, when Hamas announced the establishment of the Islamic National Salvation Party, a political organization separate from its military wing, it opened the way for involvement of the Islamic movement in the political processes brought about in the West Bank and Gaza with the signing of the Oslo Accords and the arrival of the Palestinian National Authority. In speaking of the rights of different groups, including women, in its founding statement, and in setting up in Gaza a Women's Action Department, the new party opened its doors to the ‘new Islamic woman’ and to a significant evolution in Islamist gender ideology in Gaza, if not in the West Bank – where, due to Hamas' policy there of targeting only males, there exists no parallel to the Salvation Party or organisational support for women like that represented by the Women's Action Department in Gaza. Hamas' gender ideology, like that of the secularist parties, remains contradictory, and doors to women's equality only partly open; nevertheless, Islamist women have managed to build impressive, well‐organised women's constituencies among highly educated and professional women coming from poor and refugee backgrounds; and the Salvation Party shows an increasing tendency to foster gender equality and more egalitarian social ideals, while holding fast to the agenda of national liberation. These advances have been achieved both through alternative interpretations of Islamic legal and religious texts, and through positive engagement with the discourses of other groups, whether secular feminists or nationalists. …

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    'It's Fundamentally Political': Renovating the Master's House

    Reflecting her career as a feminist activist and bureaucrat, Patti O'Neill discusses with Rosalind Eyben her strategies at the OECD as the official responsible for supporting the work of the Gender Network of the Development Assistance Committee. …