Displaying items 511 - 525 of 724 in total
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    Whose Money Is It?': On Misconceiving Female Autonomy And Economic Empowerment In Low-Income Households

    This article argues that the slip between policy intension and outcome in policies addressing women and money lies in three neo-liberal assumptions: that individuals have clear title to their earnings, that markets are not socially constructed and that viewing individuals and families as isolated units of subsistence is a valid analytical method. It argues that critiques of development policy that are rooted in individualised conceptualisations and measurement of female autonomy and empowerment do not adequately challenge these assumptions, instead they tend to rely on them themselves. It also suggests that feminist critiques are based on the double standard that women should have clear title to their earnings and assets, while men should be supporting the family. Using research undertaken in South India, this article demonstrates that the social construction of credit, labour, housing and marriage markets determine the extent to which women can benefit from improved livelihoods. …

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    Whose Vision, Whose Needs? Appropriation In Nigeria’s National Economic Empowerment And Development Strategy (NEEDS)

    This paper presented at a conference on ‘Reclaiming Feminism: Gender and Neo-liberalism organised by IDS and Birkbeck College from 9-10 July 2007, examines the reform programme of the Obasanjo government (1999-2007), as laid out in the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS). Initiated halfway through the first term of Obasanjo’s tenure, this was the first explicitly articulated ‘economic and development agenda’ during his administration, as opposed to the characteristic one-off programmes previously developed on an ad hoc basis. Initial expectations of the government’s goals and intentions were high, given the long-awaited end of military rule and Obasanjo’s status as the first elected civilian head of state for decades since the Second Republic of Shehu Shagari. In this paper, the author reflects on processes that are involved in instrumentalist and opportunistic uses of ‘gender’ and ‘empowerment’ by the state, specifically the Olesugun Obasanjo two-term administration of Nigeria (1999 to 2007) and its NEEDS programme. …

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    Why We Need To Think About Sexuality And Sexual Well-Being: Addressing Sexual Violence In Sub-Saharan Africa

    In her exploration in this chapter of pleasure and violence in Sub-Saharan Africa, Chi-Chi Undie argues that it is important to acknowledge and talk about sexual wellbeing and pleasure with the victims and perpetrators of violence. Otherwise, survivors remain forever defined by their negative experiences, unable to move beyond these to enjoy sexual relationships again. And if perpetrators only hear stories of sexual violence then they are given the impression that sexual violence is normal, and that no alternative is possible. This chapter highlights the need to consider sexuality and sexual well-being – even when working on sexual violence; provides an analysis of the public health, religious and development framings of sexuality and sexual well-being; calls for a more nuanced understanding of sexual violence and an improvement in service provision, particularly in the area of psychosocial support; and suggests that there are actually parallels in the way that sexual violence and sexuality (more broadly) are framed, and points out the shortcomings of these framings. …

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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 Paid Work In Pakistan

    This chapter offers an analysis of women and paid work with a view to identifying where there are changes underway in this area that may play a role in leading to equitable gender relations in Pakistan in the long term. The discussion is based on existing research on the subject, which comes from a variety of disciplines. Much of the research that will be discussed below is preliminary and based on micro-studies, or on larger quantitative surveys that may have ignored some of the diversity within the country. Women in Pakistan live in a society that is highly stratified according to class, caste, region and cultural variations, all of which have implications for their lives and opportunities. …

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    Women And Politics In Post-War Sierra Leone (2002-2011) (Case Study)

    In this policy brief Hussainatu J. Abdullah discusses the effect on Sierra Leonean women of a series of transformatory policies to rebuild the economy and to advance social and gender relations (including the reinstitution of local governance and holding of national elections) after Sierra Leone's 11 year civil war, from January 2002. The objective of Abdullah’s research was to assess the implementation of the government’s gender equality and mainstreaming framework in the arena of politics and public sector governance. Recommendations for increasing Sierra Leonean women’s political participation are given. …

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    Women And Politics In Post-War Sierra Leone (2002-2011) (Policy Brief)

    As part of its post-war reconstruction and peace consolidation efforts, the Government of Sierra Leone has noted in all its policy documents that gender equality is a cross-cutting issue and will be included in all government policies, programmes and projects across all sectors of society. The objective of this research was to assess the government’s gender equality and mainstreaming framework in the arena of politics and public sector governance. The author found that despite the government’s policy initiatives, women’s political empowerment within the structures of government were unsatisfactory. However, Women have continued to actively engage the state and political parties to increase their numbers in government. …

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    Women And Politics In Post-War Sierra Leone (2002-2011) (Report)

    The objective of this study was to assess the implementation of the government’s gender equality and mainstreaming framework in the arena of politics and public sector governance. The paper discusses: election results and post-war changes in female participation and political representation; Affirmative Action policies; the effect of the women’s movement on women’s political representation; the electioneering process. The paper concludes that opportunities created by the post-war moment have opened up the male-dominated political arena to female politicians, in spite of threats of violence including rape and intimidation, and women have moved ahead to claim their space however small, through articulated demands for inclusion in governance. This increase is shown to be more of their own making as individuals and as a coalition than of a political will from a male-dominated system of governance. …

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    Women And Politics: The Brazilian Paradox

    In June 2007 - five years after it was first promised during the 2002 electoral campaign - political reform finally made it onto the Brazilian National Congress agenda. After years of waiting, women were anticipating deep changes in the patriarchal rules and elitist power structures that had characterized the Brazilian state for decades. But the majority of women's demands did not even come close to the negotiation tables. Costa describes this as “. …

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    Women And Religion In Bangladesh And Pakistan

    With growing observance of the veil, a rise in faith-based schooling, and the increasing popularity of Islamic television channels, religious activity has come to play a more and more significant part in the lives of women in South Asia. Pathways’ research sought to explore what the changes in the cultural and political landscape signal for women’s understanding of self and their ability to live “freely” in the world. Does religion become all encompassing and stifle women’s sense of self? Or do women find ways to use new idioms to feel empowered? …

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    Women And Religion In Bangladesh: New Paths

    In south Asia as elsewhere in the world, religion has come to play an increasing role in shaping and reshaping women’s lives. This process is a particular challenge to people like Firdous Azim, a feminist who “grew up” intellectually and politically via involvement in the women’s movement of the 1980s in Bangladesh. The activism of that period was explicitly secular; its main priorities were the issues of rights, inequalities and violence prevalent in a young state which had achieved independence only in 1971. Firdous Azim is professor in the department of English and the humanities at BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. …

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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 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 Health Workers Creating Particular Pathways Of Change

    The Lady Health Worker Programme (LHWP) is a major public sector initiative to provide reproductive health care to women in Pakistan, employing almost 100,000 women as community health workers. The LHWP directly addresses women’s reproductive health needs by providing them with information, basic services and access to further care. The experience of LHWs can provide valuable insight into the impact of paid work on their lives and communities, and how processes of women’s empowerment are shaped. The LHWP is a huge employer of women and the most important link between communities and primary health care in the country. …

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    Women In Local Governance In Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

    This paper is a critical examination of the implementation of the government’s gender equality framework to its decentralization programme. It is argued that the practice of local governance in post-war Sierra Leone which, is far below the Beijing minimum of 30 per cent, rather than leave women disillusioned, has spurred them on to actively engage the state, political parties and the National Electoral Commission to demand a legislative quota to enhance women’s participation and a conducive political atmosphere to level the playing field for women in local governance. …