Displaying items 1 - 15 of 135 in total
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    Addressing The Preconditions: Women's Rights And Development In Financing Gender Equality, Commonwealth Perspectives

    ‘Gender equality’ may have made it into the language of mainstream development. But in most parts of the world, inequalities between women and men in the workplace, in political institutions and in the home have proven exasperatingly persistent. For all the valiant efforts that have been made, gender mainstreaming has largely failed live up to its promises. The dilution and depoliticization of the ‘gender agenda’ as it has come to be taken up by development institutions calls for more attention to be paid to what it takes to make a difference to women’s lives. …

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    Advancing Women's Empowerment or Rolling Back the Gains? Peace Building in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone

    When the Sierra Leone civil war was declared over in January 2002, the concept of women’s empowerment was firmly entrenched in development discourse and practice. The aftermath of the brutalities of rape, gang rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy, abduction, among other atrocities that women and children, especially girls, were subjected to during Sierra Leone’s eleven years’ civil war was firmly on the post-war agenda. There was a groundswell of protest from women’s NGOs and activists demanding the protection and promotion of women’s rights as part of peace negotiations, post-conflict reconstruction and peace consolidation processes.  …

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    A Quiet Revolution

    This 6 minute film explores the story behind the innovative Chapeu de Palha Mulher programme in Pernambuco, Brazil. The programme run by the Women's Secretariat helps to empower female sugar cane plantation workers.  …

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    A Rights-Based Model: Perspectives From Health Service Providers, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    Latin America and the Caribbean have among the highest levels of unsafe abortions, and current debate rages to change the abortion-related laws and policies. In response, the International Planned Parenthood Federation – Western Hemisphere Region has established a three-pronged framework to fight unsafe abortions, based on promoting the right to increasing access and reducing need, promoted through a range of service and advocacy components. In this case study, a Uruguayan partner organization, ‘Iniciativas Sanitarias’ (IS), adapts this rights-based framework for local application, creating the harm reduction approach. Based on the rights to information, health and women’s autonomy, the IS seeks to empower women and strengthen the commitment of health professionals to provide safer abortion information and services based on the bioethical principles of autonomy, justice and patient-provider confidentiality. …

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    Beijing +15 From Hopes To Disappointment And Non-Accountability

    Lydia Alpı´zar Dura´n was invited to address the annual session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). She shares her reflections as someone who joined the women’s movement in the midst of the Beijing preparations as a youth activist. She discusses the importance of the development community focusing on the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action and going beyond the Millennium Development Goals. She presents key insights from the work on advancing women’s rights and gender equality over the last 15 years along with a review of some relevant current trends and concludes with a set of action-oriented recommendations. …

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    Better Sex And More Equal Relationships: Couple Training In Nigeria

    In Nigeria, within marriage, women are expected to pleasure their husbands, and preparation for marriage focuses on teaching the girl how to do so. In contrast, non-married women were expected to enjoy sex with their boyfriends. Yet, what emerged from research by Aken’Ova’s organisation INCRESE (The International Centre for Reproductive Health and Rights) was women’s deep lack of sexual pleasure in their relationships, married or not. Some men mistakenly believed they were giving great pleasure to their lovers, and had not discovered the truth due to lack of communication. …

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    Beyond 2015: Pathways to a Gender Just World

    On the 29-30 May 2014 a group of feminist scholars, activists, and media and communications professionals met at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex to celebrate and interrogate learning from the Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Consortium (Pathways). This was an opportunity to look at the trajectory that the consortium had taken since its early days in 2005, consider how Pathways research could shape the post-2015 development agenda, and strategise about future directions in work on women’s empowerment. …

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    Body As Site, Body As Space: Bodily Integrity And Women's Empowerment In India

    This paper deals with two related themes: bodily integrity and women’s empowerment in the Indian context. Delving into both the politics of gendered culture and sexual politics (the politics of the body) it argues that the dichotomy between the woman’s body and the mind is a synthetic one and socially constructed. The identification of women with their physical bodies is the root cause of their oppression in a patriarchal culture and society like India. Most often women are denied the rights to emotional, mental, psychological and physical spaces. …

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    Challenging Empowerment

    McFadden argues that societies in the South have been approached from a particular research gaze that is derived from a liberal epistemology that focuses on the individual; it simplifies women’s lives and is both methodologically and politically inadequate and deeply problematic. Empowerment as a notion is, too, embedded in liberal and neo-liberal worldviews and is ideologically flawed. With this liberal and neo-liberal development discourse in mind, McFadden looks at empowerment, MDGs, gender and human rights, and citizenship, entitlement and rights and analyses how they are embedded in this ideology. …

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    Challenging The Pleasure Versus Danger Binary: Reflections On Sexuality Workshops With Rural Women's Rights Activists In North India

    In this chapter, Sharma writes about a workshop programme by her organisation, Nirantar, aimed at building perspectives on sexuality in a manner that was both positive and political. The programme constitutes one of the first efforts in the Indian context to do this, with women from rural, poor communities as well as the organisations that work with them, in an intensive manner. …

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    Conclusion: The Politics of Marginality

    In this conclusion, we discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of the marginal position that feminists working in international development bureaucracies find themselves in. Using their creativity and agency as 'tempered radicals' they seek to turn the disadvantages of marginality - such as a sense of powerlessness and reduced visibility - into advantages, as they try to take forward the women's rights agenda. …

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    Critical Perspectives On Empowerment

    In this article, Petchesky questions the definition of empowerment, asking who is doing the empowerment and based on what agenda. She addresses disempowerment created by structural militarization, self-determined self-empowerment, and stresses the need for a nuanced and contextualized sense of gender to address power and change, as well as the need to go beyond gender and break the divides between people and nature and North and South. …

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    Crossroads of Empowerment: The Organization of Women Domestic Workers in Brazil

    The organisation of women domestic workers in Brazil reveals a process of collective empowerment at work in a society where gender, race, and class inequalities intersection, giving rise to complex mosaics. Analysing processes of empowerment in these circumstances calls for abandoning universalising visions of women and recognising differences and inequalities beyond gender in multiracial and multicultural societies. …

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    Desires Denied: Sexual Pleasure In The Context Of HIV

    Writing as a woman living with HIV, Alice Welbourn focuses on the forced asexuality that is often foisted on women when they are diagnosed with HIV. She argues that a focus on sexual rights and pleasure can enhance our analysis of the ways in which legal, religious and medical discourses can reinforce fear of women’s unfettered sexuality. Welbourn’s chapter offers a poignant reminder of the extent to which HIV positive women experience the pain of forced retirement from sexual pleasure. Welbourn describes how positive women’s pleasurable sexual experiences are constrained by the grief of a positive diagnosis; like trauma or rape, she argues, this can lead to forced asexuality which denies women their rights to their own autonomy with regard to their sexual and reproductive pleasure. …

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    Development As If Gender Matters

    Wendy Harcourt highlights the most interesting and contentious issues to emerge during a conversation held among 25 people from key women’s networks, UN agencies, research institutions and think tanks at the 54th Commission of the Status of Women (CSW) in New York March 2010. Using charterhouse rules, the dialogue was an attempt to hold a new kind of conversation in the CSW space. The participants candidly held up to scrutiny the key concepts of gender and empowerment in the context of the new development institutions. …