Resources

  • 30%: Women And Politics In Sierra Leone

    This film looks at the Sierra Leonean women’s movement’s campaign for increased participation for women in Sierra Leone politics and their aim to achieve legislation for a minimum 30% quota. The film explores this issue through the stories of Dr Bernadette Lahai of the Sierra Leone People’s Party, Barbara Bangura, National Coordinator of the Women’s Solidarity Support Group, and Salamatu Kamara, a prospective parliamentary candidate. …

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    3G: Three Generations of Women

    3G Three Generations of Women, is an interactive multimedia project that attempts to move beyond the media stereotypes and statistics about women, and look at their real lives. The makers photograph and interview three different generations of women within one family about aspects of their experience, growing up, learning, happiness, love, and more. The aim is that this will give people some sense of the changes that have happened in the lives of these women over the past few decades. …

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    Abbia Witness Account

    A witness account from Abbia on the politically motivated sexual assaults targeting female protestors of the Arab revolt in Cairo. These have been taking place since the revolution in 2011 which deposed President Mubarak. …

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    Abortion And Human Rights: Examples From Latin America, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    Human Rights Watch’s experience, in particular in Latin America, has reaffirmed that women’s ability to decide if, when, how often, and with whom to have children is fundamental to their ability to make independent decisions about work, education and family life. Restrictions imposed on access to safe and legal abortion, in addition to other sexual and reproductive health services, violate women’s rights to health, to non-discrimination and equal treatment, to privacy, to be free of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and the right to the benefits of scientific progress, among others. This article draws links between abortion and human rights while illustrating the scope for advocacy in the varying abortion contexts in Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru. The authors explore entry points for activism and change as they highlight regional commonalities and contextual differences with respect to abortion. …

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    Addressing The Double Burden Of Malnutrition In Egypt: Do Conditional Cash Transfers Have A Role?

    Many developing countries are undergoing rapid socio-economic changes that impact on health and its social distribution. These changes can occur so rapidly that there is a resulting co-existence of diseases of affluence and diseases of poverty. Priority setting for nutritional programmes has focused on the alleviation of undernutrition in low income settings. However, evidence shows that in many Low-and-Middle Income Countries the prevalence of obesity among women is increasing and can coexist with childhood stunting. …

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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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    Advocating For Abortion Access: Lessons And Challenges, IDS Bulletin, 39.3

    This article reflects on the lessons learnt about strategies for increasing access to abortion from an 11 country comparative policy analysis known as the Johannesburg Initiative. It reflects on the value of learning and sharing strategic thinking while remembering that opportunities for litigation, policy change, shifts in programming, or even changing public opinion are often place and time specific, so that what leads to victory in one place cannot necessarily be repeated in another. The task is to build the evidence, the legal and health system capacity, the engagement with the public and policymakers to be able to take advantage of windows of opportunity as they arise. The article also suggests that while many gains have been made in winning a broader base of support for the idea of sexual and reproductive rights internationally, there is an urgent need to reinvigorate this movement, particularly through greater leadership, organisational and strategic engagement by activists from developing countries. …

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    A Feminist Bureaucrat At The OECD, Patti O’Neill Talks With Rosalind Eyben

    Patti O’Neill talks with Rosalind Eyben about being a feminist bureaucrat at the OECD. …

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    ‘A Femocrat just doing my Job’: Working within the State to Advance Women’s Empowerment in Ghana

    Following the round of UN Conferences on Women from the 1970s to the 1990s, many states in the developing world established national machineries to first ‘integrate women into development’, and later to spearhead the task of gender mainstreaming adopted in the Beijing Platform for Action.  …

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    Afghan Values or Women’s Rights? Gendered Narratives about Continuity and Change in Urban Afghanistan, IDS Working Paper 387

    There is considerable debate about the extent to which gender equality and womens’ rights are universal values. This debate has been particularly heated in Afghanistan where the violation of women’s rights by the Taliban regime was one justification used by the US and its allies for their invasion of the country. There is, however, very little research on how ordinary Afghan women view their lives and their place within a highly patriarchal society and how their views might fit into these debates. This paper explores these issues using in-depth qualitative interviews with 12 Hazara women and their husbands in Kabul. …

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    African Women And Domestic Violence

    This article looks at the issue of domestic violence from the perspective of African experience, and examines the impact of attempts to address it by legal means. It poses three questions: 1) what are the similarities and differences in the experiences of African countries that have attempted to pass domestic-violence legislation; 2) what lessons have been learned in the process; and 3) how do attempts to pass such laws connect to the lived realities of ordinary women? …

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    Ageing Women and the Culture of Eternal Youth: Personal and Theoretical Reflections from a Feminist over Sixty in Brazil

    Cecilia Sardenberg’s chapter is an essay on the control over the body that a culture of eternal youth imposes on aging white, middle class women in Brazil. Sardenberg draws attention to the ideals of femininity inherent in media representations, the products, services and body technologies geared towards women’s beautification and the fight against aging. …

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    Ageing Women And The Culture Of Eternal Youth: Some Personal And Theoretical Reflections From A Feminist Over Fifty In Brazil

    In this paper presented to the Sexuality and Development Workshop, Institute of Development Studies, Brighton, 3-5 April, Sardenberg proposes to reflect upon some of the dilemmas faced by women over fifty living in the “culture of eternal youth” which, nowadays, rules Brazilian society. She recognises that the battle against age is one that cannot be won, and therefore proposes a new discourse – a feminist discourse on the female body in the process of aging. She shares some reflections, based on her own person experience, around the control over the body that the culture of eternal youth imposes on us and looks at these issues from a feminist perspective, reflecting upon how gender, age and generation, along with race and class, structure the construction of body and self. She focuses here primarily on how narratives of decline and the positive ageism of the cosmetics industry at large speak to aging white, middle-class women. …

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    Agenda for Change: Women’s Empowerment Needs a People-Centred Economy

    The contents reflect discussions from a Pathways workshop held in May 2008 with participation also from Diane Elson, James Heinz, Sue Himmelweit, Sue Holloway, Ruth Pearson and Janet Veitch. In 2006 the World Bank coined a catchy slogan ‘Gender equality is smart economics’. Said the World Bank’s President in June 2008, “The empowerment of women is smart economics … studies show that investments in women yield large social and economic returns”. Many international aid ministries and United Nations organisations are adopting the World Bank’s argument.