Gender Equality in European Union Development Policy in Times of Crisis


Allwood, Gill. 2019. "Gender Equality in European Union Development Policy in Times of Crisis." Political Studies Review 18 (3). doi: 10.1177/1478929919863224.

Author: Gill Allwood


Gender equality is firmly established on the European Union development policy agenda. However, a series of interrelated crises, including migration, security and climate change, are becoming more prominent in European Union development policy. This article asks whether development objectives have been subsumed under these crisis-driven European Union priorities, whether this is compatible with efforts to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment through development cooperation and whether it will affect the ability to keep gender equality high on the European Union’s development policy agenda. The theoretical framework draws on horizontal policy coordination and nexuses. The analysis of European Union development policy documents shows how migration, security and climate change are constructed as crises, how they intersect in various nexuses and how gender intersects with each of these nexuses. This research finds that gender equality is absent from the migration–security–climate nexuses, which are increasingly driving development policy priorities. The article argues that it is quite straightforward to keep gender equality on the development policy agenda, but it is difficult to retain a focus on gender equality when multiple policy areas intersect. The research suggests that the discourse of crisis has blocked the way, and this will have an impact on the European Union’s internal and external activities.

Keywords: gender mainstreaming, European Union development policy, horizontal policy coordination

Topics: Development, Displacement & Migration, Migration, Environment, Climate Change, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Security Regions: Europe

Year: 2019

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