The Politics of Integrating Gender to State Development Processes: Trends, Opportunities, and Constraints in Bangladesh, Chile, Jamaica, Mali, Morocco, and Uganda


Goetz, Anne-Marie. 1995. The Politics of Integrating Gender to State Development Processes: Trends, Opportunities, and Constraints in Bangladesh, Chile, Jamaica, Mali, Morocco, and Uganda. Geneva: UNRISD.

Author: Anne-Marie Goetz


This paper provides an assessment of efforts in six of the seven countries to improve public accountability to women in the development process. The paper begins with a brief theoretical discussion of feminist perspectives on the developmentalist state (Part I). It then goes on to provide an overview of some of the more prominent political, economic and social trends of the past two decades, against which efforts have been made to institutionalize gender in state development processes (Part II). In the main body of the paper (Part III), the author provides a historical and comparative analysis of efforts in the six case study countries to institutionalize gender concerns. The picture that emerges is one of extraordinarily fractured trajectories of institutionalization within the public administration. Most of the gender units within government bureaucracy that are studied here have a mandate to pursue their agenda across other government departments — a project that is sometimes called “mainstreaming”. For this they have devised a range of policy instruments (e.g. gender guidelines, gender training) intended to bring about gender-sensitive institutional, policy and operational changes across the public sector in order to make responsiveness to women’s interests a routine part of each sector’s activities. Despite significant efforts, the attempts to routinize gender concerns have for the most part been ineffective because gender units have been unable to provide the necessary incentives to encourage a positive reception in other departments. Some of the critical areas for gender mainstreaming considered in the paper include the national development plan and budget which constitute important public statements expressing politically selected priorities for change and progress, and are based on a macro-economic framework designed to create the conditions under which this national vision can be realized. Efforts so far in the countries studied have failed to ensure a systematic connection between national policy commitments to the integration of gender in development and the budgetary allocations that are necessary to realize those commitments. The chronic short-staffing of gender administrative units, compounded by their weak analytical skills, has tended to contribute to this failure. Equally important, however, has been the political weakness of gender constituents outside the state. In the politics of policy-making a critical point of leverage on decision makers is popular pressure and public opinion — the presence of an active constituency.

Topics: Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance, Political Participation Regions: Africa, MENA, East Africa, North Africa, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, South America, Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh, Chile, Jamaica, Mali, Morocco, Uganda

Year: 1995

Making the Links: Women’s Rights and Empowerment Are Key to Achieving the Millennium Development Goals


Heyzer, Noeleen. 2005. “Making the Links: Women’s Rights and Empowerment Are Key to Achieving the Millennium Development Goals.” Gender & Development 13 (1): 9-12.

Author: Noeleen Heyzer

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Rights, Women's Rights, Violence

Year: 2005

Moving the Goalposts: Gender and Globalisation in the Twenty-First Century


Pearson, Ruth. 2000. “Moving the Goalposts: Gender and Globalisation in the Twenty-First Century.” Gender & Development 8 (1): 10-9.

Author: Ruth Pearson


Development institutions saw their work challenged by those working on gender and development in the last third of the twentieth century. Ruth Pearson argues that the new century will witness an assertion of the global relevance of gender in development, and see gender analysis applied in new contexts, and to men as well as women.

Topics: Development, Gender, Women, Gender Analysis

Year: 2000

A Perspective on the History of Health and Human Rights: From the Cold War to the Gold War


Tarantola, Daniel. 2008. “A Perspective on the History of Health and Human Rights: From the Cold War to the Gold War.” Journal of Public Health Policy 29 (1): 42-53.

Author: Daniel Tarantola


Through the end of the Cold War, public health policies were predominantly shaped and implemented by governments and these same governments committed themselves to meet their obligations for health under international and national laws. The post-Cold War era has witnessed the entry of new actors in public health and the sharing of power and influences with non-state actors, in particular the private sector and interest groups. This article examines the emergence of human rights and the rise of health on the international development agenda as the Cold War was ending. It highlights the convergence of health and human rights in academic and public discourse since the end of the Cold War in a context of political and economic shifts linked to the ongoing economic globalization. It describes opportunities and challenges for greater synergy between health and rights and proposes a role for health practitioners.

Topics: Development, Economies, Globalization, Health, International Organizations, Political Economies, Rights, Human Rights

Year: 2008

Gender and Hurricane Mitch: Reconstructing Subjectivities After Disaster


Cupples, Julie. 2007. “Gender and Hurricane Mitch: Reconstructing Subjectivities After Disaster.” Disasters 31 (2): 155-75.

Author: Julie Cupples


Much of the gender and disaster literature calls for more gender-sensitive disaster relief and research by focusing on the ways in which women are more vulnerable in a disaster or on their unique capabilities as community leaders or natural resource managers, which are often overlooked or underutilised in emergency management strategies. As well as seeking to overcome the (strategic) essentialism that is part of these calls and debates, this paper pays closer attention to gender identity and subjectivity as these are constructed and reworked through the disaster process to highlight the complexities and contradictions associated with women's responses to a disaster. This focus, while crucial to gaining a deeper understanding of the gendered dimensions of disaster, also complicates attempts to create more gender-sensitive frameworks for disaster response. It draws on qualitative research conducted with a number of women in the wake of Hurricane Mitch (1998) in Nicaragua.

Keywords: development, disaster, gender, Hurricane Mitch, Nicaragua, Subjectivity

Topics: Development, Environment, Environmental Disasters, Gender, Women Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Nicaragua

Year: 2007

Towards a Gendered Understanding of Conflict


Byrne, Bridget. 1996. “Towards a Gendered Understanding of Conflict.” IDS Bulletin 27 (3): 31–40.

Author: Bridget Byrne


Conflict has only recently been examined in the context of development studies and a gender analysis is frequently lacking. Nevertheless a gender analysis is an important tool for understanding how economic, social and political divisions which underlie conflict situations are cross-cut by gender divisions and how men and women are caught up in and affected in different ways by struggles over power and resources. This article draws out the potential relevance of feminist writings on conflict, peace and gender ideologies for the analysis of conflict from a gender and development perspective. It challenges essentialist notions of men and women and proposes instead that there needs to be an analysis of the ways in which gender identities are re-defined and manipulated in processes of conflict. The article also addresses the question of intervention, arguing that gender analysis is an essential, if neglected, tool for interventions for development and relief agencies in conflict situations.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Gender Analysis, Humanitarian Assistance

Year: 1996

Human Rights Abuses and Concerns about Women’s Health and Human Rights in Southern Iraq


Amowitz, Lynn L., Glen Kim, Chen Reis, Jana L. Asher, and Vincent Iacopino. 2004. “Human Rights Abuses and Concerns about Women’s Health and Human Rights in Southern Iraq.” The Journal of the American Medical Association 291 (12): 1471–79.

Authors: Lynn L. Amowitz, Glen Kim, Chen Reis, Jana L. Asher, Vincent Iacopino


The people of Iraq have endured 35 years of repression and widespread human rights violations under the Baath regime of Saddam Hussein. After the 1991 Gulf War, the regime suppressed popular uprisings among 14 of 18 governorates, including major insurrections in the predominantly Kurdish North and mostly Shi’a South. Thousands of Iraqis have reportedly disappeared, but the full scope of these atrocities, especially those perpetrated against the Shi’a after their 1991 uprising against the Baath regime, is unknown. More than 150 mass graves have been discovered recently throughout Iraq, some of which may contain victims of the 1991 Baath regime repression of this Shi’a uprising. 

The purpose of this study was to assess the nature and scope of human rights abuses in southern Iraq since the Shi’a uprising in 1991. More specifically, the study was designed to identify specific human rights abuses and perpetrators, to determine health and human rights concerns with a focus on women’s rights, and to examine Iraqi views on women’s rights and roles in society and provisions for community health and development.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Development, Ethnicity, Gender, Women, Health, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iraq

Year: 2004

Feminist Research Methodologies and Development: Overview and Practical Application


Beetham, Gwendolyn, and Justina Demetriades. 2007. “Feminist Research Methodologies and Development: Overview and Practical Application.” Gender and Development 15 (2): 199–216.

Authors: Gwendolyn Beetham, Justina Demetriades


This article provides a background on the feminist frameworks at the foundation of research conducted from a gender perspective, showing that development research that ignores the complex aspects of gender relations results in incomplete and/or biased research, which in turn leads to the formulation of incomplete development policies and programmes. The article goes on to explore the ways that feminist methodologies have been used in the development of gender sensitive indicators and measurements of change, examining the methods currently available for assessing progress on gender equality and how gender methodologies can be used to ensure that indicators better reflect gendered experience.

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Gendered Power Relations

Year: 2007

From Warriors to Wives: Contradictions of Liberation and Development in Eritrea


Bernal, Victoria. 2001. “From Warriors to Wives: Contradictions of Liberation and Development in Eritrea.” Northeast African Studies 8 (3): 129–54.

Author: Victoria Bernal

Topics: Armed Conflict, National Liberation Wars, Citizenship, Combatants, Development, Gender, Women, Nationalism, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Eritrea

Year: 2001

Trickle-down or Rising Tide? Lessons on Mainstreaming Gender Policy from Colombia and South Africa


Beall, Jo. 2002. “Trickle-down or Rising Tide? Lessons on Mainstreaming Gender Policy from Colombia and South Africa.” Social Policy & Administration 32 (5): 513–34.

Author: Jo Beall


As a result of the United Nations Decade for Women (1976-1985) many member states of the United Nations in the South put in place some form of national macinery for the advancement of women. This paper considers that process, identifying three main phases. The first was heavily overlaid by the agendas of international development agencies and coincided with efforts to advance a "women in development" or WID agenda within international development cooperation. The second, explored here in relation to Colombia, saw a shift towards attempts to institutionalize gender awareness in development policy, the so-called "gender and development" or GAD approach. Against this background, the later South African experience is evaluated. It is argued that this potentially represents a third and distinguishable phase in the establishment of national machineries. Here structures were set up in the context of less aid dependence than many other countries and as a result of a process that was largely internally driven. Nevertheless, South Africa enjoyed tremendous support from international women's networks and lessons were learnt from past experience alsewhere, both positive and negative. The South African approach to advancing gender equality is arguably the most progressive to be found anywhere. What remains to be seen is whether it will be possible to implement, given the persistence of poverty and inequality nationally and South Africa's increasing identification with international neo-liberal agendas. 

Keywords: women, gender development policy, Columbia, South Africa

Topics: Development, Economies, Poverty, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, International Organizations Regions: Africa, Southern Africa, Americas, South America Countries: Colombia, South Africa

Year: 2002


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