Agency and Accountability: Promoting Women's Participation in Peacebuilding


Goetz, Anne Marie, and Rob Jenkins. 2016. "Agency and Accountability: Promoting Women's Participation in Peacebuilding." Feminist Economics 22 (1): 211-36.

Authors: Anne Marie Goetz, Rob Jenkins


This contribution reviews international policy and practices to engage women in formal peace talks, post-conflict elections, and economic recovery, and finds a combination of factors contributing to poor performance in promoting women's agency. The fact that the privileged category for post-conflict decisions are those groups capable of acting as “spoilers” has tended to exclude women's groups from the categories considered most important to involve in decision making. Exacerbating this exclusion is the reluctance of international decision makers to encourage affirmative action measures in these contexts. This carries through to the minimal-state approach to economic recovery efforts. Provisions are needed to foster and invite women's voice in decision making, and build more active-state approaches to women's livelihood recovery. 

Keywords: affirmative action, agency, community, development, discrimination, interdisciplinary

Topics: Economies, Governance, Elections, Post-Conflict Governance, Livelihoods, Peacebuilding, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2016

"Go Back and Tell Them Who the Real Men Are!" Gendering Our Understanding of Kibera's Post-Election Violence


Kihato, Caroline Wanjiku. 2015. “'Go Back and Tell Them Who the Real Men Are!' Gendering Our Understanding of Kibera’s Post-Election Violence.” International Journal of Conflict and Violence 9 (1): 12-24.

Author: Caroline Wanjiku Kihato


Using a gendered analysis, this article examines the post election violence (PEV) in Kibera, Kenya, between December 2007 and February 2008. Through indepth interviews with Kibera residents, the article interrogates how gender influenced violent mobilizations in Kenya’s most notorious slum. Most scholarly analyses have tended to understand the post-election violence as a result of politicized ethnic identities, class, and local socio-economic dynamics. Implicitly or explicitly, these frameworks assume that women are victims of violence while men are its perpetrators, and ignore the ways in which gender, which cuts across these categories, produces and shapes conflict. Kibera’s conflict is often ascribed to the mobilization of disaffected male youths by political “Big Men.” But the research findings show how men, who would ordinarily not go to war, are obliged to fight to “save face” in their communities and how women become integral to the production of violent exclusionary mobilizations. Significantly, notions of masculinity and femininity modified the character of Kibera’s conflict. Acts of gender-based violence, gang rapes, and forced circumcisions became intensely entwined with ethno-political performances to annihilate opposing groups. The battle for political power was also a battle of masculinities.

Keywords: conflict, xenophobia, violence

Topics: Class, Ethnicity, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Femininity/ies, Gender-Based Violence, Gendered Power Relations, Masculinism, Governance, Elections, Sexual Violence, Rape, SV against Women Regions: Africa, East Africa Countries: Kenya

Year: 2015

Women as a Sign of the New? Appointments to South Africa's Constitutional Court since 1994


Johnson, Rachel E. 2014. “Women as a Sign of the New? Appointments to South Africa’s Constitutional Court since 1994.” Politics & Gender 10 (04): 595–621. doi:10.1017/S1743923X14000439.

Author: Rachel E. Johnson


The aim of the article is to develop our understanding of the role bodies play in processes of institutional change. It does so through developing an approach to the politics of institutional newness that highlights the way in which raced and gendered bodies can become entangled with claims to, or judgements of, “being new.” These questions are explored through South Africa's Constitutional Court, newly established as part of South Africa's transition to democracy in the 1990s and at the center of the broader claims being made about the creation of a new democratic, nonracial, and non-sexist South Africa. Focusing on judicial appointments to the Constitutional Court since 1994, the article draws attention to the ways in which historically excluded bodies, women and black men, have been included into this new space within the judiciary. It is argued that exploring the ways in which institutions lay claim to “being new” through the bodies of historically excluded groups is important for our understanding of the dynamics of institutional change being constituted.

Topics: Women, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Constitutions, Elections, Post-Conflict Governance, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2014

Context and Media Frames: The Case of Liberia


Adams, Melinda. 2016. “Context and Media Frames: The Case of Liberia.” Politics & Gender 12 (2): 275–95. 

Author: Melinda Adams


There is a growing body of work examining gender stereotypes in media representations of female candidates, but much of this literature is based on analysis of media sources in developed countries, including the United States (Braden 1996; Jalalzai 2006; Kahn 1994, 1996; Smith 1997), Australia (Kittilson and Fridkin 2008), Canada (Kittilson and Fridkin 2008), France (Murray 2010b), and Germany (Wiliarty 2010). The increase in female presidential candidates and presidents in Latin America has encouraged research on media portrayals of women in Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela (Franceschet and Thomas 2010; Hinojosa 2010; Piscopo 2010; Thomas and Adams 2010). To date, however, there has been little research exploring media representations of female politicians in Africa. (Exceptions include Adams 2010; Anderson, Diabah, and hMensah 2011). A question that emerges is whether the gender stereotypes common in coverage in the United States, Europe, and Latin America are also prevalent in Africa.

Topics: Women, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Media, Elections, Post-Conflict Governance Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Liberia

Year: 2016

Women and Political Leadership in an Authoritarian Context: A Case Study of the Sixth Parliament in the Islamic Republic of Iran


Moghadam, Valentine M., and Fatemeh Haghighatjoo. 2016. “Women and Political Leadership in an Authoritarian Context: A Case Study of the Sixth Parliament in the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Politics & Gender 12 (01): 168–97. doi:10.1017/S1743923X15000598.

Authors: Valentine M. Moghadam, Fatemeh Haghighatjoo


When Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, presented his proposed Cabinet to the Majles (parliament) in August 2013, one issue brought up in social media was the strange silence of the women members throughout the intensive four-day sessions to assess the ministerial nominees' programs before the vote of confidence. None of the nine women parliamentary members (MPs) used the podium to object that the president had not nominated any woman as minister. Only on social media and Persian language television was there criticism for the absence of women ministers. Eventually, Rouhani promised to include a woman in his Cabinet and to promote women in middle managerial positions. Not only was this tokenism evidence of gender-blindness, but it also evinced historical amnesia, as it overlooked the intense campaigning for women's greater participation and rights on the part of the 13 women members of Iran's Sixth Majles during the reform era coinciding with President Mohammad Khatami's two terms (1997–2005). That parliament is notable for its commitment to political and cultural reform and for the caucus that agitated for women's greater presence. Among its accomplishments were passage of the UN's Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW); raising the minimum age of marriage for girls from puberty to 13; and removing the ban on single young women traveling abroad on state scholarships.

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Elections, International Law, Political Participation Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Iran

Year: 2016

Selecting Women, Electing Women: Political Representation and Candidate Selection in Latin America


Hinojosa, Magda. 2012. Selecting Women, Electing Women: Political Representation and Candidate Selection in Latin America. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Author: Magda Hinojosa


Offers an analytic framework to show how the process of candidate selection often limits the participation of women in various Latin American countries (Summary from WorldCat)

Table of Contents

1. Electing women: female political representation in Latin America

2. Why selection matters: explaining women's representation in politics

3. How selection matters: a theoretical framework

4. The paradox of primaries: inclusive-decentralized selection

5. Inclusive-centralized and exclusive-decentralized selection

5. "Less democratic, but more effective": exclusive-centralized selection

6. Selecting candidates closer to home: widows, wives, and daughters

7. Altering candidate selection: the adoption and implementation of gender quotas

8. Candidate selection and women's representation in Latin American politics

Appendix one: Latin American women's representation by party

Appendix two: interviews.

Topics: Gender, Women, Governance, Quotas, Elections, Political Participation Regions: Americas, Central America, South America Countries: Chile, Mexico

Year: 2012

Gender Stereotypes and Corruption: How Candidates Affect Perceptions of Election Fraud


Barnes, Tiffany D., and Emily Beaulieu. 2014. “Gender Stereotypes and Corruption: How Candidates Affect Perceptions of Election Fraud.” Politics & Gender 10 (03): 365–91. doi:10.1017/S1743923X14000221.

Authors: Tiffany D. Barnes, Emily Beaulieu


How do stereotypes of female candidates influence citizens' perceptions of political fraud and corruption? Because gender stereotypes characterize female politicians as more ethical, honest, and trustworthy than male politicians, there are important theoretical reasons for expecting female politicians to mitigate perceptions of fraud and corruption. Research using observational data, however, is limited in its ability to establish a causal relationship between women's involvement in politics and reduced concerns about corruption. Using a novel experimental survey design, we find that the presence of a female candidate systematically reduces the probability that individuals will express strong suspicion of election fraud in what would otherwise be considered suspicious circumstances. Results from this experiment also reveal interesting heterogeneous effects: individuals who are not influenced by shared partisanship are even more responsive to gender cues; and male respondents are more responsive to those cues than females. These findings have potential implications for women running for office, both with respect to election fraud and corruption more broadly, particularly in low-information electoral settings.

Topics: Corruption, Gender, Women, Governance, Elections, Political Participation

Year: 2014

'For the Elections, We Want Women!': Closing the Gender Gap in Zambian Politics


Evans, Alice. 2016. “‘For the Elections, We Want Women!’: Closing the Gender Gap in Zambian Politics.” Development and Change 47 (2): 388–411. doi:10.1111/dech.12224.

Author: Alice Evans


This article examines the causes of women's rising political participation in Zambia. It argues that women's historical paucity in politics was largely the result of widely-shared gender stereotypes. These are now weakening due to growing flexibility in gender divisions of labour, which has been catalysed by worsening economic security. By performing work previously presumed to be beyond their abilities and valorized because of its association with masculinity, such women are increasingly perceived as equally capable of leadership. This gradual erosion of gender beliefs has fostered women's political participation and leadership in Zambia.

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Roles, Governance, Elections, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: Zambia

Year: 2016

Anti-Americanism, Authoritarian Politics, and Attitudes about Women's Representation: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Jordan


Bush, Sarah Sunn, and Amaney A. Jamal. “Anti-Americanism, Authoritarian Politics, and Attitudes about Women’s Representation: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Jordan.” International Studies Quarterly 59, no. 1 (March 1, 2015): 34–45. doi:10.1111/isqu.12139.

Authors: Sarah Sunn Bush, Amaney A. Jamal


A pillar of American foreign policy in the Middle East since September 11, 2001, has been promoting democracy, with particular emphasis on support for women's representation. Given high levels of anti-Americanism in the region, does foreign pressure for policy reform undermine this project? Evidence from a nationally representative survey experiment in Jordan shows that an American endorsement of women in politics has no average effect on popular support for women's representation. Instead, domestic patterns of support and opposition to autocrats determine citizens' receptivity to policy endorsements, with policy endorsements of foreign-supported reforms polarizing public opinion. Both foreign and domestic endorsements of women in politics depress support among Jordanians who oppose their regime significantly more than among Jordanians who support it.

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Governance, Quotas, Elections, Nationalism Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Jordan

Year: 2015

Interdependent Preferences, Militarism, and Child Gender


Urbatsch, R. “Interdependent Preferences, Militarism, and Child Gender.” International Studies Quarterly 53, no. 1 (March 1, 2009): 1–21. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2478.2008.01521.x.

Author: R. Urbatsch


Selection effects make it difficult to determine whether concern for other people genuinely affects individuals’ policy preferences. Child gender provides a conveniently exogenous means of exploring the issue, especially in contexts such as military policy where girls and boys face different risks; in many countries male children are disproportionately likely to become soldiers and thus bear the costs of militarism. This creates divergent effects: those in households with girls generally prefer more hawkish foreign policies than do members of households with boys. Data from the 2004 American National Election Study confirm these intuitions, both in general statements of policy preference and in evaluating the net costs of the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Child Soldiers, Female Combatants, Male Combatants, Gender, Girls, Boys, Gender Balance, Elections, Households Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2009


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