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Gender Balance

Gender Quotas: A Key to Equality?: A Case Study of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Citation:

Dahlerup, Drude, and Anja Taarup Nordlund. 2004. Gender Quotas: A Key to Equality? : A Case Study of Iraq and Afghanistan. Stockholm University.

Authors: Drude Dahlerup, Anja Taarup Nordlund

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality Regions: Africa, MENA, Asia, Middle East, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan, Iraq

Year: 2004

New Steering Methods in Regional Policy — Transforming the Alliance of ‘State Feminism'

Citation:

Hedlund, Gun, and Malin Lindberg. 2012. “New Steering Methods in Regional Policy — Transforming the Alliance of ‘State Feminism.’” Women’s Studies International Forum 35 (3): 166–72. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2012.03.005.

Authors: Gun Hedlund, Malin Lindberg

Abstract:

In this article, the theory of ‘state feminism’ is applied on the area of regional development policy, supplementing existing research about state–citizen relationships in northern and southern Europe. Based on Swedish data, it is argued that the former alliance between the women's movement and the welfare state has been transformed as a result of new steering methods in regional development policy in a way that is best understood as a paradox. This paradox includes both stronger and weaker relations. The public support to Women Resource Centres (WRCs) in Sweden is used as an example of ‘state feminism’. The ability of the WRCs to affect policy has changed over time, however, due to the adoption of new steering methods based on networks and market-orientation in Swedish regional development policy. The conclusions induce further development of ‘state feminism’ theory, making it more up-to-date with the prevalent interaction between women's movements and European welfare states.

Topics: Gender, Women, Femininity/ies, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Political Participation Regions: Europe, Nordic states, Northern Europe Countries: Sweden

Year: 2012

Conceptions of Female Political Representation - Perspectives of Rwandan Female Representatives

Citation:

Coffé, Hilde. 2012. “Conceptions of Female Political Representation - Perspectives of Rwandan Female Representatives.” Women’s Studies International Forum 35 (4): 286–97. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2012.05.004.

Author: Hilde Coffé

Abstract:

An increasing amount of research has investigated the number of female representatives in national Parliaments (descriptive representation) and the effect on both policy output (substantive representation) and women's political participation and trust (symbolic representation). Little research exists, however, on how female representatives themselves think about female political representation and no study has empirically investigated their conceptions of female political representation. Using Q methodology, this explorative one case study investigates the conceptions of female political representation held by female representatives in the Rwandan Parliament, which is the most gender-equal Parliament in the world. On the basis of our analysis, three groups of female representatives emerged, each with a unique conception of female political representation: female representatives focusing on (a) symbolic and descriptive representations; (b) symbolic representation and power; and (c) substantive representation. These conceptions matter because they are crucial to our understanding of female representatives' actual behavior.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Ethnic/Communal Wars, Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Governance, Quotas, Post-conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa Countries: Rwanda

Year: 2012

Migrant Women’s Transnationalism: Family Patterns and Policies: Migrant Women’s Transnationalism

Citation:

Pajnik, Mojca, and Veronika Bajt. 2012. “Migrant Women’s Transnationalism: Family Patterns and Policies: Migrant Women’s Transnationalism.” International Migration 50 (5): 153–68. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2435.2010.00613.x.

Authors: Mojca Pajnik, Veronika Bajt

Abstract:

Whereas current policies on migration and integration are beginning to recognise family reunion as one of the most legitimate reasons for acceptance by a host society, they in most cases still do not account for the growing trend of feminisation of migration, and even rarely do they address specific migrants’ needs. As currently constituted, the integration bills envision a one-way process that places migrants into a position where they cannot question, but only accept and fulfil the predetermined requirements of integration plans. But who are the women that migrate, what influence do their transnational experiences have on their families, and how do migration policies envision the reality of increasing transnationalism? This paper focuses on biographical interviews with migrant women in Slovenia as a valuable method to question current integration measurements, applied here to explore female migrants’ experiences in transnational family life and social networks. A gender sensitive approach is applied that critically evaluates the specificities of family reunification policies, which define women migrants as dependent family members. We discuss life trajectories of women migrants, focusing the debate on their own experiences in and with family life. This new empirical material is used to theorise gaps in contemporary migration research. Women migrants’ own reflections of transnational family ties show a great variety of experiences and their narratives are a unique window into motivational, political, as well as legal dimensions of migration.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Gender, Gender Roles, Gender Analysis, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Nationalism

Year: 2012

Gender-Specific Migration from Eastern to Western Germany: Where Have All the Young Women Gone?: Gender-Specific Migration from Eastern to Western Germany

Citation:

Kröhnert, Steffen, and Sebastian Vollmer. 2012. “Gender-Specific Migration from Eastern to Western Germany: Where Have All the Young Women Gone?: Gender-Specific Migration from Eastern to Western Germany.” International Migration 50 (5): 95–112. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2435.2012.00750.x.

Authors: Steffen Kröhnert, Sebastian Vollmer

Abstract:

With the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, open migration from East to West Germany became possible. Between 1989 and 2007, roughly 10 percent of the East’s population at the time of reunification migrated from east to west. The emigrants were predominantly young and female. This selective migration pattern led to a tremendous deficit of females in the 18–29 year old age group in eastern Germany. Overall, the sex ratio in that age group is as low as 89 females per 100 males in the east. In some rural counties, the sex ratio is 80 females per 100 males. We find that excess female emigration at the county level is associated with gender disparities in educational attainment that favour women, a labour market structure that favours men and the lower availability of potential partners with similar levels of education in eastern Germany.

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Migration, Education, Gender, Women, Gender Balance Regions: Europe, Central Europe Countries: Germany

Year: 2012

Can Women Break Through? Women in Municipalities: Lebanon in Comparative Perspective

Citation:

Sbaity Kassem, Fatima. 2012. “Can Women Break Through? Women in Municipalities: Lebanon in Comparative Perspective.” Women’s Studies International Forum 35 (4): 233–55. doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2012.04.002.

Author: Fatima Sbaity Kassem

Abstract:

Gender inequality is a pervasive global phenomenon, particularly in the political sphere. Previous scholarship sought explanations for the low female representation in countries' development levels, political regimes and/or electoral systems. Some scholars searched for answers within societies' religious and cultural value systems or political culture. These arguments, singularly or combined, can explain the pattern and predict broadly female representation across countries of different income levels and political systems. However, they overlook observed variations in middle-income countries and cannot explain the presence of overachievers and underachievers. They also fail to explain variations within societies of the same religious family, or across political parties within the same country. Previous explanations do not fully account for observed variations in women's political participation, which begs for additional explanation, one that examines the primary institutional vehicles for individual advancement in the political world – political parties – and highlights the factors that determine parties’ support for women's leadership and nomination to public office.

My work on women in politics departs from prior scholarship in that it explains variations in women's leadership and nomination to public office by looking at party-level variation in religiosity across countries and political parties. Parties are the main vehicles for recruiting, selecting, and promoting women. They are gatekeepers for nominating them to public office. However, different parties offer women different opportunities. For instance, most of the five Nordic countries have social democratic parties with high shares of female legislators, indicating the important role they play in advancing women and nominating them to public office. Thus, not only do parties offer a plausible explanation for variations in female representation, but also in providing an answer to why are some parties superior to others in advancing women's political career.

Party variation in religiosity is the missing link in this body of research. I have argued elsewhere that as party religiosity increases, women's leadership falls within parties’ internal decision-making bodies. Party religiosity, as distinct from individual religiosity, is the extent to which religious goals penetrate political platforms. The qualitative and quantitative findings of in-depth research conducted in Lebanon, as a focused single country case-study, are robust and support the theory of party variation in religiosity and women's leadership. Further, in a separate and additional cross-national quantitative study using multiple cases, the theory is found to travel, hence allowing for generalizations and predictions. It is tested on 330 parties across 26 countries in the three continents of Asia, Africa and Europe: 13 Arab countries, seven non-Arab Muslim-majority countries, and five European countries with Christian democratic parties plus Israel, the only Jewish state in the world.1 This permitted studying the influence of three world religions (Islam, Christianity and Judaism) on women's political leadership.

In this article, I take the extra mile and extend the theory of party variation in religiosity from women's leadership within parties’ inner structures to the logical ‘outcome’ of nominating women for public office. I move the research beyond the institutional party-level to the national and local levels of analyses and explore religiosity as the main explanatory variable for female party nominations to parliaments and municipalities. Other party-level characteristics of import to women's nominations include democratic practices and pluralism in membership.  The main research question posed in this paper is whether municipalities – compared to parliaments – constitute a breakthrough for women in politics. Lebanon serves as a useful a case-study with its multiparty system. A single country case-study makes it possible to investigate variations in female nominations within a controlled socio-political environment, while holding constant the potential influence of the political regime and electoral system. Nonetheless, the findings of field research in Lebanon support the focus on party religiosity as an explanatory variable for female nominations. It also reveals quite different dynamics governing female nominations for municipal as opposed to parliamentary elections. These findings point to a potential breakthrough for women seeking a career in politics.

This article is organized in three sections with an introduction, summary and concluding remarks. The introductory part covers the theoretical background motivating the main research question and lays out the variables and hypotheses to be tested. Section A examines patterns of female candidacy for parliaments. Section B focuses on women in municipalities in comparative perspective to parliaments. In Section C, I estimate a regression model for female nominations to parliaments and another one for municipalities. The findings support the theory of party variation in religiosity to explain variations in female nominations for municipalities. However, it is not borne out for parliaments. The concluding remarks highlight the main findings and provide supporting evidence that municipalities may very well constitute a breakthrough for women, if they choose a career in politics. Thus, responding positively to the main research question that this article poses: “Women in municipalities: Can women break through?”

Topics: Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Post-conflict Governance, Political Participation, Religion Regions: MENA, Asia, Middle East Countries: Lebanon

Year: 2012

War, Resisting the West and Women's Labor: Toward an Understanding of Arab Exceptionalism

Citation:

Angrist, Michele. 2012. “War, Resisting the West, and Women’s Labor: Toward an Understanding of Arab Exceptionalism.” Politics & Gender 8 (01): 51–82. doi:10.1017/S1743923X12000074.

Author: Michele Angrist

Abstract:

Countries with Muslim-majority populations often are viewed as places where women are particularly oppressed. To a degree, this perception reflects reality. Fish (2002) demonstrates that, relative to Catholic countries, Muslim countries are associated with larger male–female literacy gaps, higher male–female population sex ratios (which can reflect poorer treatment of females), and lower scores on the United Nations Development Program's (UNDP's) Gender Empowerment Measure, which focuses on political participation, economic influence, and income. Looking at the developing world, Cherif (2010) finds that Muslim countries are associated with inheritance and nationality laws that are discriminatory toward women. Some suggest that Islam itself is responsible for limitations on women's economic, political, and social freedoms. Whether referring to the substance of Islamic (shari'a) law, which treats men and women differently, or to the ways in which politicians defer to conservative interpretations of shari'a law in order to build and/or consolidate their legitimacy, or to contemporary regimes' need to appease (or at least not inflame) important Islamist constituencies who favor a subordinate role for women, many accounts of gender inequality in Muslim countries assert that “prevailing interpretations of Islamic law . . . and the attitudes it informs” are a key culprit (Cherif 2010, 1145).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Women, Gender Balance, Political Participation, Religion Regions: Africa, Central Africa, East Africa, West Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Europe, Baltic states, Balkans, South Caucasus

Year: 2012

Nada's Revolution

"A coming of age story in the wake of the Arab Spring, NADA’S REVOLUTION is an intimate portrait of a young, post-revolution Egyptian woman fighting for her freedom and independence in a society caught between old traditions and modernization. Amidst the political turmoil that has paralyzed Egypt for almost three years, we follow Nada’s struggle to establish herself as an independent woman and theater professional as she sets out to make her old dream come true: to work with children’s theater.

Interdependent Preferences, Militarism, and Child Gender

Citation:

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

Abstract:

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

Gender, Conflict, and the Militarization of Climate Change Policy

Citation:

Nagel, Joane. 2015. “Gender, Conflict, and the Militarization of Climate Change Policy.” Peace Review 27 (2): 202–8. doi:10.1080/10402659.2015.1037629.

 

Author: Joane Nagel

Abstract:

The article suggests that mandating gender parity in climate change research funding may be a way to refocus research questions from large-scale planetary intervention or militarized responses. Topics discussed include research finding that including women in environmental decision-making makes a difference in policy outcomes. Also mentioned is the creation of more gender-balanced structures as a first step toward taking on the challenge of climate change.

Topics: Environment, Gender, Gender Balance, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization

Year: 2015

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