Enacting Intersectional Multilayered Citizenship: Kurdish Women’s Politics


Erel, Umut, and Necla Acik. 2020. “Enacting Intersectional Multilayered Citizenship: Kurdish Women’s Politics.” Gender, Place & Culture 27 (4): 479–501.

Authors: Umut Erel, Necla Acik


Focusing on the institutional aspects of the Kurdish women’s movement in Turkey since the 1990s the article shows how it established a consciousness within the Kurdish national movement that gender equality is a cornerstone of democracy and ethnic rights. We frame this through theories of enacting intersectional multilayered citizenship and identify three key interventions: autonomous women’s assemblies, women’s quotas in pro-Kurdish rights parties and the cochair system where all elected positions within the pro- Kurdish parties are jointly occupied by a male and female. These have achieved a better representation of women in formal politics, rendered gender equality and sexual violence legitimate subjects of politics and contributed to establishing an aspiration for a more dialogic political ethos. While the women’s movement’s close affiliation with the Kurdish national movement has been highly effective, it also in part circumscribes gender roles to fit its agendas.

Keywords: gender politics, Kurds, Kurdish national movement, Co-chair system, middle east, women's movement, women's quota, women's political representation

Topics: Citizenship, Ethnicity, Gender, Gender Roles, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Quotas, Political Participation, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: MENA, Asia, Europe, Southern Europe Countries: Turkey

Year: 2020

Gender Matters: Climate Change, Gender Bias, and Women’s Farming in the Global South and North


Glazebrook, Tricia, Samantha Noll, and Emmanuela Opoku. 2020. "Gender Matters: Climate Change, Gender Bias, and Women’s Farming in the Global South and North." Agriculture 10 (7).

Authors: Tricia Glazebrook, Samantha Noll, Emmanuela Opoku


Can investing in women’s agriculture increase productivity? This paper argues that it can. We assess climate and gender bias impacts on women’s production in the global South and North and challenge the male model of agricultural development to argue further that women’s farming approaches can be more sustainable. Level-based analysis (global, regional, local) draws on a literature review, including the authors’ published longitudinal field research in Ghana and the United States. Women farmers are shown to be undervalued and to work harder, with fewer resources, for less compensation; gender bias challenges are shared globally while economic disparities differentiate; breaches of distributive, gender, and intergenerational justices as well as compromise of food sovereignty affect women everywhere. We conclude that investing in women’s agriculture needs more than standard approaches of capital and technology investment. Effective ‘investment’ would include systemic interventions into agricultural policy, governance, education, and industry; be directed at men as well as women; and use gender metrics, for example, quotas, budgets, vulnerability and impacts assessments, to generate assessment reports and track gender parity in agriculture. Increasing women’s access, capacity, and productivity cannot succeed without men’s awareness and proactivity. Systemic change can increase productivity and sustainability.

Keywords: Africa/Ghana, climate change, farming/farmers, food security, gender inequality, global South/North, justice, hunger, land

Topics: Agriculture, Education, Gender, Women, Gender Budgeting, Governance, Quotas, Justice

Year: 2020

Gender Quotas Increase the Equality and Effectiveness of Climate Policy Interventions


Cook, Nathan J., Tara Grillos, and Krister P. Andersson. 2019. "Gender Quotas Increase the Equality and Effectiveness of Climate Policy Interventions." Nature Climate Change 9: 330-4.

Authors: Nathan J. Cook, Tara Grillos, Krister P. Andersson


Interventions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions strive to promote gender balance so that men and women have equal rights to participate in, and benefit from, decision-making about such interventions. One conventional way to achieve gender balance is to introduce gender quotas. Here we show that gender quotas make interventions more effective and lead to more equal sharing of intervention benefits. We conducted a randomized ‘lab’-in-the-field experiment in which 440 forest users from Indonesia, Peru and Tanzania made decisions about extraction and conservation in a forest common. We randomly assigned a gender quota to half of the participating groups, requiring that at least 50% of group members were women. Groups with the gender quota conserved more trees as a response to a ‘payment for ecosystem services’ intervention and shared the payment more equally. We attribute this effect to the gender composition of the group, not the presence of female leaders.

Topics: Environment, Climate Change, Gender Balance, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Quotas Regions: Africa, East Africa, Americas, South America, Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Indonesia, Peru, Tanzania

Year: 2019

Representation Without Participation: Dilemmas of Quotas for Women in Post-apartheid South Africa


Myeni, Sithembiso. 2014. " Representation Without Participation: Dilemmas of Quotas for Women in Post-apartheid South Africa." African Journal of Governance & Development 3 (2): 56-78.

Author: Sithembiso Myeni


This article provides a sketch of ways in which ‘formal’ institutions of democratic representation work in practice for women in South Africa (SA). In doing so, the state of women’s participation and representation in the political process in SA is explored. Available data substantiates that women’s organisations and women’s wings of political parties have influenced the Government of SA and political parties to introduce quotas for women. Although quotas have increased the descriptive representation of women in political arenas, their representation in the decision-making process has not yet been ensured. Women face several social, cultural and political challenges that hinder their participation, and are still neglected by their male counterparts. Election of women councillors does not resolve a series of dilemmas concerning how to institutionalise democratic representation within a racially diverse, spatially divided and rapidly changing political landscape in SA.

Keywords: women, participation, representation, government, quota

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Governance, Quotas, Post-Conflict, Political Participation Regions: Africa, Southern Africa Countries: South Africa

Year: 2014

Whose Seat Will Become Reserved?: The 30% Quota Campaign in Sierra Leone


Ibrahim, Aisha F. 2015. “Whose Seat Will Become Reserved?: The 30% Quota Campaign in Sierra Leone.” African and Asian Studies 14 (1-2): 61-84.

Author: Aisha Fofana Ibrahim


Post-war reconstruction efforts in Sierra Leone combined with global discourses around issues of democracy and participation have, to some extent, created a space for political engagement of traditionally marginalized groups, including women. Women’s political engagement has, in recent times, centered around a campaign for a 30% constitutionally mandated gender quota system which, it is believed, will be the most effective way to get more female representation in legislatures as well as close the wide gap that exists numerically between both genders in the public sphere. This paper seeks to examine women’s engagement with political processes in Sierra Leone, their long and unsuccessful struggle for a quota system and how all of this fits into a wider struggle for gender justice in Sierra Leone. The main argument raised in this paper is that the gender quota campaign is fraught with challenges because women in the struggle, especially female parliamentarians, have found it difficult to go beyond the borders of their political parties’ ideological stance, and organizational boundaries to collectively and successfully advance the campaign. In addition, the campaign seems to be more centralized in the capital with little or no engagement at the com munity level. Moreover, because of the widening political divide, meaningfully engaging an elite male cadre that has variedly resisted women’s full and equal participation in the public sphere remains a challenge.

Keywords: Sierra Leone, Women's political leadership, quotas, women's activism, gender equality, women legislators

Topics: Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Women, Gender Mainstreaming, Governance, Quotas, Post-Conflict, Political Participation Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2015

Civil War and Trajectories of Change in Women's Political Representation in Africa, 1985–2010


Hughes, Melanie, and Aili Mari Tripp. 2015. “Civil War and Trajectories of Change in Women's Political Representation in Africa, 1985–2010.” Social Forces 93 (4): 1513-40.

Authors: Melanie Hughes, Aili Mari Tripp


In recent decades, the expansion of women's political representation in sub-Saharan Africa has been nothing short of remarkable. The number of women legislators in African parliaments tripled between 1990 and 2010, resulting in African countries having among the highest rates of women's legislative representation in the world. The dominant explanations for this change have been institutional factors (namely, the adoption of gender quotas and presence of proportional representation systems) and democratization. We suggest that existing research has not gone far enough to evaluate the effects of one powerful structural change: the end of civil war. Using Latent Growth Curve modeling, we show that the end of long-standing armed conflict had large positive impacts on women's political representation, above what can be explained by electoral institutions and democratization alone. However, post-conflict increases in women's legislative representation materialize only after 2000, amid emerging international and regional norms of women's political inclusion. In countries exiting armed conflict in these recent years, women's movement into national legislatures follows a trajectory of social change that is much faster and more extensive than what we observe in other African countries.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Governance, Quotas, Post-Conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict Regions: Africa

Year: 2015

Gendered Conflict, Gendered Outcomes: The Politicization of Sexual Violence and Quota Adoption


Agerberg, Matthias, and Anne-Kathrin Kreft. 2019. "Gendered Conflict, Gendered Outcomes: The Politicization of Sexual Violence and Quota Adoption." Journal of Conflict Resolution 64 (2-3): 290-317.

Authors: Matthias Agerberg, Anne-Kathrin Kreft


Sexual violence (SV) in conflict is increasingly politicized at both the international and domestic levels. Where SV in conflict is prevalent, we argue international actors perceive gender to be salient and push for a gendered response. Simultaneously, women mobilize politically in response to the threat to their security that conflict-related SV constitutes, making demands for greater representation in politics with the goal of improving societal conditions for themselves. Jointly, we theorize the pressures from above and below push governments in conflict-affected states toward adopting gender policies. We test this theoretical framework in the case of gender quota adoption. We find that states with prevalent wartime SV indeed adopt gender quotas sooner and at higher rates than states experiencing other civil conflicts and than states experiencing no conflict in the same period. These gender quotas, we further show, are not mere window dressing but actually increase women’s legislative representation.

Keywords: sexual violence, intrastate conflict, civil wars, war outcomes, gender

Topics: Armed Conflict, Civil Wars, Conflict, Gender, Women, Governance, Quotas, Sexual Violence, SV against Women

Year: 2019

Women and Peace Processes


de Alwis, Malathi, Julie Mertus, and Tazreena Sajjad. 2013. “Women and Peace Processes.” In Women and Wars, edited by Carol Cohn, 169–93. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Authors: Malathi de Alwis, Julie Mertis, Tazreena Sajjad


Because delegates to the 1998 peace talks in Northern Ireland were chosen through public elections, Monica McWilliams, a Catholic feminist academic from South Belfast, and Pearl Sagar, a Protestant social worker from East Belfast, formed the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition (NIWC) to lobby political parties to include women in their candidate lists. When ignored, they decided to form their own political party and contest the elections. The NIWC only received 1.03 percent of the popular vote but it managed to secure two seats (out of 110) under the quota set aside for minority parties. McWilliams and Sagar were thus able to participate in multi-party negotiations resulting in the intergovernmental Good Friday Agreement which devolved legislative powers to the Northern Ireland National Assembly and brought about a significant de-escalation of violence.
During the peace talks in Somalia in 2000, participation was restricted to Somalia’s five clans. As clans were traditionally represented only by men, Somali women found themselves closed out of the negotiations. A cross-clan group of women peace activists, led by Asha Haji Elmi, declared themselves to be representatives of a “sixth clan,” the clan of women, and camped outside the location of the talks, demanding that they be allowed to participate in the formal peace process. They were eventually accepted as participants, and negotiated, among other measures, a gender quota for Transitional Federal Parliament seats and the establishment of a Women’s Ministry. The National Charter they helped draft is considered the best in the region.

Topics: Gender, Conflict, Governance, Quotas, Peace Processes, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction

Year: 2013

Towards Inclusive Peace: Analysing Gender-Sensitive Peace Agreements 2000–2016


True, Jacqui, and Yolanda Riveros-Morales. 2019. “Towards Inclusive Peace: Analysing Gender-Sensitive Peace Agreements 2000–2016.” International Political Science Review 40 (1): 23–40.

Authors: Jacqui True, Yolanda Riveros-Morales


The presence of gender provisions in peace agreements affects women’s participation in post-conflict societies as well as the chances that a post-conflict society will move towards gender equality. While there is an overall upward trend in the number of references to women’s rights and gender equality in peace agreements, gender-sensitive agreements are not a given. Why and how are peace agreements with gender provisions adopted? We use statistical analysis to explain why some peace agreements adopt gender provisions while others have no such provisions. Based on an analysis of 98 peace agreements across 55 countries between 2000 and 2016, we find that peace agreements are significantly more likely to have gender provisions when women participate in elite peace processes. Our study also shows that the likelihood of achieving a peace agreement with gender provisions increases when women’s representation in national parliaments increases and when women’s civil society participation is significant.

Keywords: Peace agreeements, women, peace and security, women's political participation, inclusive peace processes, gender equality norms

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equality/Inequality, Governance, Constitutions, Quotas, NGOs, Peace and Security, Peace Processes, Rights, Women's Rights, UN Security Council Resolutions on WPS, UNSCR 1325

Year: 2019

Forging Ahead without an Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians in Sierra Leone's Post‐War Electoral Process


Abdullah, Hussaina J. 2010. “Forging Ahead without an Affirmative Action Policy: Female Politicians in Sierra Leone's Post‐War Electoral Process.” IDS Bulletin 41 (5): 62-71.

Author: Hussaina J. Abdullah


In contemporary post-conflict Sierra Leone, women have managed to secure 13.5 per cent of seats in parliament – without affirmative action in place, thanks to women’s groups’ and coalitions’ mobilisation and activism. While the political resistance to Sierra Leone having a quota was high, the women’s movement has succeeded in forcing the political parties and the government to recognise that it is no longer politically viable to sidestep women’s rights, should they wish to capitalise on women’s voting power. As women’s organisations, in particular the 50/50 group, continue the struggle to introduce a quota, the challenge for Sierra Leonean women is how to ensure that the quota project is not hijacked by the male-dominated political establishment. To this aim, this article examines the ongoing efforts to politically consciencise women parliamentarians, society and political parties.

Topics: Gender, Governance, Quotas, Elections, Post-Conflict Governance, Political Participation, Post-Conflict, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, Rights, Women's Rights Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Sierra Leone

Year: 2010


© 2023 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.

Subscribe to RSS - Quotas