Gender equality

This presentation is from Women’s Organizing for Economic Rights and Democracy in Southeast Asia, a breakout session at the AWID 2012 Internation Forum on Women's Rights and Development. Around the world, access to cash and credit through microfinancing programs is touted as a magic bullet for eradicating women’s poverty. Yet, there is limited evidence that these strategies alone fundamentally alter the power relationships that drive women’s poverty in the first place.
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Released in August 2007, this collection of stories about how women navigate, resist, and transform power is the product of a unique write shop process organized by Just Associates for ActionAid International, engaging long-time women's rights activists in reflection, creative writing and sharing stories. While there is much to celebrate in terms of the work activist have done and gains for women’s rights, there are still difficult realities and challenges that must be addressed.
A report prepared for the Economic Literacy Project, IDS.
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Last month, a young woman stepped out of a Harare club for air, and was arrested by a plainclothes policeman on a charge of loitering and soliciting. She spent the night in a cell at the police station. A week later, writer, Tsitsi Dangarembga, was interrogated by police while waiting for friends at a restaurant. In Zimbabwe, women across the spectrum are apprehended nightly by the police under the auspices of the Criminal Law Act (2004), a far reaching tool of government repression covering everything from national security to ‘public morals’. “It’s about policing women’s bodies,” says Winnet Shamuyarira, an activist organizer.
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The challenge to platforms for gender equality comes not just from actors with fundamentalist agendas, but from a conjuncture where women’s rights have been opportunistically instrumentalized to serve geopolitical goals, and neo-liberal policies have severed social justice from gender equality concerns
Neoliberalism has spawned a swath of oppositional movements.The more clearly oppositional movements recognize that their central objective must be to confront the class power that has been so effectively restored under neoliberalization, the more they will likely themselves cohere.
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As social, political and economic instability dominates headlines worldwide, members of JASS’ international community are providing their own take on what this means for women’s rights, equality, and wellbeing. Check out JASS’ up-to-the-minute frontline analyses on patriarchy, feminist movement building and security from our annual Crossregional Dialogue in April.
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This article uses Hilkka Pietilä’s reconceptualization of the economy as three spheres of production (free, protected and fettered) to illuminate the new ways in which neo-liberal globalization is intensifying exploitative capitalist processes. The study focuses on the particular vulnerabilities of women, the value of their unpaid work, and the transformative significance of their resistance.
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The JASS Cross Regional Dialogue (CRD) opened its doors to three days of critical thinking and mobilizing on charting a collective roadmap for attaining women’s rights and justice. Drawing 48 feminist activists from Southern Africa, Southeast Asia and Mesoamerica together for a rich and radical exchange of ideas and feminist strategies—all of this set against the backdrop of a world held firmly in the grip of patriarchy, increasing human rights violations, political crises and serious economic meltdowns.
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