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Third World Quarterly. 2007 Jun; 28(4):751-773.The achievement of women's equality is an elusive goal, especially in developing economies, where states have been unable or unwilling to protect and promote women's human rights and gender equality. Many argue that globalisation has heightened gender inequality. One response to this crisis is the United Nations corporate citizenship initiative: the Global Compact. This paper argues that the Global Compact has a strong gender equality mandate, which has not been fulfilled. The paper advances a number of reasons why this may be the case, including the lack of women's participation at many levels, the pervasive nature of women's inequality and the fact it may not be in the interests of Global Compact signatories to address this inequality. Despite the limitations of this voluntary initiative, it does have some potential to effect positive change. However, unless the pervasive and continued violation of women's human rights is addressed by the Global Compact, the claim that it is a viable new form ofglobal governance for addressing major social and economic problems is severely weakened. (author's)
Development and Change. 2007 Mar; 38(2):169-199.This article situates the politics of gender in Afghanistan in the nexus of global and local influences that shape the policy agenda of post-Taliban reconstruction. Three sets of factors that define the parameters of current efforts at securing gender justice are analysed: a troubled history of state-society relations; the profound social transformations brought about by years of prolonged conflict; and the process of institution-building under way since the Bonn Agreement in 2001. This evolving institutional framework opens up a new field of contestation between the agenda of international donor agencies, an aid-dependent government and diverse political factions, some with conservative Islamist platforms. At the grassroots, the dynamics of gendered disadvantage, the erosion of local livelihoods, the criminalization of the economy and insecurity at the hands of armed groups combine seamlessly to produce extreme forms of female vulnerability. The ways in which these contradictory influences play out in the context of a fluid process of political settlement will be decisive in determining prospects for the future. (author's)
Gender and Development. 2005 Jul; 13(2):57-69.In the world of feminist activism, the time is ripe for reflection and review. We need to ask why change is not happening, what works, and what is next. This article points to the fact that while women have made many gains in the last decade, policies that successfully promote women?s empowerment and gender equality are not institutionalised in the day-to-day routines of State, nor in international development agencies. We argue for changes which re-delineate who does what, what counts, who gets what, and who decides. We also argue for changes in the institutions that mediate resources, and women?s access, voice, and influence. We outline key challenges, as well as ways to envision change and strengthen the capacity of State and development organisations to deliver better on women?s rights. (author's)
Monday Developments. 2002 Apr 8; 20(7):10, 15.With the death of rebellion leader Jonas Savimbi in February 2002, Angola now faces a challenge to put itself on the road to peace, prosperity, and democracy. The country's hope depends on grassroots organizations, which hold the key to citizen participation and attaining a transparent and accountable government. Angola confronts a critical stage that needs the support of the international community for its emerging organizations to advance towards democracy and prosperity. One of the small grassroots organizations to exemplify action against the government is the Coalition for Boavista Homeless. The coalition was established in July 2001 as a response to the government's policy of demolishing homes and taking over the land in Boavista. It distributed pamphlets about the government's action and circulated a petition in request to stop demolition. The coalition and other civil society groups were supported by international organizations like World Learning, which is committed in upholding democracy and human rights worldwide. Changes in Angola will not happen overnight, but are taking place with the effort of the civil society and with help of international community.