7th February, 2014 / 11.00am - 4.00pm
17th April, 2018
In the 1970s a movement began that challenged women’s exclusion from the policies and programmes seeking to develop the so called ‘Third World’. By the turn of the Millennium the World Bank was ‘engendering’ development while ‘gender equality and women’s empowerment’ was one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. In 2015 gender moved further up the policy agenda being mainstreamed across the new Sustainable Development Goals and in international policy frameworks on disasters and climate change. Gender had arrived!
Or had it? Many feminist academics and activists, myself included, questioned the how and why of women’s inclusion, suggesting that inclusion could be as problematic as exclusion. One problem is that what is understood as gender by those that inform and make policy is very different from how gender academics and activists understand and ‘do’ gender.
Reflecting on 25 years of research, work with women’s groups and movements, and participation in international policy design processes, I question how much we actually know about gendered inequalities and how far existing gender frames can advance our understanding, and consider what changes are needed if we are to move from merely recognising gender inequality, to actively promoting gender equality.