Institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women
Editor: Shirin M. Rai

The role of national machineries, as a way to promote the status of women, acquired international relevance during the World Conference on the International Women's Year, in Mexico City in 1975. This book reflects Division for the Advancement of Women's (DAW) long-standing interest in the area of national machineries, bringing together the experiences, research and insights of experts. The first part of the book sets out the major issues facing national machineries at the conceptual level. It reflects upon five aspects of democratization: devolution or decentralization; the role of political parties; monitoring and auditing systems; and the importance of increasing the presence of women within institutions of the state and government. The second part is a comparative analysis and sets out the major issues facing national machineries at the political level. A combination of factors, including civil society, state bodies and political actors, need to come together for national machineries to function effectively in the interest of gender equality. Next comes the 'lessons learned' by national machineries in mainstreaming gender. National machineries should have an achievable agenda, an important part of which must be 'a re-definition of gender issues. The third part contains case studies that build upon the specific experiences of national machineries in different countries. The successful experience of Nordic countries in gender mainstreaming is also discussed.

Open Access (free)
Neil McNaughton

Issues concerning women Issues concerning women 97 7 ➤ The development of the women’s movement ➤ Descriptions of the legislation passed to improve the status of women ➤ Review and analysis of remaining issues concerning the status of women BACKGROUND Women’s emancipation Although the cause of improvement in the status of women can be traced back into the nineteenth century, the effective story must begin with the time when women achieved the right to vote after a sustained campaign of civil disobedience and parliamentary campaigning. Women over 30 years old

in Understanding British and European political issues
Open Access (free)
Susan M. Johns

status of women is fundamentally linked with land tenure and with socio-economic and political factors as much as marital and family status. Noblewomen saw themselves as members of the élite, as wives, mothers, sisters, daughters, widows and as women. Such complex identities require a complex explanation. When Petronella countess of Leicester ended up in a ditch indignantly throwing her rings away, when Matilda countess of Chester visited Lincoln Castle in February 1141, or when Nichola de la Haye grimly clung on to her castle during a long siege, they were not victims

in Noblewomen, aristocracy and power in the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman realm
Marian Sawer

crucial Cabinet submissions and Cabinet processes. Location within the Prime Minister’s portfolio made access to Cabinet and coordinating work across government much easier. In order to strengthen gender advocacy within Cabinet itself, a minister assisting the Prime Minister for the status of women was subsequently appointed, briefed by the women’s unit within the Prime Minister’s department. After some misadventures, including exile in a low-ranking portfolio, the Office of the Status of Women (OSW) returned to the Prime Minister’s Department in 1983. While women

in Mainstreaming gender, democratizing the state?
Open Access (free)
Shirin M. Rai

INTRODUCTION 1 Introduction shirin m. rai The role of national machineries, as a way to promote the status of women, acquired international relevance during the World Conference on the International Women’s Year, held in Mexico City, Mexico, in 1975, which called for their establishment. The World Decade for Women (1976– 85), during which two other World Conferences on Women were held (in Copenhagen,1 1980 and Nairobi,2 1985), gave further impetus to the setting up of institutional mechanisms at the national level, to promote the status of women. By the end of

in Mainstreaming gender, democratizing the state?
Jolien Gijbels and Kaat Wils

This chapter focuses on the ways in which, since the nineteenth century, medicine and medical discourse have legitimised, reinforced or altered gender relations in Belgium. It focuses on three themes: the social division of medical labour, the gendered character of medical knowledge and the role of feminists in claiming and redefining the female body. Addressing the theme of the social division of labour allows us to provide readers with general information about the presence and status of women and men within the main medical structures throughout the period. The chapter presents key social and political debates relevant to the history of medicine, such as discussions on the supposedly limited competences of midwives or women’s access to medical education and the medical profession.

The history of gynaecology enables us to look more closely at the impact of these structures on the treatment of women’s bodies and on discursive practices defining women’s health. Gynaecology emerged at the end of the nineteenth century as a new profession founded on the successes of modern surgery and dedicated to the protection of maternity, femininity and sexual modesty. During the first and in particular the second wave of organised feminism in Belgium, activists involved in political debates about women’s rights had to struggle with stereotypical, often medically legitimised views about women’s moral and physical weaknesses and incapacity to assume various social roles. In women’s political fights centred on themes such as contraception and abortion, feminists developed alternative understandings of women’s bodies, also using medically informed representations.

in Medical histories of Belgium
Open Access (free)
The Algerian war and the ‘emancipation’ of Muslim women, 1954–62
Author: Neil Macmaster

In May 1958, and four years into the Algerian War of Independence, a revolt again appropriated the revolutionary and republican symbolism of the French Revolution by seizing power through a Committee of Public Safety. This book explores why a repressive colonial system that had for over a century maintained the material and intellectual backwardness of Algerian women now turned to an extensive programme of 'emancipation'. After a brief background sketch of the situation of Algerian women during the post-war decade, it discusses the various factors contributed to the emergence of the first significant women's organisations in the main urban centres. It was only after the outbreak of the rebellion in 1954 and the arrival of many hundreds of wives of army officers that the model of female interventionism became dramatically activated. The French military intervention in Algeria during 1954-1962 derived its force from the Orientalist current in European colonialism and also seemed to foreshadow the revival of global Islamophobia after 1979 and the eventual moves to 'liberate' Muslim societies by US-led neo-imperialism in Afghanistan and Iraq. For the women of Bordj Okhriss, as throughout Algeria, the French army represented a dangerous and powerful force associated with mass destruction, brutality and rape. The central contradiction facing the mobile socio-medical teams teams was how to gain the trust of Algerian women and to bring them social progress and emancipation when they themselves were part of an army that had destroyed their villages and driven them into refugee camps.

Antonia Lucia Dawes

the postwar period connected scientific racism and fascist ideologies to the forms of cultural racism that, particularly, black migrants experienced when they started arriving in Italy ( 2013 : 274). My fieldwork was replete with obsessive talk, sometimes directed at women and sometimes emerging in discussions between Neapolitan and migrant men, about women who spent too much time in public spaces such as street markets, where their presence was not respectable and was potentially threatening to their honour. The status of women in public spaces was connected to

in Race talk
Author: Sara De Vido

The book explores the relationship between violence against women on one hand, and the rights to health and reproductive health on the other. It argues that violation of the right to health is a consequence of violence, and that (state) health policies might be a cause of – or create the conditions for – violence against women. It significantly contributes to feminist and international human rights legal scholarship by conceptualising a new ground-breaking idea, violence against women’s health (VAWH), using the Hippocratic paradigm as the backbone of the analysis. The two dimensions of violence at the core of the book – the horizontal, ‘interpersonal’ dimension and the vertical ‘state policies’ dimension – are investigated through around 70 decisions of domestic, regional and international judicial or quasi-judicial bodies (the anamnesis). The concept of VAWH, drawn from the anamnesis, enriches the traditional concept of violence against women with a human rights-based approach to autonomy and a reflection on the pervasiveness of patterns of discrimination (diagnosis). VAWH as theorised in the book allows the reconceptualisation of states’ obligations in an innovative way, by identifying for both dimensions obligations of result, due diligence obligations, and obligations to progressively take steps (treatment). The book eventually asks whether it is not international law itself that is the ultimate cause of VAWH (prognosis).

Tami Amanda Jacoby

qualities are universal and exhibited by all women, in all places and at all times. However, the Israeli context renders problematic these basic categories of feminist theory. In Israel, women’s organizations, such as the Israeli Women’s Network (IWN) and the Parliamentary Committee on the Status of Women, have contradicted the assumptions of Western feminists by waging a strong battle for women’s right to

in Redefining security in the Middle East