Goal 5: Gender Equality

SDG 5 aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Browse books and journal articles relating to this SDG below and find out more on the UN Sustainable Development Goals website.
 

Goal 5: Gender Equality

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With the increasing visibility of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and other (LGBTQ+) individuals, sociological debates about attitudes towards the group and their intergroup dynamics have intensified. This article investigates the link between factors explaining homophobia and negative attitudes towards bisexuals, often referred to as ‘biphobia’ or ‘bisexual erasure’, using original data collected in August 2021 from Germany (N = 1,342). The study reveals that while factors influencing homophobia and favouring bisexual erasure are similar, they are not identical. Our findings indicate that when bisexual (N = 72) and homosexual (N = 70) individuals are grouped together, they exhibit lower levels of homophobia compared to heterosexuals (N = 1,200). However, we find no significant difference between them and heterosexuals regarding bisexual erasure. This effect is primarily driven by homosexuals’ prejudice towards bisexuals. Furthermore, bisexuals, in comparison with homosexuals, are less likely to disagree with the notion that homosexuals are less capable of being good parents than heterosexuals.

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Recently, we have seen a proliferation of maps visualising the global state of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, plus (LGBTQI+) rights. While they represent a productive advocacy tool for activists, we critically examine the politics embedded and reinforced by the way maps and indices are constructed and represented. By exploring the discrepancies between ILGA-Europe’s rainbow maps and the lived experiences of LGBTQI+ people within Europe, we argue that these maps reproduce hierarchies often mediated by Eurocentric understandings of linear progress while discounting the importance that an interpenetration of legal and social aspects has in evaluating national contexts in which LGBTQI+ persons live. The emphasis on legislative frameworks, thus, in part displaces lived experiences of LGBTQI+ people in Europe, projecting both queer utopias and dystopias onto different geographical localities and feeding into existing homonationalist discourses. With such findings, we argue against the fetishisation of legislation within LGBTQI+ activism and academia.

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Women’s experiences of conflict and their roles in its prevention have become an increasingly large focus for feminist scholars, particularly since the adoption of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in 2000. Iraq has been at the forefront of engagement with the Women, Peace and Security agenda, being the first Middle East state to adopt a national action plan. This article analyses Iraq’s Women, Peace and Security action plans, largely drafted by women’s civil society organisations, using the concept of the ‘continuum of violence’. In doing so, the article shows how a fuller breadth of violence is used by Iraqi women writing and working on Women, Peace and Security inside Iraq than what appears in Women, Peace and Security resolutions. The article therefore contributes to critical engagements with the Women, Peace and Security agenda by addressing two themes: the agenda’s limited capture of gendered violence in conflict; and the agenda’s top-down nature when it comes to reconceptualising the agenda, its limits and its opportunities.

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Fear and agency are complex, interrelated and gendered phenomena for the madres buscadoras, the women searching for the disappeared in Mexico. These women operate in a context of unrelenting, multisided violence. At the same time, they choose to engage in activism that puts them at heightened risk of violence at the nexus of criminal organisations, state corruption and insecurity. This article investigates how the madres navigate contexts of gendered violence in Veracruz, Mexico, to engage in expressions of complex gendered agency. It makes the argument that we can understand why the fear of violence does not necessarily lead to demobilisation or inaction when we locate their activism within a hierarchy of fears. By recognising that the fear of never knowing about their missing loved ones outweighs the fears of violence that they are exposed to on a day-to-day basis, we gain insight into why they choose ‘fight’, rather than ‘flight’.

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Although studies have found a lasting negative impact of the communist legacy on political attitudes in the post-communist region, the effect of this legacy on gender attitudes is less well researched. While post-communist countries share a history of women-friendly policies under communism, their socio-political paths diverged after the transition. We ask: do communist gender regimes have a lasting effect on gender role attitudes? We answer this question by comparing the attitudes of cohorts socialised under communism with the attitudes of the post-transition generation using Life in Transition III survey data. We find a distinct legacy effect on attitudes. Non-European Union communist cohorts have more progressive attitudes than the post-transition cohort. In the European Union, the attitudinal gender egalitarianism of the post-transition cohort is indistinguishable from the attitudes of communist cohorts, likely due to this cohort also experiencing gender equality promotion during socialisation. The findings support the need to continue gender equality promotion.

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This article presents an investigation into the lives and lived experiences of women who joined politics through quotas. In particular, it explores the transformative potential of a quota policy through the ‘subject position’ of women politicians in Nepal, especially those who had no prior background in politics before being elected to their first political positions. Using Bourdieu’s theory of capital, I reveal how political quotas have strengthened women’s overall capital, allowing them to improve their position in both their families and society. Quotas have created new roles for women. The power and prestige attached to these new roles have not only offered some immediate changes to these women’s lives, but also led to changing perceptions of women in politics, shifting the discourse from a view of women’s participation in politics as an exception to one of it as an entitlement. This article is based on a qualitative study carried out with women politicians in Nepal.

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The article emphasises the challenges in the implementation of gender equality-focused policies in military missions and demonstrates the backlash these policies can create in everyday social interaction in military missions. A qualitative method of thematic analysis was used to study 17 in-depth interviews with former civilian and military personnel in the International Security Assistance Force and Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. The discursive exploratory analysis displayed that normative masculine constructions foster an environment in which women are perceived as: a threat to the unit they are part of; disruptive to male bonding in the unit; an objectified body; and an essential part of the successful mission in Afghanistan. Gender equality-focused policies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization face resistance in implementation because they threaten resources perceived greatly important in the organisation: normative masculine constructions. The military fails in attempts to manage diversity, and the military culture further values and reinforces sameness.

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Violence towards elected representatives violates the personal integrity and freedom of representation of the municipal officeholders, thus potentially harming democracy at large. An original survey of Danish municipal council members’ experience of psychological, sexual and physical violence shows that two thirds have experienced at least one of the five types of psychological violence enquired about, while a third have experienced sexual and physical violence, respectively. More violence is experienced by women, the younger, those living on their own and those with larger TV exposure and social media visibility. However, except for sexual violence and being single, gender does not interact with these variables. Turning to the effect of violence, whether representatives feel that they have freedom of speech is negatively correlated with their experience of psychological and sexual violence. In the case of sexual violence, the effect is gendered. In sum, violence experience is skewed and may harm both descriptive and substantive representation.

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The media plays a prominent role in shaping individuals’ declared levels of political interest, but its role regarding gender differences remains largely unexplored. To what extent are media contents and their reflection of gender roles related to declared levels of political interest in men and women? This article argues that more egalitarian media environments, where a larger share of women are represented, should be associated with smaller gender differences in political interest. Data from the European Social Survey and the Global Media Monitoring Programme have been merged to test this argument. Results suggest that more women being reported shows some association with more minor differences between men’s and women’s declared levels of political interest. This difference is particularly present when the increase occurs in more hard-news-oriented media like the printed press and in topics like economic affairs, or when more women are quoted as experts, which are traditionally identified as more masculinised.

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