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
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.
Using a data set of 1.1 million speeches drawn from UK House of Commons debates during 1997–2017 and a combination of automated and manual content analysis, this study addresses three interrelated questions. First, to what extent are minoritised women constitutively represented in parliamentary debates? Second, which MPs do so? Third, how do MPs’ race and gender affect how they represent minoritised women? I find that minoritised women are mentioned exceptionally rarely in parliamentary debates. Furthermore, descriptive representatives are not only substantially more likely to mention minoritised women than other MPs, but they also improve the quality of representation by doing so in relation to a wider range of issues. Yet, paradoxically, white men’s descriptive over-representation means that they account for the vast majority of mentions of minoritised women. More broadly, I foreground the distinction between constitutive and substantive representation, highlighting the importance of distinguishing between speaking about and on behalf of.
The concept of ‘women’s interests’ has received a large amount of scholarly attention. In particular, the problematic assumption underpinning this concept – that women share interests – has been an object of much consideration. Yet, while scholarship on the substantive representation of women has today moved free of this assumption, three other assumptions have not been scrutinised to the same degree. These are: (1) that political interests are attached to social groups; (2) that women and men have different interests; and (3) that there are only two genders. This article argues that these three assumptions are problematic for feminist scholarship on substantive representation, which warrants replacing the attached ‘women’s interests’ with an alternative interest: the unattached ‘gender equality interests’. In addition, the article sets forth three distinct ways for future studies to operationalise the substantive representation of gender equality.
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’.
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.
This article argues that, given the centrality of gender for recent processes of autocratisation, it has become imperative to understand and theorise the conditions underpinning democratic resilience against opposition to gender equality. I conceptualise democratic resilience as the outcome of critical actors’ efforts to represent marginalised groups in the face of threats to existing gender equality rights. The case study is Romania’s 2020 ‘gender identity’ bill, which would have prohibited discussion of ‘gender’ within the educational system but was eventually ruled unconstitutional. I identify two key causal mechanisms through which civil society organisations were able to shape this outcome: framing, which emphasised the bill’s non-compliance with democratic norms and constitutional principles; and learning, which prompted a reflection by the two key institutional actors, that is, the president and the Constitutional Court, as to the importance of core democratic principles for politics and society in post-communist Romania.
ISIS is well known for its brutal mistreatment of those deemed ‘enemies’ and ‘infidels’. In the Kurdistan region of Iraq, having been abducted by ISIS in 2014, many Yazidi women were subjected to different types of violence: sexual, physical and mental. This study investigates how silence was employed by these women as a security strategy to survive their brutal mistreatment under ISIS. The use of silence as a security strategy challenges the assumption that silence is a sign of disempowerment. Drawing on feminist security studies, this study proposes an alternative analysis of security, agency and gendered violence; it demonstrates the need to recognise the complex strategies these Yazidi women developed to resist ISIS rule. It suggests that this approach may be used to critique established narratives about women in the Global South and reveal the under-reported security strategies women employ in conflict settings.
How do lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans persons imagine their own ageing in an exclusionary care regime? How does institutionalised exclusion constrain their ability to imagine ageing in a positive light? How, to what extent and by which means can they contest their exclusion from elderly care? This article presents an analysis of a mixed-methods study in Turkey that included 14 focus groups with 139 lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans persons in ten cities, and a nationwide online survey with 2,875 respondents. It offers the notion of an exclusionary care regime as a framework for studying care regimes through the lens of marginalised groups, specifically lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans persons. Taking Turkey as an example, the article demonstrates that an exclusionary care regime causes respondents to view ageing as a burden. In the absence of progressive socio-political change, lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or trans persons can think of contesting their exclusion from elderly care mostly through market- and asset-based solutions.
Feminist democratic representation is a new design for women’s group representation in electoral politics. We build on the design principles and practices of the 1990s’ presence theorists, who conceived of political inclusion as the presence of descriptive representatives and advocated for gender quota. Our second-generation design foregrounds women’s ideological and intersectional heterogeneity, and details a representative process that enacts three feminist principles: inclusiveness, responsiveness and egalitarianism. A new set of actors – the affected representatives of women – play formal, institutionalised roles in two new democratic practices: group advocacy and account giving. Together, these augmentations incentivise new attitudes and behaviours among elected representatives, and bring about multiple representational effects that redress the poverty of women’s political representation: elected representatives now know more, care more and are more connected to diverse women, including the most marginalised; and the represented are now more closely connected with, more interested in and better represented through democratic politics.
The gender-blind ‘workless’ frame has been increasingly prominent in UK welfare discourse in recent decades and has played a significant role in the political justification of Universal Credit – a key plank of UK welfare reform since 2013. Meanwhile, Universal Credit has been highlighted as problematic for gender equality. This article seeks to ‘fill in the middle’ between the use of the ‘workless’ frame in recent welfare discourse, including at the agenda-setting stage of Universal Credit, and the gendered implications of Universal Credit. It does this by analysing how the frame functions in government evaluation frameworks and impact assessments (including equality impact assessments), and in the implementation of Universal Credit (drawing on secondary analysis of interviews with claimants and focus groups with welfare practitioners). The analysis suggests that the ‘workless’ frame is promoting gender rowback by de-gendering welfare, devaluing care – particularly that performed by lone parents – and undermining the sharing of care in couple households.