Journal of International Women's Studies

Online ISSN: 1539-8706
Publications
Article
Incarcerated women are among the most vulnerable and perhaps the least studied populations in the US. Significant proportions of female inmates are substance users, and many living in unstable housing conditions or being homeless. Female inmates are often at high risk of engaging in sex exchange for drugs or housing needs. While a disproportionate number of incarcerated women have experienced childhood household adversities and maltreatments, the effects of these childhood experiences on psychosocial and behavioral outcomes of this population in later life. We apply a life course perspective to examine these pathways in a sample of incarcerated women in Cook County, Illinois. Findings demonstrated lasting, but differential, effects of household adversities and childhood abuse on subsequent life risks and opportunities among these women.
 
Article
No This article draws on my personal experience, and on the separate experiences of 'leaving heterosexuality' and of 'being disabled'. I have attempted to find common ground for action between these two groups by interrogating the experience of being sexual. I argue that heterosexuality functions as a social matrix, with exclusionary practices that operate in similar ways towards both groups. Mechanisms may be different, but the experience of exclusion is similar, and is based on similar practices. This article focuses on specific points in the exclusionary process, and illustrates similarities.
 
Article
This article explores the role of the local non-governmental association 'Mothers of Srebrenica' in the complex transitional justice processes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The association gathers women who survived the Srebrenica genocide in July 1995 and creates an important public space for the crying out of their grievances and lobbing for their goals. The 'Mothers of Srebrenica' also create a space for widows and displaced women to share their concerns and support each other. While the 'Mothers of Srebrenica' use the rhetoric of victimhood and motherhood whenever they speak out, I argue that they, in fact, challenge the notion of passive victims by the actions they have tirelessly undertaken over the last 13 years. With their resilience and activities, the 'Mothers of Srebrenica' have become known worldwide. Their existence and actions have generated a mixture of feelings: respect, regret and shame among not only those accountable for the crimes in Srebrenica, but also the wider international community. Yet, although 'Mothers of Srebrenica' use a variety of approaches to address past atrocities, it appears that their emphasis is on punitive justice which, they believe, is the only means to bring the peace that they have long yearned to their souls. Yes Yes
 
Article
The subject of menstruation is filled with powerful socio-cultural implications involving language, religion and gender relations. Yet, the topic is often relegated to silence, considered taboo, and strongly associated with impurity and shame. This schism between the natural reality of menstruation and its socio-cultural damnation highlights the marginal and oppressed condition of women who are considered inferior and impure in many cultures and religions for the mere fact of menstruating, despite ancient practices that validated and celebrated women's menarche. The multimedia project 13 lunas 13/13 moons 13 allows for the interactive exploration of these themes while reflecting upon the patriarchal foundations of the taboo of menstruation. This essay examines primarily the video 13 lunas 13, a video of testimonies by thirteen Spanish women from different generations and social backgrounds. Fear, shame, lack of sexual agency, are some of the common experiences expressed by the women interviewed, particularly among older generations. Along with these testimonies on sexuality and menstruation, this project seeks to collect and reveal euphemisms, myths and cultural practices that are being erased by global practices, while pointing to new technologies and attitudes towards menstruation. Other variables of this project include art installations, poetry, and an interface that allows the collection of testimonies via the Internet, reaching out to new generations of men and women wishing to expose an experience intrinsically related to their lives.
 
Article
Tunisia is widely considered to be the country in which the current round of major upheavals in North Africa and the Middle East began. This paper explores the most prominent instances of women's activism which have taken place in Tunisia in the time which has followed the revolution of 2011. Through analysis of the principal literature related to the subject and the information gathered as a result of fieldwork conducted in the capital city of Tunis in February 2013, the paper examines the most significant transformations which have arisen from the active participation of women in the uprising. The involvement of women in the demand for changes in Tunisia questions whether women's political engagement can be seen as an essential asset within Tunisian civil society organizations, and, if it can, this prompts us to go on to consider the implications of this also for the role of international aid funding (with specific reference to the European Union). Overall, the Tunisian uprising can be represented in terms of a remarkable case in which civil society, including the women's organizations, has played a useful and effective role at a political and social level, ensuring the emergence of a feasible alternative pathway.
 
Article
Tunisia has a unique set of family law codes that continue to operate from 1956 to the present day. The 1956 Code of Personal Status deals with crucial issues such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, alimony, child custody and adoption. The enactment of this code and Tunisian women's emancipation and its uniqueness in the Arab Muslim world can be attributed to a combination of various historical, political and social factors: the country's 'so-called' homogeneity, its particular colonial experience, and above all the country's modernization policy implemented by Tunisia's first president Habib Bourguiba. This article focuses on the early years of independence and the role played by Tunisia's first president in implementing those laws benefitting women and the society at large. It examines the Code, its prominence for the modern independent Tunisian society and the historical trajectory which led to its enactment. This article also focuses on the role played by early Tunisian intellectuals and social reformers who paved the way for the significant amendment of Islamic family laws, the enactment of the Code of Personal Status (The CPS) and the later construction of the post-colonial modern nation-state. The article investigates the radical attempt to modernize and reinterpret the Sharia jurisdiction through a rereading of this new set of laws as they came in Majallat Al-Ahwal Al Shakhsiya (The CPS) in an attempt to better understand the context in which it was promulgated and the reasons accounting for its success. The article utilizes a few secondary sources which document and scrutinize the roots of Tunisia's trajectory towards the advancement of women's causes. Throughout the analysis, I re-examine the code itself to better comprehend the newly promulgated civic rights and obligations granted to women by this revolutionary legal document.
 
Article
Unmediated representations of women's everyday subjective experiences of historical events are difficult to find in discourses about masculinity and femininity. Discussions often centre on normative expressions of sexual difference, explaining the ways in which patriarchy was reconstituted rather than focusing on women's experiences. Late nineteenth century strands of nationalist thought in the Bengal relied on gendered ideas about the nation, self, and society in their representations of womanhood, which served as a symbol of the nation. Various historians have explored the idealised versions of women that these discourses presented, but often these studies fail to examine portrayals of the subjective experiences of women who might have confronted these gendered ideological standpoints. This paper suggests that using film as an archive to explore depictions of female subjectivity can be useful, especially to feminist and gender researchers who are searching for new ways of conceptualising the everyday experience of women in the past. It raises questions about how, if ever, experience can be used as evidence in history, how portrayals of articulations of difference and resistance are helpful for writing gender history, and why film is a fruitful archive in which to imagine how women might have experienced and expressed their dissatisfaction with gender-normative roles within the patriarchal family setting. It discusses ideas about speaking and articulation in scholarship on women in the past, to posit that film is a useful place to imagine women's articulations of difference from the Other that patriarchal discourses would cast them as.
 
Article
Witchcraft accusations have led to the killings of elderly women in many parts of sub- Saharan Africa. For many years, the violence has had major effects on people's health. Witchcraft accusations have been the source of people's loss of limbs and deaths among elderly women in Africa. Although these problems have had effects on elderly women, there has been very little reconstruction of their history in Tanzania. Thus, the aim of this article is to rewrite the history of the vulnerability of the elderly women to witchcraft accusations among the Fipa of Sumbawanga district of Tanzania. This article focuses on the theme of the vulnerability of elderly women to witchcraft accusations in the context of Tanzanian women's history. The article examines conditions that led to the vulnerability of elderly women to witchcraft accusations among the Fipa. It also investigates the efficacy of the methods employed by the Tanzanian government in the suppression of witchcraft accusations in Sumbawanga. The data for this article were collected from primary and secondary sources. Primary data were accessed at the library of the University of Dar es Salaam, where Tanganyika Provincial Commissioners' Reports were gathered. Other primary sources were accessed at Tanganyika National Archive, where files and letters written by officials were consulted. I also obtained data through the use of interview. I interviewed government officials, missionaries and ordinary people who served in Sumbawanga district. These people had a lot of experience with the vulnerability of elderly women to witchcraft accusations in the area over time.
 
Article
This paper examines the under-researched and undervalued area of American women's prison zines. It discusses three publications created at the California Institute for Women, Frontera, during the 1970s, placing them in the wider contexts of prison reform and the women's movement. Through close analysis, it demonstrates the influences of, and connections to, the feminist print culture at the time and how groups such as the Santa Cruz Women's Prison Project enabled their publication and influenced their ideology. Examining women's prison zines can contribute to conversations about women's liberation by offering new perspectives on what I call 'collective autobiography', and giving voice to an obscured and forgotten community of women.
 
Article
This article presents a summary of the qualitative data from research carried out in post-conflict Liberia by Isis-WICCE, a women's international non-government organisation, in conjunction with the Ministry of Gender and Development of Liberia and Women in Peace-building Network, WIPNET. Analysis of research findings detail women's experiences of conflict and the serious effects of sexual violence and torture on their physical and psychological health. The paper also describes the omission of women from justice and rehabilitation processes. In support of women participants' views, the authors' recommend that funding is urgently required for the provision of holistic and sustainable, gender- sensitive services. Additional recommendations are made with respect to health, justice and policy changes in line with enhancing women survivor's roles and utilising their skills and resilience.
 
Article
Employing a feminist lens that places emphasis on women's agency South African feminists have challenged the dominant narrative of hapless women who need external saviours to climb out of poverty. In particular, black South African feminists have drawn attention to the appropriation and deployment of both indigenous and other concepts and practices by women to fight poverty. This article employs these perspectives to interpret the importance of rotating saving schemes in South Africa. It explores the debate about women's economic, communityparticipation and entrepreneurship strategies with reference to the Stokvel and other rotating saving-schemes (e.g. mashonisa) to improve the status of women. It argues that most African women and their independence-found access to economic opportunities and wealth status enabled them to transcend post-Apartheid economic deprivation and carry through their battle for economic recognition and survival through overt and covert agency symptomatic of their Apartheid-era liberation war strategies. South African women living in poverty sought to help themselves, and how they did that brings out novel ways to survive, and illustrates that they are quite 'bankable' as they can save, borrow, invest in their own enterprises, use micro-finance and other schemes to repay their loans and meet immediate needs (e.g. school fees, healthcare). Their effort to address poverty is important because it helps avoid a stereotype picture that Africans are just poor and cannot change or anticipate their situation themselves. The paper finds that whilst most South African women were poor, they saw themselves 'on the verge of conquering poverty'. African women epitomized the confidence in this economic rhetoric when they embarked on Stokvel activities to ensure their 'triumph over poverty'.
 
Article
The following discussion is based on an extensive survey of UK mainstream television news reports broadcast between September and December 2001 during the military attacks on Afghanistan, known as Operation Enduring Freedom. Also conducted was a survey of British radio and print media published and produced within the specified period. I argue that the 2001 news media coverage of Afghanistan was an important precursor to current debates about Muslim women in Europe and the United States since it highlights many of the contradictions and hypocrisies housed within western public discourses on women's rights. Detailing numerous examples, I contend that the prevalent theme of women's liberation on international news agendas did nothing to alter the prevailing norm of news media coverage, which denied Afghan women access to media spaces throughout Operation Enduring Freedom. Afghan women were invariably the subjects rather than the agents of such debates. Moreover, regardless of their gender, the vast majority of journalists reporting the 2001 conflict failed to recognise and confront the co-option of women's rights for the purpose of justifying military aggression on humanitarian grounds. I argue that this has grave implications, not merely for future reporting on Afghan women, but for the widespread practice by mainstream politicians and their associates of co-opting the discourse of women's rights to justify military conflict.
 
Article
The aim of this paper is to examine how a language of 'women's rights' entered into foreign policy discourses of the Bush Administration in the period of 2001-2004. Through a discursive analysis of speeches, press releases, interviews and written documents, I find that feminist-inspired language and concepts entered into the mainstream discourse on numerous occasions throughout this period, though usually in the service of other foreign policy objectives. In this analysis, I identify three primary 'dialogical frames' in which such references appear, labelling these: 'Us vs. Them', 'The Active Leader', and 'The Moral Community'. Many feminists have argued that these kinds of references are disingenuous 'gender decoys'. While politically motivated calculation clearly played a role in this discourse, I argue that ideology and identity must also be taken into account as influencing factors. In conclusion, while problematic, the use of such language by the Bush Administration (or any government for that matter) also presents a discursive opening through which more substantive change may be achieved.
 
Article
This article examines the victimization and role of Syrian children in the Syrian Revolution 2011. The study explores the victimization of Syrian children at the hands of both the regime and the rebels. I claim that through engaging in competing performances and representations of the nation, both the regime and the opposition victimize Syrian children. Nevertheless, the art projects undertaken by nonviolence activists have proven to help children heal and to cope with their predicaments brought on by the crisis. The poetry, paintings, drawings, and songs produced by these children is the best means they have of representing their victimization and their role in the revolution, and communicating their perspectives on the Syrian nation today. I argue that by producing art that conveys their perception of the revolution, Syrianchildren reclaim their identities as citizens of Syria.
 
Article
The Mental Healthcare Act, 2017 aims to provide for mental health care and services for persons with mental illness in India and to protect, promote and fulfill the rights of such persons during delivery of mental health care and services. Chapter V of the Act enumerates the rights of persons with mental illness, including the right to equality, right to confidentiality, the right to protection from cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in any mental health establishment (which includes the right to proper clothing so as to protect such person from exposure of his/her body to maintain his/her dignity, and the right to be protected from all forms of physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse), right to community living, etc. This paper analyses the provisions of the Act from the perspective of rights of women with mental illness in need of mental health care, and draws a comparison with the relevant provisions of the United Nation Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Comparison is also made with the existent reality reported in legal literature, the media and the field work undertaken by the author in India.
 
Article
This work focuses on the process by which two Black women with little resources and education contributed to the development of community. These women were born in the mid- 20th century and their narratives are included in the Black Women Oral History Project. Discovered here is that there was a path to community development that these women followed which involved their desire to help, the recognition and use of churches and other community organizations to implement change in their communities.
 
Article
Costa Rica is regarded as the "top democracy" in Latin America, exceeding basic developmental standards in most categories. The nation's achievement is evidenced by women's strong enrollment and retention rates within the nation's education system. However, Costa Rica's overwhelming gender disparity in the labor force reveals significant developmental deficiencies and contradicts fundamental democratic ideals. The pervasion of an "electric fence" mentality stunts women's socio-economic engagement by restraining them to traditionally prescribed gender roles. To better understand women's economic detachment, special attention must be paid to those institutional practices that perpetuate cultural norms and discriminatory tendencies. Costa Rica's education system has a historic proclivity toward social conditioning, having undergone substantial reform to embed democratic allegiance into its national discourse. Socialized norms, imbedded in the education system, have discouraged women's economic aspirations and fostered gender disparity. The following essay integrates observational fieldwork and research to analyze trends in Costa Rican women's socio-economic engagement.
 
Article
The role of women in the Arab Spring uprisings requires special attention. Indeed, women participated alongside men in recent political movements and were actively involved in shaping the outcomes of these processes. The case of Bahrain is especially interesting. Even though the Bahraini "Day of Rage" movement was ultimately marginalized at large, it had unlikely consequences for Bahraini women. As female empowerment has been a high priority on the government's agenda, participation of women in the public sphere serves important functions and in the aftermath of Bahraini uprising it got an additional boost. The aim of this paper is to assess how the role of Bahraini women has been interwoven with political liberalization reforms in the first decade on the 21st century and assess its importance for the Bahraini authorities. Secondly, it aims at analyzing the outcomes of Arab Spring uprising for Bahraini women. It asserts that as the pro-government and anti-government movements took to the streets, social divisions of Bahrainis deepened and equally, affected female activists. Ultimately, the article ends with a discussion over the prospects of female empowerment by pro-democracy movements in the Middle East.
 
Article
Women's leadership significantly contributes to building high-performing organizations. However, challenges with balancing work and family responsibilities are inhibiting them from exerting their fullest potential towards this end. This study aims at investigating the challenges women leaders in Addis Ababa face in balancing the demands of their organizations with that of their families. A sample of eight women leaders of positions from large and middle scale organizations were taken using a purposive sampling technique. In-depth interviews were used to gather information for the study, and a phenomenological qualitative study was applied to analyze the data. The study identified some organizational, societal, and individual factors that challenge women leaders in balancing their work and family responsibilities. Work overload, cultural and social norms, family responsibilities, and upbringing related behaviors of the interviewees themselves were among the major challenges in maintaining their work-family balance. This study contributes insights into work-family balance theory and practice, by presenting women leaders' voices about their work-life challenges as expressed in their own words, from their own testimonies. It indicates that much needs to be done on the part of organizations, society, family, and women themselves for women leaders to have the desired level of work-family balance.
 
Article
This article examines the religious and architectural history of the Royal Abbey of Fontevrault, in the French province of Anjou, investigating the active and deliberate role women played in shaping the physical and symbolic space of this female monastic community. Founded in the early 12 th century and active until the French Revolution, the abbey was a rare institution in which administrative power was in the hands of women, enabling them to exert almost complete control over the built environment. The nature and impact of this control is examined by tracing the development of the abbey from an initial settlement of rough dwellings into a large monastic complex comprising five distinct communities. By exploring the planning and building of Fontevrault in the context of typical monastic design as well as contemporaneous Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque architecture, the article reveals the extent and significance of this gendered construction of space.
 
Article
This article examines the influence of colonialist instructional cinema on modern African cinema production. The four films--Neria, Everyone's Child,Wend Kuuni, and Taafe Fanga-- differ in national origin, thematic approaches, and cinematic technique, but they share in displaying an element of instructional cinema. The instructional nature of the films asserts the value of women in postcolonial African societies, who, in the space of the films as in real life, are the double-colonized subject.
 
Article
This essay attempts to look at the unfortunate circumstances that surround women in Ireland in regards to abortion. Rather than looking at the pro- and anti-life arguments which are commonly discussed when approaching abortion issues, I have chosen to concentrate on the legal and ethical matters in Ireland that seem to have control over Irish women's bodies and consequently their personhood. Through the investigation of the changing Irish laws brought about by the Grogan and X cases, it is possible to understand how religious and patriarchal sentiment has continued to suppress women's personal choice in regards to abortion. By looking at the support for Roman Catholic morals in Ireland, I suggest that Irish women remain in a weak position with regards to equal life choices due to the fear of public shame that is associated with abortion and aim to show how as a result their voices have been silenced.
 
Article
Feminist strategising on abortion has been dominated by a "pro-choice" frame. Increasingly, however, pro-choice discourse is being viewed as inadequate to meet contemporary and complex feminist aims and analyses, in particular due to the individualising ontological framework upon which it appears to be based. The work of Judith Butler is one location where such concerns have been explored and an alternative approach based upon a renewed analysis of the concept of "life" has been asserted. Foregrounding the fundamental precariousness of intersubjective life and opening the socio-political conditions sustaining precarious life to democratic public engagement carries significant implications for feminist strategising for Butler, and envisages a reconceptualisation of debate on abortion. In this article Butler's work on life will be combined with her theoretical tool of the frame to explore space which may exist within pro-choice strategising to potentially work towards such a renewed approach to life in social debate on abortion. This space may be used to rethink feminist strategising on abortion beyond pro-choice discourse, and presents an accessible starting point from which to do so. In carrying out this analysis insights will be drawn from feminist advocacy and activism in the contingent location of Northern Ireland where recent employment of a health frame and a rights frame demonstrate instances of pro-choice strategising which may be reiterated to shift feminist activism towards more radical engagement with life as a precarious social process demanding critical attention.
 
Article
Do forces that impacted feminist beliefs in the past, such as gender and generation, impact feminist beliefs today within the context of abortion policy support? While the abortion rights issue was framed during the feminist movement era as a feminist issue, it is now clearly framed along partisan and ideological lines. Public opinion on issues that percolated through the feminist movement and identified as feminist issues in the past may no longer be viewed as feminist issues today. The abortion rights issue was chosen because of the oft-held perception that it is solely a women's issue. The strong association of abortion rights with the feminist movement makes opinion on abortion rights an appropriate domain in which to analyze the relative impact of gender, generation and feminist beliefs on policy support. Data from the 2004 American National Election Study showed that neither gender nor generation achieved a significant impact on feminist beliefs. Men's and women's exposure to the feminist movement, the ideals that the movement sought, and certain policies advanced by the movement, such as abortion rights, achieve disparate impact across generations among women and among men. These findings are critical when one questions how feminist policy questions will be approached and responded to by the public and political elites in the future as feminist beliefs may be a less meaningful precursor to both feminist policy support and issues framed in feminist terms than they have been in the past.
 
Article
Anorexic narratives share the thesis that compulsive behaviours like eating disorders are determined by a strong existential component fuelled by women's paradoxical position in present day capitalist western culture. After a review of social and psychological factors that play a significant role in the development of the disorders, this essay explores the representation of anorexia nervosa in three different first-person narratives. By portraying the psychological intricacies of the illness, these texts provide valuable information regarding its aetiology and cure in the line of recent bio-medical research on eating disorders that stresses the need to treat the disease as a symptom of a deeper emotional distress. In short, patients and characters manage to overcome the illness when they acknowledge a sense of constitutive absence as the root of their disease and learn to live with the ensuing need for identity definition.
 
Article
Women constitute forty six (46) percent of the economically active population in South Africa. Although both South African, African men and women are well represented in the economically active population, questions arise when it comes to their presence and effective representation at higher decision-making levels. Indeed, while African men and White women are present, White men dominate in top management. Through a gender analysis of current data on the labour force, this paper examines women?s representation in top decision-making for all employers (government and business) in South Africa. In discussing the trends, the paper highlights gender disparities in the advancement of women into top decision-making positions. The analysis further explores and identifies areas that need redress in bridging the gender divide in top management not only because of employment equity requirements, but also for the good business sense it makes to include women in leadership. The contribution of this paper lies in its identification of the barriers to women's advancement in business leadership and the recommendations for policy and practice both at the micro- (firm) and macro- (national-) levels.
 
A model to illustrate women's understanding of the effects of domestic abuse; the impact on their identity, sense of self and resilience
Article
Research on women who have experienced domestic abuse indicates that they feel marginalized; stigma, shame and fear about the response of services stop women from seeking the support they need. The current study aimed to explore the unique perspectives of women who have experienced domestic abuse in order to gain an understanding of their experiences, their perceived identity, sense of self and resilience. Interviews were conducted with eight women who had experienced domestic abuse and transcripts were analysed using grounded theory methodology. Findings indicated that domestic abuse had a significant impact on the women interviewed. In particular, the ongoing relationship the women had with their abusive partner, due to contact with the children, served to perpetuate their identity as an abused woman. The study also found, however, that the women were able to utilise resources that increased their resilience. They were striving for a normal life, prioritising their role as a mother and attempting to reconstruct their own identity through the assumption of new roles.
 
Article
The Domestic Violence Act of Zimbabwe was enacted in response to an escalation in cases of domestic violence. In spite of the enactment of the Act, domestic violence continues and there is limited utilisation of the provisions of the law. This paper seeks to identify factors that militate against the utilisation of provisions of the Act by victims of domestic violence. Twentytwo Christian women who were abused by their male intimate partners participated in the study on which this paper is based. A qualitative design, influenced by the feminist perspective, was adopted for this study. Purposeful sampling was applied in selecting participants who took part in in-depth semi-structured interviews. Participants were given an opportunity to share their individual experiences. Data were analysed thematically. The study revealed that religious, cultural and economic reasons prevented most victims of domestic violence from seeking legal recourse. It was recommended that successful implementation of laws relating to domestic violence needs a coordinated response from all sectors. Recommendations for further research were also made.
 
Article
All over the world, several million women die each year, and 90% of them in developing countries from pregnancy and childbirth related causes (World Health Organisation Magazine on Women's Health, 1995). Nearly all of these are preventable, yet in Cameroon, this is far fetched. This study questions why women die from these causes? Is it due to government neglect, and/or women's callous attitude toward pregnancy and/or the patriarchal control of women? Are healthcare facilities lacking or rudimentary, inadequately staffed, and/or expensive? This study argues that limited access to healthcare facilities drains women's reproductive health down the spiral in Munyenge-Cameroon Via open-ended semi-structured interview guide questions data was solicited from 40 pregnant women between 15-45 years (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998). Interviews followed a topic guide and exploited interviewees' different views focused on different themes to elicit reflective accounts which enabled respondents talked freely about highly personal issues which rekindled their memories on reproductive health problems due to limited access to healthcare facilities. All interviews were tape-recorded in 'Pidgin English' (a lingua franca) to eschew questions being misconstrued if asked in English, and this tremendously enhanced data reliability and validity. The data was transcribed into English to ease data interpretations, explanations, discussions and analyses. The findings provide a comprehensive picture of healthcare service mismanagement of facilities, men's control of women due to socio-cultural tenets, financial vulnerability of women hence limit their access to health care facilities.
 
Article
This article is about the legal challenges and difficulties of queer and trans reproduction with ART in three purposely selected European states: Sweden, Poland and Spain, representing the north, east and west of Europe. Isabell Engeli and Christine Rothmayr Allison's (2017) continuum model of classifying countries according to their permissive, intermediate or restrictive regulations for ART access serves as an example how a national comparative analysis on ART policies is established. However, this framework needs to be adjusted to address the regulations pertaining to queer and trans people's reproductive, parenthood, and partnership opportunities. Thus, the queer and trans model I propose includes somewhat different concerns and criteria than Engeli and Rothmayr Allison's such as which terminologies for the parents are available on the birth certificate. The overall aim is to provide insights into the different regulations regarding ART in the three countries here discussed, and to suggest solutions for a more inclusive European legal framework for ART access.
 
Article
Women in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) do not face a single social ideology that opposes change. It is incorrect to conclude that Islam per se is predominantly responsible for limiting women's access to resources, employment,reproductive health, and social services. It is critical, however, to understand how Islam is used as an instrument of control in the hands of the governing elite; when expedient, Islam and historical traditions of patriarchy supply a framework and a justification for impeding or limiting women's progress. At times, it has also been used in concert with government aims to slow population growth or secure female workers. Islam plays a role in regulating women's social status, however, a multi-dimensional approach that assesses demographic changes, economic and political realities, and regional instability offers a broader insight into the issue of women's status in the MENA region.
 
Article
Of great importance to policy makers is to know if females and poor households benefit more or less than the males or rich households from an expansion in access to public education. This is marginal benefit incidence of public spending which is rarely determined. In this paper, we determine the extent to which an expansion in public education is effective in reducing gender gaps in enrollments and thus, poverty in Cameroon. Government subsidies directed towards higher education are poorly targeted and the poorest income groups receive less than the richest income groups and indeed favor those who are better off. Similarly, gender disparity in access to public schools is higher at the tertiary level and lowest at primary level. Further, contrary to earlier studies which found that primary education expansion mostly benefits the poor, the present paper found that increased subsidy to primary and secondary education is captured by the middle income groups and as such cannot be good as a program that can be directed (explicitly) at fighting poverty. The difference may come from the fact that their enrollment estimates lump together private and public schools enrollments. It is difficult to think of a policy at which private operators will want to expand on their schooling projects.
 
Article
In West Africa, girls' enrollment in primary and secondary schools has significantly increased since the 1980's; however, there is still a great disparity between male and female enrollment and participation. This paper will cover the lasting influences of the gap between male and female education accessibility in the country of Guinea. Issues such as teen marriage, gender based violence, funding, and infrastructure will be discussed. Alternatives to address these issues will be compared, focusing heavily on what the Guinean population can accomplish themselves, without generous help from the outside. Solutions to this problem include addressing the cultural bias against putting girls in school, eradicating gender based violence, bettering infrastructure deficiencies, and increasing female role models. This paper combines personal experience as well as empirical research to provide the solutions to this problem. Recommended solutions are: addressing the cultural bias against girls in school, eradicating gender based violence, improving infrastructure, and increasing the presence of female role models.
 
Article
Concern about persecution of person(s) accused of witchcraft practices has long been recognized as a major issue in sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria, the persecution of elderly women suspected to be witches is predominantly widespread, and has been identified as one of the most important obstacle to the attainment of the December, 1993 Declaration of the UN General Assembly on elimination of violence against women on the continent. Torturing and various forms of violence against elderly women accused of witchcraft without evidence against them implies major infringements of their fundamental Human Rights as enshrined in Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which stipulates that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment. Despite this and other similar instruments, persecution of elderly women suspected of witchcraft remains unabated in Nigeria. Furthermore, there is little scholarly work and insufficient government policies in Nigeria to address this issue. This paper is an attempt to bridge this gap.
 
Article
Forces of globalization, local culture, and Islam continuously inform one another and dynamically manifest in cultures across the world. Scholars often assume that these influences may have distinct and independent effects. However, we argue that these global forces occur simultaneously and they may contradict or complement each other along a spectrum within Aceh, Indonesia. The manifestations and responses vary depending on the nature of the interactions of global and local factors. This spectrum represents various ways in which women negotiate identity and agency, specifically within the context of the implementation of Shari'ah Law. This research investigates the specific ways in which women's identities influence and are influenced by the globalization of feminism, matrifocal traditions, and Islamic veiling practices in Aceh. In the summer of 2012, the authors conducted field research in Aceh, Indonesia through interviews and observations. These included over 70 participants and 20 organizations which varied in formality and size. The interview participants include: activists, academicians, spiritual leaders, government officials, law enforcement agents, university students, and other community members from both rural and urban areas.
 
Article
This article draws on Foucauldian feminist theory to conceptualize separating from violent male partners by women as an act of resistance. Thus conceptualized, leaving takes on a new meaning as a strategy used by women to disrupt abusive power relations, but not necessarily to end their relationships. It is argued that attempts by women to transform their lives through separation needs to be located within a wider social context and that this context needs to analyzed from the vantage point of power. Such analysis points to post-separation identities and needs as significant sites of struggle between women and members of their social network. The exercise of power within these broader social contexts has important consequences for the effectiveness with which women can use separation to resist abusive male partners; hence, researchers and practitioners in the field need to pay much more attention to these relationships and the meanings given to abuse and leaving within these relationships.
 
Article
2 This paper reports on the gendered impacts of Honduras' neoliberal agrarian legislation within the context of tourism development. It draws on ethnographic research with the Afro-indigenous Garifuna to demonstrate how women have been most affected by land privatization on the north coast of Honduras. Garifuna communities are matrifocal and land had historically been passed through matrilineal lines. As the coastal land market expands, Garifuna women have lost their territorial control. The paper also treats Garifuna women's activism as they resist coastal development strategies and shifts in landholding. While women have been key figures in the Garifuna movement to title and reclaim lost ancestral land, the movement as a whole has yet to make explicit the gendered dimensions of the land struggle. The neglect may be attributed to the activists' adoption of an indigenous rights discourse.
 
Article
In Ethiopia a woman's identity is linked to her family and the prescribed gender role as a mother and home-maker, yet throughout Ethiopia's history there are examples of women who have roles that extend beyond the home and family into public, political life. This paper briefly describes this dominant gender identity of Ethiopian women before charting the changes to Ethiopian politics and women's place within them. It discusses how the shift to democratic politics opened new spaces for women's civil society activism. However, more recent political moves towards greater repression of civil society have closed the space for women's public, political activism, leaving the future of women's public role in question.
 
Article
In Uganda, various stake holders including the government, NGOs, and women activists have undeniably played important roles in the combat for gender equality in primary education. However, there is evidence that success has not yet been realized. This article is based on research conducted to discover why gender inequalities in Uganda's Universal Primary Education persist despite deliberate measures to eradicate them. Two questions are addressed, namely: does HIV/AIDS contribute to the persistence of gender inequality in rural areas? What is the importance of linking theory and practice in women's activism in such a context? The findings reveal that HIV/AIDS affects household access to essential livelihood assets prompting responses and pathways incompatible with girls' schooling. These included girls' involvement in sex for economic gains, which obviously exposed them to the risk of contracting HIV. A vicious cycle of HIV/AIDS and gender inequality therefore exists despite women's protracted engagement in activism even in the era of HIV/AIDS. I argue that there is a need to refocus women's activism towards more practical rather than theoretical engagement. Apparently, there has been too much theorizing about the need to perceive the achievement of gender equality as a social justice issue. Such a perception must be accompanied by corresponding practice rather than just rhetoric. For example, the vicious cycle of HIV/AIDS and inequality could possibly be broken by a radical feminist movement capable of, not only advocating for, but also instituting practical measures to eradicate gendered discrimination at the household level to begin with. In addition, there is a need for the provision of better HIV/AIDS medical care and children's school requirements particularly in rural areas. There after, we shall comfortably count the achievements of women activism for educational gender equity in Uganda and Africa at large.
 
Article
This essay analyzes the engagement of Arab feminist activisms online, most notably during the citizen revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, and, specifically, women's use of online social networking to aid social change. Building on research examining how Arab activists and activist organizations, including feminist organizations, mobilize, produce knowledge, and develop and share resources online and, in particular, drawing from research on Arab activisms and social media this study aims to understand how online activist discourses function, both locally and globally. To do so, we utilize a schema of information production and consumption devised to analyze activist engagement and citizen journalism, particularly the negotiation of communication messages by various agents through multiple stages of transmission and dissemination (Newsom, Lengel, & Cassara, C, 2011). We look at the ideal of local knowledge as it is transformed into global knowledge, and how the messages are open to manipulation and bias through the various stages of mediation and gatekeeping cited in the framework. Through the application of this framework, we can see how gendered messages are constructed, essentialized, reconstructed, and made invisible by the consumer media system.
 
Factors limiting the women's presence in urban spaces
Factors and Indicators Related to Responsive Space among Women
Defining different types of women's outdoor activities and the spaces for spending leisure time
Elements attracting women to the environment
Responsibilities and constraints affecting women's presence
Article
Neighborhood spaces are regarded as the main arenas for women's social interactions. Thus, women should be completely comfortable in these spaces. Nonetheless, some studies have indicated that women's presence and activities in such spaces are both prevented or decreased, and accordingly gendered space is established. Gendered spaces play a significant role in gender identity and roles. Thus, it is necessary to identify the factors which formed various spaces. It seems that physical factors which make spaces non-responsive for women, along with sociocultural factors such as attitudes and social norms can influence women's activities and their presence in neighbourhood spaces. To better understand this phenomenon, this paper reports on a study of two neighborhoods in Tehran, Iran: Imamzadeh Yahya, which is governed by dominant religious norms and the Zargandeh neighbourhood, where modern, non-traditional norms dominate. In order to evaluate physical and social factors, observations and semi-structured interviews were employed. First, the researchers recorded the type of women's activities and presence in formal, public streets in the selected neighborhoods throughout the day, in the morning, afternoon and evening. Collected data were analyzed data using qualitative methods. Subsequently, 20 women's personal narratives from each neighborhood were collected and analyzed. The results indicated that both physical and socio-cultural factors play a significant role in the times of women's presences, the types of activities they engaged in and specific places where women gathered. In addition, observations indicated that the expression of social norms about gender identity prevented women from gathering in the neighborhoods in traditional spaces. In Imamzadeh, the presence of men who accepted traditional women's roles such as motherhood lead to a decrease in women's presence. However, the reverse results were obtained in the modern space.
 
Article
This article is an investigation of women's self-defense courses in postcommunist Poland. I focus on WenDo, a women's self-defense seminar which is based on feminist principles and which seeks to empower women through changes in body culture: i.e. their physical capabilities, posture, demeanor and vocalizations when in a position of interpersonal threat or danger. Through an ethnographic study of this self-defense method, I show how WenDo's pedagogy is designed to lead to these changes. In addition, I question whether WenDo can be conceptualized as a form of women's empowerment which is disconnected from an organized feminist movement and is based on individualized self-improvement. Although most WenDo organizers and instructors are self-identifying feminists, most participants are wary of feminism and are invested in identities which privilege traditional femininity and domesticity. Therefore, WenDo limits its engagement with feminism in two ways: first, the pedagogy of empowerment in WenDo seminars emphasizes the strengths and limitations of women as an essentialized category. Secondly, the recommendations of WenDo generally focus on the danger women face from strangers on the street as opposed to violence within the family faced by a greater number of women. Despite these limitations, widespread participation of women in WenDo may constitute a culturally appropriate way of addressing women's status in an environment that is largely hostile to feminist organization.
 
Article
The paper is a qualitative analysis of the status of women and women in politics and administration in Nepal Himalaya. The paper reviews data on women in civil service and in administrative levels. Looking at women in Nepali politics, policy on women, and women in administration, the paper highlights some social and cultural issues that have "othered" women as the "second sex." As the country is heading towards modernity, gender friendly approaches are being instituted. Although some data reflects the progress of women's status and their increasing political and administrative participation, the data is insufficient to predict if there is democratic gender practices in political and administrative levels. The political and administrative culture of Nepal Himalaya can be changed only by promoting gender practices and by deconstructing gender images in administrative culture. This is possible through a representative bureaucracy and an enforcement of democratic policies. The paper will discuss the social constructionist view of policy, gender, and culture and how the deconstruction of gender images help women better their administrative positions.
 
Article
Inclusive decision-making is necessary in terms of both legitimacy and good policy outcomes. Recognizing this, closing persistent gender gaps in public life has emerged as a critical policy issue as countries increase their efforts to foster inclusive growth and build trust and confidence in public institutions while working towards the SDGs. The public administration determines the manner in which political and economic decisions are implemented and how budgets are planned and spent. Additionally, it is a primary employer for women in many developing countries - particularly in the Arab world. In some countries, women have in fact surpassed parity in terms of public administration employment but still lag far behind the 30% target in leadership positions. Balanced total employment among women and men is important but it is equally important to have women dispersed throughout all the different sectors of administrative governance, as well as equitably represented in all levels of decision-making. Women tend to outnumber men in general positions and decrease significantly in number further up the grade ladder. In addition to the glass ceiling that women face in the public sector, there also appears to be a strong trend of horizontal profiling: "glass walls". Women in the public sector are primarily involved in the traditionally feminized sectors of health, education and social services and almost absent from other sectors such as security and foreign affairs. The status quo represents a challenge to achieving SDGs 5, 8 and 16 and the biggest impediment to adjusting the situation is the absence of relevant data. This paper will examine the gender gap in the public administrations of Arab countries; analyze trends and policy with the ultimate aim of contributing to the development of tracking mechanisms for gender equality in the public administration.
 
Article
This study investigated the self-perception of female educational administrators in public post-primary schools in Edo State, Nigeria. It examined the appointment of public post-primary educational administrators, determined by qualifications to the position and considered factors such as the future career aspirations of female administrators, resistance of men to women advancing to the field, and stereotypes or discrimination. The researcher constructed the instrument used in this study, titled Personnel Management Inventory (PMI). It was validated using expert opinion approach. Major findings indicated that: 1. Women were highly discriminated against in appointment and promotion, and 2. Women were required to stay longer in service before they were appointed to the position of educational administrators. This study showed that there is gender discrimination and all policy makers, government and all concerned individuals who want the country to develop, therefore should discourage it.
 
Article
An epidemiological survey was conducted into the presence of toxic chemicals in soaps and cosmetics used by 200 adolescent female students between 17 and 26 years of age from a Nigerian university, The University of Benin, Benin City. Most of these cosmetics, which included creams, lotions and soaps, were imported from Europe. 20% of these young girls had used cosmetics to lighten their skin for between two months to two years and claimed that they had some irritations. Another 40% used a mixture of cosmetics and soaps in combination and their skins were burnt during the period. Over 66% used medicated soaps which they claimed were very good on their skin, but 17% of these cosmetics contain hydroquinone while 14% and 35% of the soaps contain potassium mercuric iodide. The presence of these chemicals, (hydroquinone and mercuric iodide), which had already been banned worldwide in cosmetics and soaps must be viewed with serious concern, especially when most of the users claimed that they were ignorant of the health implications involved. Government agencies controlling the regulations and importation of these pharmaceutical products should ensure that Nigeria does not become a dumping ground for such undesirable products, which can become carcinogenic on the skin after long-term use. Follow-up action on educating these young girls on the health implications involved in the use of these pharmaceutical products is highly recommended.
 
Article
The importance of calcium for strong bones has long been recognized. It is now also known that adequate calcium intake helps reduce high blood pressure and lessens the symptoms of premenstrual tension as well as possibly protecting against bowel cancer. Over the last several decades, researchers have learnt a great deal about how a nutritionally balanced diet during childhood and adolescence works to prevent the onset of damaging adult diseases. One long - lasting effect of nutritional imbalance during adolescence is osteoporosis, a bone-crippling disease characterized by low bone mass and an increased bone fragility. Once recognized primarily as an elderly woman's disease, osteoporosis is now being acknowledged as a partially preventable 'adolescent' disease because the occurrence of osteoporosis is influenced by bone mass attained during the first three decades of life, as well as the amount of bone lost after menopause. An optimal calcium intake during adolescence, when 50 percent of adult skeletal mass is formed decreases the risk of the crippling fractures caused by osteoporosis. This study examines the health implications on the declining calcium intake in female adolescents from the University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria. Well-structured, in-depth questionnaires were distributed to 500 adolescent female students to access their calcium intake from the foods they eat. The results showed that many adolescent females avoid dairy products, the best source of calcium, because of the perception that all dairy products are fat - laden foods. Others replace milk with regular or diet soda, unconcerned about the "empty calories" or limited nutritional value of soda. Some are not aware of the serious, long -lasting health implications of inadequate calcium consumption. Most do not think they will ever become one of the 26 million women that suffer from osteoporosis today. Though the threat of osteoporosis may be in the far - off future for many female teens, this study recognizes the immediate need to reverse their inadequate calcium intake. A public health campaign geared toward increasing their calcium consumption by encouraging them to consume nature's most calcium rich food: milk, is highly recommended.
 
Top-cited authors
Ann Phoenix
  • University College London Institute of Education
Avtar Brah
  • Birkbeck, University of London
Abigail C. Saguy
  • University of California, Los Angeles
Sara R Curran
  • University of Washington Seattle
Helen Liebling
  • Coventry University