Power, Gender and Social Change in Africa
Gender plays a hugely significant and too often under-considered role in predicting how accessible resources such as education, wage-based employment, physical and mental health care, adequate nutrition and housing will be to an individual or community.
According to a 2001 World Bank report titled Engendering Development—Through Gender Equality in Rights, Resources, and Voice, enormous disparities exist between men and women in terms of basic rights and the power to determine the future, both in Africa and around the globe. A better understanding of the links between gender, public policy and development outcomes would allow for more effective policy formulation and implementation at many levels. This book, through its discussion of the challenges, achievements and lessons learned in efforts to attain gender equality, sheds light on these important issues.
The book contains chapters from an interdisciplinary group of scholars, including sociologists, economists, political scientists, scholars of law, anthropologists, historians and others. The work includes analysis of strategic gender initiatives, case studies, research, and policies as well as conceptual and theoretical pieces.
With its format of ideas, resources and recorded experiences as well as theoretical models and best practices, the book is an important contribution to academic and political discourse on the intricate links between gender, power, and social change in Africa and around the world.
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Chapters eleven and twelve examine gender, human rights, customary law and the impact of traditional values on gender relations. Women face some of the greatest challenges in the labor and production sectors.
According to Morna (2004b, 250), “the reason Seychelles is different is [that] its particular history has led to a more open society in which women have traditionally played an active role in public affairs. Simply put, the 'face' of ...
... the right was Constituency building Seek redress for violated victims Lobbying Assure that the system “works” Mobilization Yet while there have been thoughtful and useful extensions beyond some traditional views of rights advocacy, ...
privileging of that system of “reglementation” tends to minimize the extent to which other social fields influence people's attitudes and behavior, including associations that may be “traditional,” religious, or familial, among others.
The WLRI has reported that in Malawi, traditional practices and customary law remain obstacles to women's rights, and that in 1995-96 the government abolished traditional courts—but today those courts continue to exist.
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NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS