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  • Author: Tamara Nair
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: In this time of compounding global crisis, the world needs to come together to not only fight the pandemic but to also preserve our commitments to certain shared beliefs. One of these is the eradication of gender inequality even in the midst of this humanitarian crisis.
  • Topic: Security, Gender Issues, Women, Inequality, Peace, Pandemic
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alex Tammaro, Alex Katz
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Despite India’s strong economic growth, women’s labor force participation in India has decreased—from 33 percent in 2005, to 27 percent in 2010, to 24 percent in 2019. Even with increased investment in women’s access to education and professional opportunity, women are leaving the labor market, dampening economic productivity and innovation. So why are women opting out? Bhavani Arabandi offered answers in a presentation to Urban Institute staff titled Karma and the Myth of the Indian Superwoman. Arabandi spoke to highly skilled, highly educated Indian women as part of an ethnographic study to determine why they step away from lucrative, fulfilling careers. She examined how structural barriers—the disadvantages, constraints, and discouragement women face—are “treated as normal by society and often internalized.”
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Economic Growth, Participation
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Author: Rose McDermott
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Political Violence @ A Glance
  • Abstract: Recent commentary has noted that countries run by women have done a markedly better job at containing the COVID-19 pandemic than countries run by men. Previous commentary has also suggested that the public tends to think that female leaders do a better job on issues related to health and education. But the COVID-19 pandemic is not simply a health issue; it also presents major challenges in international relations, which begs the question: how does gender influence international relations? Gender affects international relations in many ways. It is at the root of many types and forms of conflict, from domestic violence to war. War is usually thought of as being something that is supported primarily by men even if the negative effects disproportionately fall on women. However, a great deal of conflict begins in and around battles over status between men, and between men and women. This is true in both domestic and international realms. Conflict, like much else, begins in the home. Children watch their parents disagree and observe how fights take place. Do parents have reasoned arguments that end in negotiated compromises? Or does their father beat their mother into submission? Children learn from watching, and take lessons about how to resolve conflict—and the role of domination and coercion in relationships—into the larger world, and use these models as the basis for how they feel they, and their nations, should behave.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Gender Issues, Women, Leadership, Violence, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Robert Nagel, Dara Kay Cohen, Ragnhild Nordås
  • Publication Date: 10-2020
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Political Violence @ A Glance
  • Abstract: Tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the groundbreaking UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security (WPS). Where are we on the road to ending conflict-related sexual violence? There is good news and bad news. When the UN Security Council passed resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security it was a momentous event. Women’s rights and violence against women had never before been on the agenda of the Security Council. Resolution 1325 emphasized the need for increased participation of women in national, regional, and international institutions, and for women’s inclusion in peace negotiations. Perhaps even more importantly, it acknowledged the agency of women in matters of war and peace, in contrast to the predominant idea of women as merely passive victims. A central component of 1325 was to explicitly call on all parties to armed conflict to take special measures to protect women and girls from violence, particularly sexual and gender-based violence.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, United Nations, Women, Gender Based Violence , Sexual Violence, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Lydia Khalil
  • Publication Date: 06-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Lowy Institute for International Policy
  • Abstract: Women will be important to the resurgence and transformation of the Islamic State from governance project to global terrorist insurgency. Islamic State has expanded both the potential and the scope of the roles and functions women can play, providing additional avenues for their participation in jihad in both kinetic and non-kinetic roles. The cohort of former caliphate members of mostly women and children now held in camps pose a key challenge for counterterrorism efforts around the world. Assumptions about women and violence can obstruct an accurate assessment of the threat female IS supporters pose and an accurate understanding of their agency.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Violent Extremism, Counter-terrorism, Women, Radicalization, Islamic State, Jihad
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Australia, Syria
  • Author: H. Elizabeth Peters, Shirley Adelstein, Robert Abare
  • Publication Date: 04-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Women around the world face barriers to participating in the labor force, especially in traditionally male-dominated sectors. Addressing these barriers in low-income countries can improve both women’s well-being and the countries’ entire economies (PDF). Building on Urban’s prior research, we recently completed a systematic review (PDF) of qualitative studies of women’s labor force participation and upward mobility. We focused on studies of the higher-productivity, male-dominated sectors of commercial agriculture, mining, and trade and found studies from 18 low-income countries, mostly those in Sub-Saharan Africa, but also in East Asia, South Asia, and Latin America. Barriers to economic empowerment observed by the studies were far ranging, including gender-related laws, violence and sexual harassment, and limited access to land, technology, technology skills, credit and capital, and social and business networks. But one of the strongest and most consistent findings from our review was the influence of social norms about gender.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Mira Oklobdzija
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: Self-restraint is one of the most important litmus tests for distinguishing between humans and other social animals. Major human leaders, both past and present, often fall short in this regard. Instead, particularly as they mobilize their countries for war, these leaders compete for the distinction of being the alpha male.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Gender Based Violence
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Adam Ewing, Hasan Kwame Jeffries, George White Jr, Michael L. Krenn, Keisha N. Blain
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: The Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR)
  • Abstract: A Roundtable on Keisha N. Blain, Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and Global Struggle for Freedom
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Nationalism, History, Women, Feminism, Diplomatic History, Black Politics, African American Studies
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Tamara Nair
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The recent launch of the ASEAN Women for Peace Registry (AWPR) in Cebu, Philippines is a timely move and is a reflection of a strong sense of readiness to adopt UN Security Council Resolution 1325: Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda in the region. But what should be the registry’s starting role?
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Peace, UN Security Council
  • Political Geography: Asia, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: At its core, the economic empowerment of women – to succeed and advance economically and to make and act on economic decisions – depends on the quantity and quality of paid employment, the provision or absence of public services, the amount of unpaid care work borne by women, as well as coverage or lack thereof under core social and labour protections. This paper discusses how macroeconomic policies are crucial enablers of gender equality, as they shape the overall economic environment for advancing women’s economic empowerment. It focuses on how macroeconomic policies support employment creation, the level of unpaid care required of women and the size of fiscal space, which determines the resources available for governments to promote gender equality.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Income Inequality, Macroeconomics, Empowerment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Simone Lombardini, Kristen McCollum
  • Publication Date: 09-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: This paper presents the results of a meta-analysis examining the overall impact of women’s empowerment projects evaluated as part of Oxfam GB’s Effectiveness Reviews. Results show a positive and significant impact on the Women’s Empowerment Index and mixed results with its individual indicators. We found a statistically significant effect on opinions on women’s economic role and their ability to participate and have influence in the community. We did not find evidence of overall changes in power within the household nor with the share of household income. The meta-analysis also found statistically significant overall effects where the individual studies were too under-powered to detect impact. This paper provides an example of how using meta-analysis in the presence of a robust organizational global evaluation framework can enable evidence-based learning, organizational accountability and better programme implementation.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Economic Inequality, Content Analysis, Empowerment
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fenohasina Rakotondrazaka Maret, Harsh Parikh, Rachel Wilder
  • Publication Date: 07-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: The United Nations designated 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and for good reason. The tourism industry generates 10.2 percent of global GDP and employs 1 in 10 workers. Women make up more than half of the tourism workforce, which makes the industry’s growth a unique opportunity to empower women across the world. But we need additional data to better understand how women intersect with this burgeoning industry.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Tourism, Women, Partnerships, International Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Botswana, Global Focus
  • Author: Ammar A. Malik, Hadia Majid
  • Publication Date: 06-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Pakistan is the sixth most populated country in the world, and at least two in five Pakistanis will live in urban areas by 2020. But, as in the rest of South Asia, rapid urbanization in Pakistan is “messy” and hidden. A large-scale informal economy and poor public service delivery is dampening the potential productivity benefits of agglomeration. Seventy-eight percent of nationwide nonagricultural jobs are in the informal economy, and some 22 million people are in such roles, most of them women. Most of an estimated 8.5 million mostly unregulated domestic workers are also women. Underdeveloped and unenforced work regulations make women disproportionately more susceptible to exploitive working conditions. They are poorly compensated and forced to work in hazardous circumstances without proper social or legal protections. Beyond the ambit of taxation, they are seldom considered productive economic agents and are relegated as secondary contributors to the economy. These issues with urbanization and informal economies are not unique to Pakistan. All South Asian countries have similar problems. But overall gender disparities in Pakistan are considerably higher than the regional average, and the fact that more women are poor than men poses a particular challenge for women in Pakistan’s urban informal sector.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Urbanization, Women, Economy, Informal Economy
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, South Asia
  • Author: Sidney B. Westley
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Through the ages, women have specialized in the unpaid work of raising children, maintaining households, and caring for others, while men have been more likely to earn wages in the market (Watkins et al. 1987). As fertility rates have declined, however, women have joined the labor force outside the home in growing numbers. Understanding how women’s economic roles are changing and how and why they may change in the future is crucial for understanding the economic effects of changes in population age structure. It is also vital for improving gender equality, ensuring the wellbeing of children and other family members, and maintaining a healthy rate of economic growth.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Fenohasina Rakotondrazaka Maret, Ammar A. Malik, Nan Marie Astone, H. Elizabeth Peters
  • Publication Date: 11-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Worldwide, only about one in two women work, compared with three in four men. In some low-income countries, such as Zimbabwe and Madagascar, the labor force participation rate for women has reached 90 percent, but these women are often underemployed. Hard economic circumstances often force them to be self-employed or work in small enterprises that are unregulated and unregistered. About 83 percent of all domestic workers in the world are women, most of whom work in precarious conditions. Women also do much more unpaid work than men, including caring for children, the elderly, and people with disabilities; contributing to family farms or businesses; and performing household chores such as collecting water or gathering firewood. Improving women’s livelihoods constitutes basic human rights protection. But could including more women in the labor force also stimulate economic growth, enhance business competitiveness, and improve well-being? We recently conducted a review of evidence to answer that question and found that reducing the gender pay gap and equalizing access to economic opportunities and resources are good for economic, social, and business development. For example, some firms that purposefully reduced gender discrimination and supported family-friendly policies attracted more talented workers, improved retention rates, and decreased employee stress, resulting in enhanced productivity.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Labor Issues, Women, Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Africa, Zimbabwe, Madagascar
  • Author: Ammar A. Malik, Arjan de Haan, Alejandra Vargas Garcia
  • Publication Date: 06-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Throughout the world, economic opportunities are less available to women than to men. Not only is the worldwide female labor force participation rate lower than it is for men, working women earn 10 to 30 percent less than their male counterparts. The share of girls who enroll and complete primary school remains less than boys'. Women hold only 22 percent of national parliament seats around the world. In a recent World Bank study, 90 percent of 173 surveyed countries had at least one law (e.g., prohibitions on women taking up certain jobs) preventing women from taking full advantage of economic opportunities. While gender equality has improved in some respects, minimizing gender-based violence, early and forced marriages, and property-rights violations will take more work. The full realization of women’s economic potential is essential for achieving the ambitious United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which will drive the global development agenda until 2030.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Women, Sustainable Development Goals, Business , Economic Development
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Maria Solanas Cardín
  • Publication Date: 12-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Elcano Royal Institute
  • Abstract: The II National Action Plan for the implementation of Resolution 1325, currently being prepared by the Spanish Government, should build on lessons learnt and include specific measures and best practices if it aims to achieve any advancement in the women, peace and security agenda. Nine years after the approval of the I National Action Plan for the implementation of Resolution 1325 –and mainly driven by its participation, as a non-permanent member, in the United Nations Security Council during the 2015-16 biennium–, the Spanish Government has marked the women, peace and security agenda as a priority, undertaking to draft a II National Action Plan. The number of challenges outstanding, almost 16 years after the approval of Resolution 1325, calls for a global commitment that is sustained over time and for actions and measures in field operations supported by sufficient funding (the most serious and persistent impediment for implementation of Resolution 1325). The alliance with local organisations and agents, mainly women’s organisations, has proved to be the most efficient way to promote and ensure a significant participation by women in the prevention of conflicts and in peace-building. Only a Plan based on such premises will effectively contribute towards the implementation of Resolution 1325.
  • Topic: Development, Gender Issues, International Security, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus