Global Hub - News
Feminists Working in International Development Organisations
One of the elements within this global policy programme has been a research project of reflective practice with a small and self-selected group of feminist policy practitioners working on women’s rights and gender equality issues in the head offices of international development organisations. In October 2008 they met together for a weekend workshop to share and reflect on their experiences of success and failure and to identify practical ways of sharing more broadly what we have learnt.
See Report from workshop: Feminists Working in International Development Organisations: An Account of a Reflective Practice Workshop, 24-26 October 2008 (pdf file 779 KB)
Making Women Work for Development - Again
Twenty five years ago progressive staff in international development institutions argued that women as well as men should be beneficiaries of development. Hard-nosed neo-liberal male economists interpreted this argument as women as consumers rather than as producers of wealth. Is the trend in global policy towards market-led growth seeing these positions returning?
Rosalind Eyben, 2008, 'Making Women Work for Development - Again' (pdf file 157KB)
Global Hub Advisory Group 2nd Meeting
The Global Hub held its 2nd Advisory Group Meeting on 13 February 2008 following a workshop on its Conceptualising Empowerment project. The notes from that meeting are available to download (pdf 58 KB)
The Global Hub research includes a one year project to critically review conceptual assumptions about women’s empowerment that are being globally developed and communicated and to examine the relation between these assumptions and evolving international policy and practice. Andrea Cornwall and Rosalind Eyben are leading this project that has three main elements (1) analysis of documentation (2) semi-structured interviews (3) this two day opportunity to reflect for policy actors, practitioners and researchers. See project description here.
The principal audience for this research are those working pursuing a social transformation agenda in international development policy arenas – in civil society networks, inside governments, in international development agencies, academia or in the media. Through a dialogue concerning the multiple and diverse meanings of empowerment we hope to stimulate individual and organisational questioning about the real world implications for women’s lives when certain meanings becoming dominant. What pathways are opened up and which ones might be closed down?
The researchers held a conference for this project at Dunford House, Sussex from 11-12 February 2008, to which a number of academics, activists and policy-related actors were invited.
The aim was to:
map out different meanings of empowerment as used in the world of international development and explore the implications ;
share how we ourselves use ‘empowerment’ in our professional practice;
look for different threads (‘solidarity’, ‘autonomy’, ‘choice’. ‘agency’, ‘collective action’ etc) of how we represent empowerment and the implications for policy practice from possible different combinations of these threads;
consider how as individuals - and in our organisations and networks -we handle in our day to day practice possible dissonances and contradictions between these multiple threads of empowerment;
ask what role have international development policy actors and institutions played in making empowerment a hollow buzzword and exploring how we could encourage these institutions to rearticulate the concept in ways that advance justice and wellbeing;
- identify specific opportunities in global policy spaces for putting power back into empowerment.
Holding DFID Accountable on Gender Equality
On 15 November the House of Commons Select Committee on International Development released its report on the Department for International Development (DFID) Annual Report 2007. See Rosalind Eyben's comments on DFID's Gender Equality Action Plan.
Commonwealth Women's Affairs Ministers Meeting
Hazel Reeves from BRIDGE and Rosalind Eyben from the Pathways programme give their impressions of the 8th triennial WAMM held in Kampala from 12-14 June 2007.
See also "Addressing the Preconditions: Women's Rights and Development" (pdf file 62KB), by Andrea Cornwall. This paper examines the issues which have to be addressed before real progress can be made on achieving women's rights. A version of this paper is published in a new book from The Commonwealth Secretariat 'Financing Gender Equality - Commonwealth Perspectives 2007' which is the official publication of the WAMM.
See also "Female Employment in Agriculture: Global Challenges and Global Responses" (pdf file 52KB), by Stephanie Barrientos. This paper asks what are the effects of globalization on women workers in agriculture. Again, a version of this paper is published in The Commonwealth Secretariat's 'Financing Gender Equality - Commonwealth Perspectives 2007'
Gender Equality and Aid Effectiveness
At the end of March 2007, Rosalind Eyben helped organise a workshop on gender equality and the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness at the request of DFID’s regional office in SE Asia in Bangkok on behalf of a tripartite steering group, including the World Bank and UNIFEM. This complimented her global hub research into examining whether new international aid policy and practice is either a pathway or bottleneck for supporting women's empowerment. The final report to the steering group states that the Paris principles (ownership, alignment, harmonisation, managing for results and mutual accountability) provide the opportunity for governments, civil society and donors to work together in more genuine partnerships provided the search for efficiency gains is not at the expense of securing long term impact and that donors change their own organisational behaviour where this constrains gender equality efforts.
'Gender Equality and Aid Effectiveness: Challenges and Opportunities for International Practice: Experiences from South East Asia', Report by Rosalind Eyben with Dipa Bagai, Sofi Ospina and Cheryl Urashima, Consultants to a Workshop organised by DFID, UNIFEM and the World Bank, Bangkok, 2-3 April 2007. Pdf File 331 KB
The Gender and Development Agenda in the UK
A joint meeting was held at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London on 19 February 2007 hosted by the Pathways of Women's Empowerment RPC, Gender and Development Network and Women's Study Group of the Development Studies Association to examine the potential for external pressure and lobbying on gender equality and women's empowerment. See Notes from the Meeting (pdf file 196 KB).
Global Hub Advisory Group Meeting
The first advisory group meeting took place in London on 16th and 17th November 2006. The group has developed from the ideas and participation at the May scoping workshop. The group discussed the Scoping Report (pdf file 195 KB) from the Global Hub and also the research proposals put together as a result of the shaping of the research agenda for RPC as a whole as the Inception Workshop.
See the report from the Global Hub Advisory Group meeting (pdf file 80 KB).