News and Events
In this article for Open Democracy, Naila Kabeer suggests that alarm about the declining ratio of girls to boys in the Indian population, evidence of a particularly lethal form of gender discrimination, has overshadowed the more positive trend that is emerging in Bangladesh where the ‘aversion to daughters’ seems to be weakening.
Naila Kabeer's blog for The Guardian argues that not only does gender equality lead to higher economic growth, it is key to ensuring a fairer world for both men and women. The Guardian: Poverty Matters
For this blog for the IDS Participation, Power and Social Change team Rosalind Eyben used the opportunity of a meeting at the UN to ask why unpaid care is rarely talked about in debates about development policy? See IDS Participation Power and Social Change
The International Seminar, Doing Gender 10 - Current Challenges of Feminisms will be held in Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil from 16 to 20 September 2013. The event is organised by the Centro de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas and the Centro de Comunicação e Expressão, and supported by other schools of the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), in partnership with the Centro de Ciências Humanas e Educação of the State University of Santa Catarina (UDESC). Cecilia Sardenberg and Andrea Cornwall are organising a thematic symposia on 'Feminist Perspectives on Women's Empowerment', for information on joining the discussion see Fazendo Genero 10.
This article from Hussainatu Abdullah for The Guardian looks at the struggles women's organisations in Sierra Leone have faced in the ongoing fight to get a bill stipulating 30% representation for women in parliament passed. Despite the continuing battle, the women's organisations' ability to organise themselves effectively and force the government to acknowledge their role and status has been seen as a positive step. See The Guardian
Naila Kabeer reflects on women's collective action as a force for social change in the lives and livelihoods of marginalised groups, particularly poor women in poor countries, and explores examples of grassroots action in this thinkpiece for UK Feminista. See UK Feminista
Sexuality is a vital but neglected dimension of women's empowerment. Positive approaches to sexuality can be an important driver of change in women's lives.
However, women's sexuality is more often of concern to development agencies only as a source of danger, harm, risk and vulnerability. One of Pathways' key findings shows that focusing on the positive aspects of female sexuality is a key strategy in challenging limiting social norms that restrict women's wellbeing and opportunities at work, in politics and in the public domain.
The Pleasure Project's new guide 'Everything you wanted to know about pleasurable safer sex but were afraid to ask: twenty questions on sex, pleasure and health' underlines this focus and offers an innovative approach to combining understandings around sexual pleasure with safer sex interventions.
Read Tessa Lewin's blog from the International Association for Media and Communication Research held in Durban from 15-19 July. Tessa presented a paper on Pathways' Real World documentary scheme ahead of the publication of a new IDS Bulletin on New Roles for Communication in Development?
Paid Work as a Pathway to Women's Empowerment
Pathways researchers, Naila Kabeer, Dzodzi Tsikata and Hania Sholkamy, working on paid work as a pathway to women's empowerment discussed their findings with UN Women Executive Director, Ms Michelle Bachelet in a courtesy call in early July. They then gave a presentation at a public meeting held at UN Women on the 5th July. See Pathways policy paper 'Contextualising the Economic Pathways of Women's Empowerment' for an overview of their research.
Pathways @ AWID Forum 2012
For a list of sessions and events in which Pathways were involved at the AWID Forum see Pathways @ AWID. New: Twitter write up of the Power of Pleasure session. See also Alison Carney's post for the Participation, Power and Social Change Team Blog on Generations of Feminism - A Reflection from AWID
Egypt: Will there be a Place for Women's Human Rights?
In this article for Open Democracy, Hania Sholkamy asks whether the Muslim Sisters will show their support in the struggle over women's human rights and gender justice in Egypt? See Open Democracy 50:50
International Women's Day
On International Women's Day, Andrea Cornwall, Pathways Director, calls for a for a pleasure-based approach to development - one that reverses the instrumentalism of development approaches to pay more attention to enabling women to have happier, more enjoyable and pleasurable lives. See IDS News
Women's Political Empowerment needs more than Quotas
For this Guardian Blog, Mariz Tadros cites Pathways' research which demonstrates that quotas are not a magic bullet, and suggests if we are serious about promoting gender justice, we should start by better understanding how women get involved in politics... more
Three Things the Crisis (should have) Taught us about Women's Empowerment
Motorways to Nowhere?
In this blog for The Guardian Poverty Matters, Andrea Cornwall suggests that the recent trend of development agencies to focus on the empowerment of women and girls as a 'sought-after panacea' without challenging structural inequities, risks being 'empowerment-lite'; and not achieving real and sustained change for women. See more
Just Do Women's Empowerment
Naomi Hossain highlights two very interesting facts that War on Want missed out in their study of the exploitation of Bangladeshi garments workers by Adidas, Nike and Puma. See her blog for the IDS Participation, Power and Social Change Team
Professor Ana Alice Costa from the Pathways Latin America Hub was one of five women to receive the Brazilian Senate's Bertha Lutz Award for Outstanding Women. The other four included President Dilma Roussef as well as Eunice Mafalda Michiles, the first female Brazilian senator, Terra Rosali Scalabrin, activist in the Pastoral Commission that works on behalf of rural workers, Maria do Carmo Ribeiro, a communist activist married to the communist leader Luiz Carlos Prestes (1898-1990).
In presenting the awards, Jose Sarney, President of the Brazilian Senate said 'The presence of women in politics is fundamental for social justice'. Addressing President Roussef he added 'In trusting their future in your hands, Brazilian people made a daring decision. They signaled that it is time for women to fully participate in the life of the country on an equal footing with men'.
Empowering Women and Girls: What Works?
At the beginning of 2012 Pathways held two events in London to mark both the launch of our synthesis report 'Empowerment: A Journey not a Destination' and the transition from a consortium to a network. Read more...
In this Picture there are No Women!
The remarkable revelation of the Egyptian revolution concerns women. It turns out that the women of Egypt are at the heart of our politics. Since January 2011 a new wave of recognition for women’s political leadership and dynamism has swept the country...On the first anniversary of the revolution Hania Sholkamy reflects on the political status of women in Egypt
Revisioning Women's Empowerment
Pathways South Asia held their closing conference from 26-28 July 2011 at BRAC Centre to mark the end of research funding from the UK Department for International Development and the transition into a Pathways network. The conference, which brought together academics, activists, practitioners, media professionals, policymakers, and development partners, showcased the work of Pathways South Asia over the last five years. Through plenaries, conversations, film screenings, panels and digital stories it generated debates around the research findings and their implications for the different actors working on women's empowerment. The Pathways South Asia Hub Synthesis Report, focusing on some of the highlights of the research, was launched at the conference.
Threads: Changes and Continuities in Ghanaian Women's Lives
Pathways West Africa held a three-day photographic exhibition from 24-26 August 2011 at the Teacher's Hall Complex in Accra, showcasing photographs taken as part of their three generational research with Ghanaian women in Tamale, Northern Ghana. The very popular exhibition was staged alongside the Pathways West Africa Closing Conference which marked the end of research funding from the UK Department for International Development. Among those attending the conference was Sierra Leonean politician Hon. Dr Bernadette Lahai.
Facilitating Gender Justice throughout Democratic Transition in Egypt
Panel at the Roundtable
Partnering with Pathways of Women’s Empowerment, UN Women hosted a day long roundtable meeting in Cairo, Egypt, focusing on “Pathways for Women in Democratic Transitions”. The keynote address was given by UN Women Director, Michelle Bachelet, and the meeting brought together former politicians, gender experts, academics and activists through three panels focused on how to ensure the representation and agency of women in politics and gender justice as countries work toward building democratic institutions and processes. More information
Rights and Resources
The Mobilising for Women's Rights and the Role of Resources research sought to clarify the conditions under which external financial support to women's rights organisations has a positive impact on women's empowerment, as well as the conditions in which successful women's organising is achievable without such support. More information.
'Khul' Film Launch and Panel Discussion
In celebration of the International Women's Day centenary, we were pleased to host a discussion event at the Birds Eye View Film Festival in London to mark the launch of 'Khul'. 'Khul' is a Real World film directed by Lucy Bennett and produced in association with Screen South, which explores the controversial Islamic right 'Khul' that allows Egyptian women to unilaterally end a marriage in exchange for forgoing financial rights. For more information on the event visit our Facebook page or see Birds Eye View Film Festival. See also Mulki Al-Sharmani's research into Egyptian family status laws.
IDS' Big Question for Development
In celebration of International Women's Day IDS' Big Question for Development interviewed Andrea Cornwall and Pauline Latham MP (UK International Development Select Committee) about what this day means for women around the world.
Listen to the interview at IDS' Big Question for Development
Rights and Resources: The Effects of Financing on Organising for Women's Rights
A Pathways research project has sought to clarify the conditions under which external financial support to women’s rights organisations has a positive impact on women’s empowerment as well as the conditions in which successful women’s organising is achievable without such support. On 21-22 March 2011 the Royal Tropical Institute hosted an international conference which brought together representatives from case study and donor organisations involved in the research, as well as international activists and researchers, to discuss the findings and its implications. More Information
Pathways to Political Participation for Women
Women in Politics is one of a number of books which the Pathways programme will be producing as a series provisionally entitled 'Feminisms in Development' being published by Zed Books, beginning later this year. Contributors met in Cairo in December 2010 to discuss research around the issue. More Information
The Witches of Gambaga
The Witches of Gambaga looks at the lives of women living in a refugee camp in Northern Ghana who have been tortured and condemned for witchcraft. The film is directed by Yaba Badoe and co-produced by Yaba with Amina Mama. More Information
Stories for Social Change
The idea of using our research to inspire short stories has been developed by Mona Ali who leads work on the Ana El-Hekkaya project. Her work with young writers in Egypt, Palestine and Sudan rewriting traditional folktales with a feminist edge, prompted us to think about how powerful stories can be in conveying the complexities of empowerment and women's lived experience. In August 2010 in Ghana we held an international workshop facilitated by Mona and Sahar El-Mougy in order to engage a Ghanaian writers' group with our research and to aim to produce a collection of short stories based on our work. Colleagues from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nigeria participated in the workshop and discussed conducting similar workshops within their countries.
Religious Framings in Gender Policy and Practice
To continue a debate around the increasing “religionisation” of the way in which gender issues are approached in policy and practice, participants at this workshop discussed what does religious framing mean in practice? More Information
Untying Development's Straightjacket: Masculinities, Sexualities and Social Change
The focus of this symposium was both on addressing the limits to thinking and the limits of practice within gender and development, and on finding ways towards greater recognition of sexual and gender diversity. More Information
Women in Politics
The 'Women in Politics: Women's Political Effectiveness' Roundtable aimed to explore and highlight examples of support and training which are effective in promoting women's participation in politics. More Information
People and Power - Righting Women's Rights
On the eve of International Women's Day 2009, Andrea Cornwall, Director of Pathways, was interviewed by Samah El-Shahat for Al Jazeera's 'People and Power' programme. The programme discusses women's rights and how far we have got in achieving these in today's world. See People and Power
This one week meeting in Bangalore brought together rights activists, ICT experts, journalists and communications specialists from over 30 countries to learn and share skills useful for networking, movement building and advocacy. More Information
AWID Forum 2008
The Pathways Team participated in and presented panels on 'The NGOization of Women's Movements and its Implications for Feminist Organizing' and 'Women's Empowerment: What do Men have to do with it?'. More Information
Feminist Technology Exchange and AWID Forum
Tessa Lewin, visual artist, media practitioner and Communications and Learning Manager at Pathways blogs from the Feminist Tech Exchange and AWID meetings in 2008. More Information
Politicising Masculinities: Beyond the Personal
This symposium held in Dakar, Senegal in 2008 revisited theories of masculinity through analysing practices that are changing men’s gender identities and relations. More Information
The ‘Real World’ scheme, set up in 2008 by Pathways and Screen South, links young documentary filmmakers with academics from Pathways to collaborate on films broadly exploring concepts around women’s empowerment. More Information
Marie Stopes International Global Conference on Abortion, London, 23-24 October 2007
The Pathways teamed up with the Realising Rights RPC to co-organise a panel on 'Experiences of Abortion Law Reform' at this event.
For more information: Panel Outline. openDemocracy Marie Stopes Global Safe Abortion Conference Blog and The Right to Abortion: Briefing from Brazil, by Cecilia Sardenberg.
Also Realising Rights RPC website
VII Annual Encampment of Women Rural Workers and Indigenous Women 2007
Claire Cesareo-Silva reports from this meeting organized primarily by the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra (MST) or Landless Workers Movement annually coincide with International Women's Day. More Information